Do I need a new roof

Do I need a new roof?

Congratulations, you’ve made the well-educated choice to add solar to your home. The next decision is equally important; do I need a new roof? If you choose another installer, this may not even come up in the conversation as they want to get solar on your roof as fast as possible, knowing they may not be in business long enough to deal with a roof leak down the road.

However, the truth is that you may absolutely need a new roof.

If your home is older than 20 years, you likely have the original paper under your tiles that is nearly at its estimated lifespan. Over time, the tar paper naturally becomes brittle and more susceptible to allow water to penetrate your roof.

Now consider that a crew will be walking around the roof as part of a standard solar installation. Your chances for a leak are drastically increased.

“I’ll do it later”

We hear this a lot and it’s understandable. Homeowners do their solar installation research, but hardly consider the additional investment of replacing their roof. The quick reaction is to move forward with solar, but holdoff on the roof.

For the reasons noted above, this is a huge risk that could be more costly in the long run. Let’s assume you’ve chosen to bypass the roof improvements and successfully installed solar on your roof. In two years, a few small leaks develop that begin to spread to an area under your solar panels. Now, you’re not only forced to finally replace your roof, but you’ll also need to call us back to uninstall your solar system and reinstall it once the roof has been repaired.

For this reason, we strongly recommend addressing your roof before solar is installed.

Why Choose Palomar?

Historically, homeowners would have to call a roofing contractor for quotes and then spend more time calling a separate solar company. This creates double the work for the homeowner and often the roofer would void their warranties after the solar was installed. We want to prevent future finger pointing between roofing contractors and reduce frustration for homeowners. Our goal is to give you peace of mind that if something happens in the future you only make one phone call. Additionally, being able to do the roofing in house also allows us to control the scheduling of jobs, ensuring a better overall installation experience.

While we don’t require homeowners to use Palomar for their roofing needs before solar is installed, there are some compelling reasons to do so.

  • 40 combined experience providing services in Southern California
  • We carry the appropriate insurance. Because other solar installers use subcontractors, they have the minimal amount of insurance and likely omit works compensation. If you chose a roofer without the proper insurance, any accident that occurs on the job becomes the liability of the homeowner, you.
  • Our crews show up in professional trucks, with the appropriate equipment.
  • You want an established company that will be around to honor the warranty of the products being installed.
  •  Reputable work simply costs more. The investment of a roof on your home is not where you want to cut corners and go cheap.

While other local solar company offer roofing services, Palomar has dedicated in-house crews and never use subcontractors. Homeowners receive the peace-of-mind knowing one company is responsible for everything on your roof. This removes the “blame game” if an issue should arise.

Schedule an appointment today by calling us at 760-504-0388

Paying for Solar

Paying for Solar

Choosing to install a residential solar system may appear like an overwhelmingly expensive upgrade. However, the benefits of installing a solar panel system can far outweigh the costs associated with the installation. Many homeowners have found the savings have allowed them to pay for their system with ease, while enjoying the freedom from the utility company.

What solar financing options are available to homeowners, and which one should be considered? That all depends on personal preference. This goal of this article is to provide a very brief summary of the current options.

Cash

The old adage that “cash is king” also applies to a solar purchase. The simplest and most preferred method is to pay with a check to reduce the complexities and long-term cost of a homeowner’s system.

The obvious benefits are:

  • From the start, the homeowner owns the system
  • If the homeowner decides to sell, the system can be positioned as an added value
  • The homeowner receives all the tax incentives
  • No recurring bills or contracts

Finance

For those homeowners that do not have the cash to pay for a system up-front, a loan is the next best option. A solar loan offers immediate short-term savings, as monthly payments are still lower than the utility bill. Unlike lease options, the federal tax credits are still available to the homeowner to reduce the loan payment or invest elsewhere.

Solar Leases and Purchase Agreements (PPA)

The selling point of a PPA is that a homeowner can enjoy the benefits of solar immediately without the need of capital or financing. An installer will point out the high kilowatt hour rates from the utility and sell the homeowner on a long-term contract promising prices lower than the utility’s cost of electricity.

While a PPA has the immediate benefit to solar without an up-front payment, it does have consequences that need to be considered.

  • Not eligible for any federal tax credits
  • Substantially lower long-term savings compared to purchasing
  • Extremely difficult passing the agreement if your home is sold
  •  In a PPA, where your system is size correctly. you may actually begin to incur costs.

The Palomar Difference

At Palomar Solar and Roofing, we believe trust is everything and strive to be the company that will do everything we can to live up to our contracts.

There are multiple steps required from the time a contract is signed and when a new system can be turned on. Unlike other installers who will require most, if not, all of the payment up front, at Palomar, we normally require only a $1,000 deposit when the contract is signed. You pay the full balance only once the system is approved and turned on. This means you can enjoy the peace-of-mind that you’re not paying for a system and the utility at the same time.

Residential Batteries – Separating Fact from Fiction

With increased interest in residential batteries we’re hearing homeowners bring up selling points delivered by other installers. They’re told that batteries are a must-have, will save them money, and provide their entire house power during an outage. At Palomar Solar and Roofing, we’ll cut right to the facts. Let’s dig into what other installers are saying to determine how accurate they are.

Other Installer: “In a power outage, the battery system kicks in automatically and will run your entire house.”

Yes, definitely the most popular rhetoric to-date. It seems that every windy day in San Diego comes with a warning on the news about rolling blackouts and safety power shutoffs. At first glance the obvious solution might appear that adding a battery system would make your residence invulnerable to any outage.

Furthermore, that idea continues to grow in momentum that you can run all your appliances and air conditioning unit non-stop. Homeowners simply like to believe in the idealistic notion that whole-home backup will allow their lifestyles to continue unabated despite any power outage.

In Reality

There are fundamental engineering limitations that make it impractical to run an entire house on battery power alone. In fact, most battery systems don’t have the amperage capacity to even start a major appliance such as an air conditioner. The typical battery installation average 20 amps, far short of the 40 amps required by most AC units.

It’s a problem of perception. While installers are promising a method to fully mitigate an outage, the truth is that running the air conditioning or other large appliances will drain the battery incredibly fast. The battery can help keep essential items running during an outage but understand there are limitations.

The number of batteries required to run your whole house would be impractical from a financial standpoint.

——————–

Other Installer: “You can optimize time-of-use”

Time-of-Use (TOU) billing is a pricing module implemented by the electric company to charge you more during “peak periods” of electricity consumption, usually between mid-afternoon and evening, when most people are home from work and using energy. During the hot summer months, using energy from your air conditioner during on-peak times may cause to you see your bill double compared to off-peak times.

The narrative from installers is that battery storage allows homeowners to store electricity during lower-rate off-peak hours. Then use your stored power during your utility’s peak hours to avoid peak rates. Voila! The purchase of a battery is completely offset by the time of use savings.

In Reality

The idea that a homeowner can shift the stored energy during peak hours is actually a true scenario but doesn’t come with the benefits you would like to assume.

Unfortunately, many of systems do not provide compelling economic benefits in the short or long term. Homeowners will realize after their first set of utility bills that the cost of the battery purchase and installation doesn’t nearly compare to the minor reduction of offsetting TOU. You’ll be savings pennies on the dollar.

Furthermore, if the homeowner is relying on using the battery during off-peak hours, this introduces a scenario of limited stored energy during an actual outage.

——————–

Other Installer:There’s a guaranteed rebate when you add a battery”

We hear about this frequently with homeowners as installers have given them the impression the rebate is not only guaranteed but that it will be sent immediately.

As most homeowners know, the Federal Government offers a 26% tax credit (in 2022) for all new solar installations. This applies to your solar panels and battery installation. However, for those homeowners looking to add a battery to their existing system, a separate program is available offering a rebate of 15-20% of the average battery cost. This incentive is known as the CPUC’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP).

In Reality

NOPE, you missed your opportunity! Battery rebates were difficult to qualify previously, but as the state allotment for rebates have been exhausted, there’s simply no more funds available. Don’t purchase a battery system and assume or even hope for a rebate. It’s just not going to happen.

——————–

A battery system may still be the appropriate solution for your home.

Now you know the benefit of a battery is 100% peace-of-mind. During a nominal outage, essential functions of a house can continue to run. Your freezer won’t defrost, the refrigerator will continue to keep your food cool, your house will stay lit in the evening, and your means of communication (phone, internet, tv) will remain intact.

Don’t’ expect rebates, or to save money long-term. You’re adding complex equipment to your house that naturally comes at an added expense.

At Palomar Solar and Roofing, it’s always our goal to inform with the latest information regarding any technology. Knowing the current landscape, if you believe a battery system is right for you, then Palomar Solar and Roofing can help. As a Premium Enphase installer, we offer the highest quality Enphase Batteries.

Schedule an appointment today by calling us at 760-504-0388

Transparency Before Getting Started

In 2019, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) created the California Solar Consumer Protection Guide to aid consumers with everything they “need to know” before investing in solar.  This guide was meant to be supplied to and signed by the customer during the sales process.

Although contractors were technically required to submit signed consumer guide there weren’t consequences for noncompliance until this year. If the IOUs find that contractors are not uploading completed and signed documents, they will be added to a public list of noncompliant installers for that quarter and one following.  Additionally, the IOUs will manually audit the interconnection applications of noncompliant installers during their semi-annual spot-checks. In California, residential interconnection applications are usually reviewed almost immediately by IOUs.

Palomar Solar’s Stance

We understand and support the CPUC’s need to enforce the guide as most contractors shy away from sharing this information with potential solar clients.  Palomar Solar and Roofing has always supplied and explained the guide to clients.  As a contractor in 100% compliance with this law, it has only validated our belief in giving all information and helping clients make a well-informed decision.  In fact, it aids our team and demonstrates our transparency when customers realize the other four companies they already met with were supposed to give them this  guide and did not.  What else are they hiding?

Read the full article here

NEM 3.0 Is Coming - What You Need to Know About Net Energy Metering

NEM 3.0 Is Coming – What You Need to Know About Net Energy Metering

What is Net Energy Metering (NEM)

Net metering (also known as net energy metering or NEM) is a solar incentive framework allowing you to store energy in the electric grid. Essentially, when a rooftop solar system of a residence or business generates more energy than consumed, the owners have the ability to sell the excess production back to utilities and receive credits to their monthly bills. Then, at night or other times when your solar panels are underproducing, you pull energy from the grid and use these credits to offset the costs of that energy.

History of NEM

As the solar industry has matured, multiple iterations of NEM have been implemented by the California Public Utilities Commission. First introduced In 2013, under NEM 1.0, solar owner could expect free enrollment and no mandatory time-of-use rate plans. Customers were grandfathered in under the current rules for 20 years, even if net metering changed in the future.

In January 2016, NEM 2.0 was adopted and reduced a number of financial benefits a solar customer could expect. Compared to NEM 1.0, customers are required to pay a grid-connection fee, estimated between $75 and $150 (this cost is currently $20-$50 per month under NEM 2.0), pay a monthly transmission fee, and requires that all residential solar customers be put onto a time-of-use (TOU) rate

NEM 3.0

As NEM 2.0 is set to expire, California finds itself in a battle regarding NEM 3.0 which may be implemented as early as January 2022.  As history has shown with the previous versions of net metering, each iteration introduces far less benefits to solar customers.

Adding complexity to this situation is Assembly Bill AB 1139, that would further reduce the incentives for homeowners and businesses from adding rooftop solar systems in favor of the local utilities.

In the bill’s current iteration, solar customers would be grandfathered for up to ten years.  This is significantly less than the current twenty-year grandfathering that NEM 1.0 and NEM 2.0 customers have expected based on current regulations. Your solar credits would now be reduced in value to a wholesale rate and customers would now be forced to pay a monthly flat fee based on their energy consumption.

Despite being defeated, this attempted bill shows that the utility companies have the power to sway even ardent pro solar advocates to do their bidding.  One can assume that NEM 3.0 certainly wont be as consumer friendly as the current program, time to jump on the solar train today!

What does this mean for those with solar?

While the legality of AB 1139 will be debated over the next few months, you can expect that NEM 3.0 will favor the local utilities compared to the previous versions of net metering that will result in higher costs and lower incentives to solar customers.  However, until those decisions are made, the framework and guarantees of NEM 2.0 are still in effect including the twenty-year grandfathering clause of current benefits.

Most homeowners do not realize it can take 1-4 months after a contact is signed to installation and PTO (Permission To Operate) with the utility company. Depending on the municipality you live in and the scope of the project. We are expecting much higher demand than normal for the second half of the year.

Avoid paying a 20 year procrastination tax!

Schedule an appointment today by calling us at 760-504-0388

Palomar and Enphase Partner to Help

In July of 2019, Nathan Stone was vacationing in Cabo, Mexico when had experienced an unfortunate diving accident resulting in a broken neck.  Initially the injury left Nathan with no feeling or response below the neck.   He was immediately rushed to surgery and after extensive neurosurgery procedures, was able to regain feeling and movement in his shoulders.  Through his recovery journey and rehab, Nathan has been able to move his biceps, elbow flexors, along with partial movement in his wrists.

An injury of this nature requires significant modification to the family residence.  While obvious upgrades include wheelchairs ramps, it was also determined that the Stone family’s current solar implementation was insignificant for their new way of life.

The Need for a New System

Based on a referral from a previously satisfied client, the Stones invited Palomar Solar to their house for a consultation.  During the initial visit, the Stones shared the history of the diving accident with Palomar’s Senior Consultant, Erik Zetmeir and explained that Nathan was confined to his wheelchair.  His current situation requires both special equipment and medication, and in the event of a power outage, this would put his life at risk.  The Stone’s had a contractor-grade PV system installed when the home was built.  Unfortunately, the inverter technology included was not compatible with Enphase’s Ensemble Battery.  The Palomar Solar team proposed the removal of the existing solar implementation and upgrade the system to the Enphase IQ inverters that are now compatible with the Ensemble Battery.

Palomar Solar Steps Up to Help

Upon hearing of the situation and urgent need required by the Stones, Palomar Solar Owner Andy Anderson decided to act.  Long known for their generosity during the Miramar Airshows where full solar systems are given away to a few select service members, Palomar Solar partnered with Enphase to put together a system that would provide the Stone’s with a system solving their short-term and long-term requirements.  Furthermore, the system would be given to the Stones free of charge!

 

How will this help the Stones?

Once the SDGE electrical grid is operational, their batter will discharge every afternoon at 4 PM helping to reduce/eliminate the peak demand charges from power utilities. The additional benefit is in the event of a power outage, planned or unplanned, the Stones can rest assured knowing that they will have power to the essential equipment in their home.  This system is designed to offset over 115% of the previous 12-months consumption.

Buying or Selling a House with Solar Panels

Buying or Selling a House with Solar Panels?

Are you buying a house with existing solar panels?

Perhaps you are in the market to buy or sell a home and ready to assume the benefits of a previously installed PV solar system, here are some tips on how to decide whether the existing system is an asset or a liability.

Should I buy a house with an existing solar system?

  • Is the system owned outright and not subject to a lease or PPA?
  • Was the system installed by a reputable installer who is still in business?
  • Did they use quality solar panels and inverter from companies that are still in business?
  • Is there a copy of the original contract and is the warranty transferrable?

If you can answer yes to all four of the above questions, then the answer is simple; yes, buy the house.

If not, then read on; find out which red flagsto look for and what to expect from the system?

How was the system originally purchased?

  • A system that is owned outright is not subject to any loans or leases and must be assumed at close of escrow – this is the best way to go and poses no “red flags.”
  • A system that was purchased with a PACE loan (Property-Assessed Clean Energy Loan) and must be assumed by the buyer – RED FLAG
  • Use this as leverage in the transaction. Consider if it’s worth a bit more money if the system is unencumbered.
  • See what it will take to have the seller buy thee system outright before the close of escrow.
  • Try to get rid of the PACE loan and do not close escrow unless you fully understand he liabilities you are undertaking. This isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, however, it’s not the best means to finance a PV system.
  • The system was leasedRED FLAG
  • Use this as leverage in the transaction. It’s not necessarily a deal killer, but lease agreements are certainly not in favor of the seller.
  • Is the leasing company still in business? If not, this could be a deal killer.
  • What is the remainder of the contract? Is the buyout fee reasonable (Doubtful)? What level of monitoring is provided and is it still functioning? A common mean the leasing companies use as a crutch to void their production guarantees is the monitoring device has lost connection and the homeowner ignores it.
  • Who do the lease payments go to and do they have a local presence?
  • Are you sending payments to Wall Street or to a regional company who is still answering the phone?
  • Is there a lease escalator and are you aware of the sales tax billed on every payment?
  • If you need service what is the procedure?
  • If you are in the market to put solar panels on your home this is probably not the choice you would make.
  • But it’s already there so… if you would like the house, then determine if the lease is acceptable to assume.
  • Some leases are acceptable in that the cost of power consumption under the lease is still less than what you would pay your local utility company. If this is the case then don’t let it stop you from buying the house of your dreams.
  • The system is a PPA (Power Purchase Agreement)RED FLAG
  • Again… Leverage.
  • Consider the remaining term?
  • Will you use the power delivered?
  • With a PPA you’re paying for it regardless. Be sure that the system is sized right for you.
  • Again, who do the PPA payments go to and do they have a local presence?
    • Are you sending payments to Wall Street or a regional company who is still answering the phones?
    • What is the current rate?
  • Is that tax rate favorable with today’s rate plans?
  • You will most likely be on a “Time- of-Use” (TOU) plan and offsetting the least expensive power sold by the utility.
  • Check closely. Rates can vary and usually contingent upon your utility plan.
    • Escalators? Is there a lease escalator clause that can potentially change the agreement price?
    • Are you aware of any sales tax billed on every payment?
  • What level of monitoring is provided and is it still functioning?
    • At least with a PPA it’s in the companies benefit to maintain the monitoring.
    • But can they bill expected production if you connection drops?
  • If your system needs to be serviced, what is the procedure?
  • If you are in the market to put solar on your home, PPA is not the choice you should make.
    • But it’s already there so… if you like the house, then determine if the cost per kw is acceptable.
    • If the cost of the power under the PPA is still less than what you would pay your local utility, then don’t let it stop you from buying the house of your dreams.
  • Who installed the system? At Palomar Solar & Roofing, we proudly put our name and contact information on the system plaque.
  • Can the home seller tell you who did their installation?
  • Is the installer still in business? What is their reputation?

So many red flags – do I really want solar?

Let’s take a quick moment to remind you of the benefits of solar. First and foremost: It makes sense financially. Investing in a PV Solar System is one of the best investments you can make as a homeowner and if done right, through a reputable company such as Palomar Solar & Roofing, peace of mind and an overflow of benefits will shortly follow. Many believe the primary reason to go solar is for the environment. Here at Palomar, we prefer to look at the financial benefits of solar and if it’s good for the environment, that’s a bonus! 

Do homes with solar systems sell faster?

Simple answer is… “Usually.” Of course if your house has a PACE loan or a lease, you may experience the opposite. What if the panels are facing the street and located in a haphazard manner as to be an eyesore. This is why it is so necessary when choosing your solar company to ensure that you are hiring a company who will be honest about all variables. At Palomar Solar & Roofing, we know that our systems are installed right and take aesthetics as well as proper sizing into consideration. If a system is installed properly, by a reputable contractor with quality components, then yes; your PV system will add value to your home. It will also allow the homebuyer to close escrow with peace of mind rather than pulling out of escrow at the discovery of any “red flags,” due to the previous home owner cutting corners.

What is the value of my solar system?

Did we mention benefits? One of the many benefits following the installation of solar is that it has great potential to increase the value of your home. But keep in mind that value is truly contingent upon the current market and method in which you’ve purchased your PV solar system and it absolutely matters which company has installed your system. The cream of the crop has risen in the solar industry and in our opinion, there are only a few companies who can really offer peace of mind. If you’re buying a home that these companies have installed on, you can feel comfortable knowing that warranties are going to be upheld and at a minimum the job was done right. Do your research on a solar system that was previously installed on a home you have taken interest in. Once you have identified which company has installed the system, research the company and ensure reputability.

At Palomar Solar & Roofing, we provide each system with a full set of documentation; from the contract to the installation plans and warranties. We are proud of our work and our reputation shows it. When looking for your solar installer, know that these intangibles are what make a difference between a system that is an asset to you and your home, versus one that could make selling your hoe an experience you’d rather forget.

Enphase Platinum Installer

Solar is a 25 year commitment, research it as such

Your PV Solar System is a very large investment in what is likely your single biggest investment, your home. Solar can be one of the best investments you make depending on the contractor you hire, if you make the wrong decision you may regret it for many years to come. As such here are some pointers as to how to best ensure that you choose the right contractor and PV system to fit your needs.

Solar is not a “one size fits all” proposition and as such, a site visit and consultation are always required before signing a contract to avoid costly change orders later. By properly understanding your needs and site-specific variables, you can be assured that a true scope of work is understood upfront to avoid costly change orders later.

Things to consider in the contractor you hire to ensure you have the best long-term experienceRemember this is a 25-year relationship.

  1. Search our recommended installer list based on your zip code as we have completed a lot of the research for you, these contractors are Enphase ambassadors and have already been vetted by Enphase.
  2. Verify with your state’s Contractors State License Board that they are licensed for the work you are contracting for. In many cases, this will also alert you to their years in business, that they are properly insured and or that they are currently under a disciplinary situation or not licensed at all!
  3. Google the company name and the word complaints. Check online sites such as Yelp, BBB, Nextdoor, etc. This is a quick way to get an idea as to the reputation of the contractor.
  4. Does the Contractor own their building and trucks? If so it is reasonable to assume they will be doing their own work.
  5. Or are they working out of a PO box and using Sub Contractors for all of their work? This can be a concern as you may be dealing with a sales team only. Who knows who will do your work?! Who would handle any needed repairs needed down the road in this case?

Basic questions that need to be answered before signing a contract.

  • What system size do you need? At a minimum, a contractor should be reviewing your previous year’s kWh usage. This gives a good baseline indication. To properly size the system you should be asked if you plan on getting an electric car, using more air conditioning, or is anyone moving in or out of the home in the near future, etc. If so then you will need to account for this in the system design.
  • How many panels fit on your roof? A company should be able to provide a professional drawing showing where the panels will go. S, W, E roofs are recommended. North should be used only as a last resort and will never deliver the power of the other roof orientations.
  • What size is your main electrical panel? There are back feed limitations with solar. It is often the case that your existing Utility service will dictate the maximum system size that can be reasonably installed, without a proper site inspection you could easily be looking at a huge change order to bring the electric service up to code, this is a perfect example of understanding the scope of work upfront and avoiding costly change orders later.
  • How old is your roof? If your roof is 20 years old or more then you should consider re-roofing before going solar, as it is costly to remove and reinstall a solar system. We recommend you consider finding a contractor who has an electrical license and a roofing license. This will prevent future finger-pointing should the roof ever leak.
  • Review the contract in detail before signing. It is not uncommon at all for less scrupulous companies to send you a contract that doesn’t include any specifics. Your contract should include at a minimum the following:
    • Inverter type – Manufacturer and model number *Make sure they are specifying Enphase microinverters*
    • Panel Manufacturer and Model number
    • System size should match the quantity of the panels times the panel wattage; ie 20 LG 335w panels is a 6.7kw system size
    • Are all warranties detailed and understandable? How long will the installer stand behind their work? Our microinverters and most panels have a 25-year warranty.

Just to recap:

  1. Do your own research first before contacting the three companies you want to consider.
  2. Schedule consultations and site visits with your top three. Listen and ask questions of all three before making your decision, don’t fall for any special deals if you will sign today.
  3. Make sure you are provided with drawings, proposals, spec sheets, and contracts for your review. Review them, don’t assume!
  4. Never make a decision on the first visit!
Help with bills during Coronavirus Kogo graphic

Help with your bills

As our community deals with a new way of life… working from home, social distancing, and the continuing question of when will things get back to normal, we know that one of the things you might be worried about is getting your bills paid. We’re here to help with bills!

Listen to Newsradio 600 KOGO every weekday during the hours of 5am, 8am and 4pm. Text the keyword you hear to 200200 for your chance at $1,000 to help pay your bills, no matter if you are listening from your office, your car or your couch.

Sponsored by Palomar Solar, a local name you can trust.

We hope you and your family stay safe. Listen to Newsradio 600 KOGO for the latest on what’s happening. We’ll be here with everything you need to know and another chance to get your bills paid.

*Standard message and data rates may apply. One winner will be randomly selected from all entries received during each contest hour. Open to individuals who are at least 18 years of age or older.

Can’t text? Click here to enter »

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Why we are cautioning anyone currently looking to buy SunPower panels. Solar Edge is a hybrid product, when this fails it’s catastrophic.

SunPower and Solar Edge buyer beware

What does Enphase’s recent acquisition of SunPower’s microinverter, Solar Bridge mean for consumers?

For Palomar Solar, it’s great news! It simply validates what we have been saying for the last nine years. There is no question that Enphase is the number one microinverter in the market. Palomar Solar has always believed in Enphase and has been selling it exclusively in the residential market. When Solar Edge came to the market we were not tempted by lower prices like most vendors. It would have been easier for us to just give in and kick Enphase while they were down like everyone else. Instead we stayed the course believing it to be the superior product with a long term vision. After a couple of rough years Enphase has turned another corner and is on the right track to once again regain the number one position. And because of our loyalty through the tough times our relationship with Enphase is stronger than ever which means our customers can expect the absolute best service.

So let’s talk about why we are cautioning anyone currently looking to buy SunPower panels. First of all while we do not sell SunPower it is one of the top panels in the market place along with LG. I’m not saying at all that SunPower is an inferior panel. My caution has to specifically do with their AC module called Equinox (the one that comes with the Solar Bridge microinverter on the back). When this product first came to the market. I thought it would take off. However, they decided to take one of the best microinverter features away which is per panel monitoring. Once I saw this I knew that Enphase would still be a superior option for our customers. Anyone reading this needs to be aware that the market is being flooded with cheap SunPower Equinox offers. SunPower’s new AC module is going to come with Enphase and Solar Bridge will go away which means your warranties and support will to. I’m curious to see if SunPower dealers will offer per panel monitoring or not as this is not a standard offering.

Now let’s talk about Solar Edge. They stormed into the market with very aggressive sales tactics which was a huge red flag for us. While they’ve had some success by under cutting Enphase pricing the truth is finally coming out. Solar Edge is a hybrid product. It’s still a central inverter (big ugly box on the side of your home) that only comes with a 12 year warranty. When this fails it’s catastrophic. Your whole system is down until it’s replaced. We estimate that time to be one to three months. What do you think your electric bills will be in 12 years? Times that by a minimum of three not to mention the headache and now Solar Edge is much more expensive than Enphase which comes with a 25 year parts and labor warranty. And since there is an inverter for each panel it is not catastrophic if one fails. And with a mean time to failure of 300 years this is a rare occasion for Enphase. The other half of Solar Edge is the DC power optimizers which do come with a 25 yr. warranty. Having the optimizers does allow for the ability to monitor each panel. However, 99% of installers do not turn this feature on for their customers as they simply do not want to be held accountable at the panel level. In fact if you are reading this and have a Solar Edge system I would contact your installer and demand they turn it on. I guarantee you that you have at least one dead optimizer and have no clue. Warranty issues are finally catching up with Solar Edge which again is only making the case for Enphase as the superior product that much stronger.