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Palomar Solar Suggests:
  • California State License Board (CSLB).  This will give you some good information.  For example: check their sales person list to see if the consultant you are dealing with is even licensed and how long they have been with the same company.  This is important because they are going to be the one who go’s to bat for you if something should happen to your system.
    • Also on the CSLB site you can verify whether or not the company is C-10 licensed. This is the gold standard for solar installation.  If a company only has a C-46 for solar this is the first sign that part of your job will be sub contracted.  Without a C-10 they are unable to complete your job.
  • Better Business Bureau: While Palomar Solar does not feel the BBB is the end all be all. It is a good reference for the type of company you will be dealing with.
  • Call references:  Palomar Solar suggest that you call some references of not only the company but the consultant to see if they delivered what was promised in a timely manner, etc.  Palomar Solar consultants are happy to pick you up and take you to see some installations and speak face to face with customers.
  • Palomar Solar does not suggest doing business with any company that does anything else but solar electric.  Have you heard the saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none?”.  For example if a company sells windows, painting, solar pool heating, etc and solar stay away.  All Palomar Solar does is solar electric.  It is impossible to be good at all those things and still stay on top of the ever changing solar market.
  • Product offering?  We have found most of our competition is limited to offering products that the local distributor carries.  As such one day they might sell xyz panel the next month a different one. Palomar Solar has relationships with not only local distributors but direct relationships with Panel manufacturers.  As such we have installed the same high quality product on 99% of the homes.  Because we monitor everything you can rest assured you are getting what you pay for and expect when choosing Palomar Solar.
  • Solar Panel efficiency?  This can be confusing and very misleading.  A good rule of thumb is that right now you should be purchasing panels that are no less than 270 watts.  If a company is selling less it’s because it’s old technology.
  • Consider how you found out about the company.  If someone knocks on your door, calls you during dinner or meet them at a street fair home show, I would run.  Don’t be a lazy consumer.  Of course this is a good rule of thumb for any product.
  • Never Purchase solar or any other home improvement product for that matter on the first appointment.  If a deal sounds to good to be true……IT IS!
  • All of our systems have monitoring included in the proposal.  We have found that most of our competitors do not include this and charge as much as a $1,000 extra.  With Palomar Solar we will install your enPhase envoy monitoring system at no extra charge.  We want you to have access to your production.  It is also extremely helpful to us so that we can ensure every part of your system is producing as promised. This is the only system that will allow you to monitor each panels ac output.
  • We suggest that you ask to see the systems a company monitors before purchasing solar.  They should be able to easily provide you access to that information.  If not we suggest finding another contractor.  Especially if you are considering enPhase.  This will give you an idea of how many enPhase systems they have really installed and how long they have been installed for.  Palomar Solar is happy to provide you access to the systems we are monitoring.
  • Do not assume that if you purchase an Enphase system that you will receive per panel monitoring.  Most companies only offer the system output monitoring not the the per solar panel monitoring.  That allows you to hold them accountable at the individual solar panel level.
  • All of Palomar Solar’s proposals include sales tax.  This is important to consider when comparing proposals especially lease’s.  We have found that most lease’s do not show tax on their proposals.  Be sure to ask or you could be in for a big surprise.  All leases add sales tax to your monthly payment, will your payment be $200 or $216/month, it’s in the fine print.
  • When presenting our system, we will always give you the estimated kilowatt hours of AC power that your system will produce over the course of the year.  Many companies look to make their system appear larger than it is by quoting the theoretical DC watts produced by the panels, when in fact the end result of your actual AC watts (the power coming out of your outlet) will be as much as 20% less than the quoted DC wattage.
  • For instance, a standard 36 panel system will be approximately 8.28 kilowatts when measured in DC, but in reality, it is only 7.09 kilowatts when measured in AC.
  • In most cases, NO. However, it will be determined based on the size of the solar system that will best fit your needs. Your Palomar Solar consultant will be able to let you know and include it in their proposal.  We have found most competitors do not include this in their proposals.  Again, be sure to ask.  Otherwise you may think they are cheaper and decide to go with them only to find out later that you have to sign a costly change order in order to complete your job.  Palomar Solar will let you know what to expect before signing a contract.
  • If it is determined necessary, we make it as painless as possible.  We will coordinate with your utility company so the actual downtime of your electrical is mostly measured in minutes, not days.
  • We prefer to use the south facing roof if available.  However, there are cases when shade, roof space, and other conditions may limit or obstruct the south facing side, then we may need to use a west facing roof or even the east. Please note that for each azimuth, you will need to either use a separate inverter or ask about the new enPhase micro-inverter technology, which is specific for these types of applications. We believe to be the best solution currently available.
  • Yes, we will prepare our plans showing the most advantageous design for your desired system; however, before we submit them to your municipality, we will get your approval on the design.  This is just another way we set ourselves apart from the competition.
  • Unfortunately unless you are building a new home, there are no longer many utilities still offering rebates.  In Southern California both SDGE and SCE no longer have rebate funds available, don’t fall for the salesman who claims they are still paying the rebate.  But if you are lucky enough to have a rebate available to you Palomar will handle all the paperwork for you. Throughout the process, the state agency (CSI) will keep you apprised of the process.  As such not only is it painless for you, but the process is completely transparent as well
  • Unfortunately, we are unable to assist in your tax returns, as always we recommend you consult a tax professional to guide you in your specific situation.  However, our final invoice and IRS form 5695 should be all your accountant requires to process this credit for you.  As of 2009, there is no longer a limit to the tax credit.  You may want to look at the EnergyStar website for more information.