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 ( the 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 the 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 your solar system 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 being proposed? In most cases, the specific equipment used is rarely specified in the other guy’s proposals.
  • Palomar Solar currently recommends Enphase and Solar Edge for all residential and commercial installations. This is something we review frequently 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 280 watts.  To be honest anything less than that is already obsolete. The current panels in the marketplace are now 300-335 watts.
  • 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 us, 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 a 25-year roof penetration warranty. Ninety percent 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 and PPA’s. We have found that most lease’s do not show the 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 per month, it’s in the fine print.
  • Change orders are only applied when something completely unexpected with a significant impact the scope of your project.
  • Our consultants are trained to be able to recognize before giving you a proposal whether or not your panel will need an upgrade. Most of our competitors will not include this in their proposal. So the homeowner 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 upfront 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. Generally, our customers are installed within 30 days 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. Palomar Solar carries 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 contract, our license number is 945152.
  • No part of your project is subcontracted.
  • Our consultants are licensed. Ask your consultant for his personal license number, 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 home or business at your expense.
  • Is the company with the BBB?
  • Palomar Solar has an A+ rating with the BBB and again here is a direct link to our report on our website for your convenience.
  • Has the company installed in your neighborhood, city or county? Palomar Solar has most likely done an install in your area, look on our install map to find out.

Palomar Solar has installed systems all over Southern California and understands what each city or county expects, as they are all different. We are not learning at your expense or delays.  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.