Clean Power

Published on October 6th, 2013 | by Nicholas Brown


Reducing The Cost Of Solar Group Purchases Even Further

October 6th, 2013 by  

Originally published on Green Building Elements.

The cost of going solar can be reduced significantly by pooling multiple residents’ money to purchase everyone’s’ solar panels at once to enjoy quantity discounts, due to the large quantity of panels purchased under these solar group purchases. However, is it possible to reduce the cost even further?

Solar panels live high up on the South roof of Eagleyew, where the plants on the living roof also soaks up the sun.  Photo Credit: Kata Polano.

Solar panels live high up on the South roof of Eagleyew, where the plants on the living roof also soaks up the sun.
Image Credit: Kata Polano.

Yes. The cost of installing rooftop solar panels is extremely high, even higher than the cost of the solar panels.

One approach to lowering contractor fees, is to make contractors compete with each other. If you are only one resident, and you tell a contractor that you will let them do it if they offer the lowest price of all to install your solar system, they may heartily laugh in your face (or not, it is worth a try, and it actually does work sometimes; you would be surprised at how often you can get discounts by simply asking).

Apart from that, if you arrange a solar group purchase to furnish many homes with solar panels at once, such as 80 homes, for example, you can approach contractors, get quotations (after letting them know that you are going to many others for the lowest quotations).

After this dialogue, you can choose the lowest quotation, or continue negotiation via quote comparison so they try to beat each others’ prices. They want the business, and you would be a very important “customer” to them.

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About the Author

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is:

  • NRG4All

    I would caution that there are many ways to cut corners on a PV installation. The lowest bidder is not necessarily the best bidder. A group like this should have someone experienced in PV to help assess the bids that they receive in terms of the quality of equipment and installation. This also means that bids must be itemized down to a significant level so that one bid can be compared with another in sufficient detail.

  • David Sugrue

    Any concepts of $/watt? Any figures at all here? Anything of substance? Bueller? Buehller? Buehller Anyone?

  • James Van Damme

    Reduce the costs further by having the homeowner install them.

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