With the national average price of electricity rising over 16% in 2022, many homeowners are turning to home solar systems to lower their energy costs and shield themselves from future rate hikes. Like any home improvement project, the hardest part is just getting started.
Buying solar panels is something homeowners do once, maybe twice, in a lifetime, so it’s natural to be unsure about the process. But the folks at solar.com navigate this process every day. And this concierge service does three things to simplify the solar process:
- Guides homeowners through the marketplace with unbiased, expert advice
- Offers binding quotes from vetted local installers
- Advocates on behalf of their customers throughout the solar process
Let’s start by taking a look at how the solar.com marketplace works.
A Guided Home Solar Experience
Installing a home solar system is a long and complex process that involves multiple parties, contracts, warranties, and too many other things to name here. Solar.com simplifies this process by pairing homeowners up with an Energy Advisor to guide them every step of the way.
Teaming up with an Energy Advisor is like bringing your auto mechanic friend to go car shopping. They’re role is to give you unbiased, expert advice so you can skip the sales pitches and focus on making informed decisions.
The process begins by answering questions, establishing goals, and collecting information about your home and energy usage. This information is used to virtually design a solar system custom to your home and energy goals. Then the magic starts.
The design is used to instantly generate dozens of solar quotes from solar.com’s network of installers. Then, your Energy Advisor presents the best three quotes and serves as a neutral source of advice as you compare them.
A study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that homeowners save on average 10% by using online comparison shopping platforms. That’s $2,000 on a $20,000 system. Now, solar.com is not the only place to compare solar quotes online. However, it offers something unique: Binding quotes from vetted local installers.
Binding Quotes from Vetted Local Installers
Binding quotes from vetted local installers is a bit of a mouthful, but it’s key to starting a successful solar project. So let’s break it down into two chunks.
Solar.com is unique in that it uses active pricing (set by the installers themselves) to generate multiple binding quotes. That means the price you see on their platform is the price you’ll pay for your project. That’s not the case on other platforms.
Other solar marketplaces use estimates in their comparisons because they don’t have the infrastructure or installer relationships to provide active pricing. These estimates tend to be low during the comparison and rise when the actual numbers are crunched.
Vetted Local Installers
Perhaps the most important part of a solar quote is that it’s from a vetted installer. This is crucial to avoiding scams, shoddy work, and poor customer service (all of which amount to lost money). At a bare minimum, solar.com installers must have:
- 3+ years of experience
- Full licensure and insurance
- An excellent reputation for workmanship and customer service
Solar.com then looks into each company’s financials to ensure they are, you know, paying their bills and operating on a solid foundation. At the end of the day, fewer than 30% of the solar installation companies that apply to join solar.com’s network are accepted.
Again, this seems like it should be standard across all solar marketplaces. Sadly, it’s not.
Why local installers?
Unlike large national installers, local installation companies live and die by their standing in their community. Every project matters, and they simply won’t survive if they offer poor workmanship and customer service. There’s also something to be said about supporting local business.
Support Throughout the Process
Generating quotes and selecting an installer is just the first half of the solar process – and the easy one, at that. The second half is full of red tape between your installer, utility provider, and local government. And this is where it’s really handy to have a solar expert in your corner.
After you’ve signed a contract, solar.com matches you up with a Customer Success Manager to advocate on your behalf and troubleshoot problems that arise during installation, interconnection, and operation. That’s right, solar.com is still in your corner even after your solar system is up and running.
The Bottom Line
The road to energy cost savings is paved with sales pitches, engineering jargon, and red tape – but it doesn’t have to be this way. Solar.com simplifies the solar process by matching homeowners with unbiased Energy Advisors, offering binding quotes from vetted installers, and advocating on behalf of their customers every step of the way.
This not only creates cost savings and a better solar experience; it contributes to a healthier solar industry and a cleaner energy grid.
This article is supported by Electrum and Solar.com.
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