Ken and Rich shaking hands

What Is The Truth

Breaking Down a Solar Proposal

  • Most companies show DC numbers as it makes the system look larger however depending on the equipment you are using the difference between the DC and AC (Number that matters) can be vastly different.
  • A simple way to compare proposals is by the number of panels each company is proposing.  While the wattage will probably be different on each at least you can weed out companies that are trying to sell you 6 panels for the same price as the ones selling 30.
  • While number of panels is important, it’s the total output of the combined panels that matters. You want to compare total system size in order to see a true comparison of the system, are you getting an apples to apples comparison?
  • What about efficiency? All high quality reputable panel manufacturers have reasonable efficiencies, don’t fall for marketing gimmicks as it pertains to efficiencies. A 300 watt panel is a 300 watt panel, what is the total system size?  18 panels at 327 watts each is a 5,886 watt system, or 5.89kw.  We would sell you 20 panels at 300 watts each for a 6.0kw system.  Look at the total system size, not the efficiency.
  • We believe that solar panels are only 50% of the production equation. The other 50 % is the inverter you choose.  It does you no good to buy the “highest efficiency solar panel or highest wattage solar panel” and pair it with an inefficient inverter.
  • Do the other proposals you are reviewing show the specific inverter that is be proposed.  In most cases, the specific equipment used is rarely line items in the other guys proposals.
  • Palomar Solar currently recommends Enphase M250 or the new S280 for all residential installations.  This is something we review and revise recommendations based on technology advancement.  Palomar Solar’s proposal will always specify the specific equipment proposed for your home.
  • All solar panels no matter the manufacturer will degrade, however be sure to check the warranty.  You should see a production of minimum 80% after 25 years.  Remember you are buying this for 25 years not 5 or 10 years.
  • We do not recommend purchasing a panel less than 270 watts.  To be honest anything less than that, is already obsolete. The current panels in the marketplace are now 300-320 watts.  A 300 watt panel matches nicely with a m250 inverter, while a 320 watt panel should be paired with the new S280 inverter.
  • When comparing competitive proposals, make sure your proposals include the pitch and azimuth as well as any shading issues as this will affect the systems production, your payment and the leasing companies guarantee.  Most companies show you perfectly facing south production with no shade only to beat out the competition.  Then when they bring you the lease to sign the numbers are changed.  Believe me you do not want to be in that situation.
  • This should be in addition to the 10 yr workmanship warranty.
  • When you purchase a system from Palomar Solar we include an additional 10 year roof penetration warranty.  90% of contractors will not do this.  Be sure to ask.
  • All Palomar Solar proposals are all-inclusive. Everything from design, engineering, permitting, installing and sales tax are all included.
  • 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.
  • Change order are only applied when something completely unexpected with a significant impact to project scope
  • Our consultants are trained to be able to recognize before giving you a proposal whether or not your panel will need to upgraded.  Most of our competitors will not include this in their proposal.  So the home owner who is comparing prices thinks we are $2,000 – $3,000 more expensive and signs a contract with another company.  Only to find out three days later after the right to cancel has expired that they have to sign a change order adding as much as $5,000 to their original contract.  Again, not a fun situation to be in.  Do your homework.  Palomar Solar prefers to be up front with their customers about all for seen expenses.  Palomar Solar prides itself on addressing any for seen issues and rarely having to write change orders.
  • When you purchase a roof mount system from Palomar Solar you can expect to have it installed within 45 days usually 30 depending on where you live and the plan check period.
  • Ground mounts can take up to 4 months due to the engineering and the permitting process.
  • Some companies take as long as six months.  Again be sure to ask and get commitments.
  • Most Solar companies carry 1-2 million dollars of liability insurance.  We carry 5 million.
  • Is the company licensed to do the work they are being contracted to do.  Palomar Solar is! Check the CSLB to see the license status on any contractors you are considering, you might be surprised what you find.  As a c-10 licensed electrical contractor our license number is 945152.
  • No part of your project is subcontracted.
  • Our consultants are licensed. Ask your consultant for his personal license # he or she should carry a state card and check the CSLB website.
  • We recommend doing a simple Google search with the company name and the word complaints behind it.  Don’t be a lazy consumer.
  • Call referrals but I even suggest taking it one step further and go see some installations and talk to homeowners in person about their experience. We are happy to schedule a day to take you around.
  • Palomar Solar has installed on every type of roof.  We will not be learning on your job at your expense.
  • Are they with the BBB
  • Palomar Solar has an A+ rating with the BBB and again there is a direct link to our report on our website for your convenience.
  • Have they installed in your neighborhood, city or county?

Palomar Solar has installed systems all over and understands what each city or county expects as they are all different. Again we are not learning at your expense or delay’s.  Chances are we have a system installed within miles of your home.  Ask your consultant.

  • How long have they truly been in business? Check the CSLB to find out.
  • Finally, never purchase any home improvement especially solar on the first visit.  If something sounds too good to be true…..It is
  • Palomar Solar consultations are free, no pressure and no obligation.  If you are considering going Solar Palomar guarantees they will save you money and potential headaches by meeting with one of our consultants whether you purchase from us or not.