Comparing solar proposals is always a good idea. If you’re a Texas homeowner in the market for solar but want to make sure you get a fair deal, its good to get multiple proposals. In this video, I’ll break down what to look out for and what to avoid when comparing solar quotes.
Why Compare home solar installation proposals?
We always encourage our customers to get more than one solar proposal, but it can be tricky trying to figure out how an apples-to-apples comparison.
Many customers call me and only want to compare the prices or the amount of panels. While this may seem to be a good way to compare quotes, it’s often misleading and leaves out some critical areas for comparison.
There are four key things to keep in mind when comparing quotes which I’ll break down for you.
#1 – Solar system size
- System size is measured in KW.
- Multiple the solar module size by the amount of solar modules, which gives you the system size.
- Different panel watt sizes (365, 285, etc.) will give you a different system size total.
- Don’t just compare number of solar panels as this may not be apples to apples.
#2 – System production
- Yes! Supply chain issues are not just about COVID anymore.
- Production is measured in kWh.
- Solar production in proposals is presented in estimated annual solar production in kWh over a 12-month period.
- Based in estimates and compared against your baseline kWh usage over the last 12-months.
- Production is often times an area where proposals can be misleading, some proposals will show much higher production estimates using the same panels
- When this occurs, be careful to ask how those estimates where generated, ask to see the assumptions they used in the estimates, such as:
- Roof tilt
- Shade values AND
- Azimuth direction
- If solar production is over-estimated, it can look like you’re getting a better deal (fewer panels needed to meet your production target, the less the system will cost), but you could be left with a system that drastically underperforms and doesn’t meet your goals.
#3 – Solar proposal warranty
- Warranties can be tricky.
- I have another video on warranties where I dive in deeper to how warranties differ and how to understand them.
- For an apples-to-apples comparison, make sure you are comparing proposals that have the same types of warranties so that you know it’s truly apples to apples.
- Better warranties usually mean more cost.
#4 – Cost
- Most people jump right to cost, but this can be terribly misleading.
- Cost is made up of a few factors:
- Panel type
- System configuration (is it just solar or are you adding batteries, a generator, etc.)
- Add-ons (trenching, breaker panels upgrades, etc.)
- The best way to compare cost is to do a Price Per Watt comparison.
- Take the overall cost of the system and divide it by the amount of total system watts = you get the PPW
- Ex. If your system cost is $40,000 and it’s a 12.5kW system, that’s $40,000 / 12,500 w = $3.20 per watt
- This is the best way to get an apples-to-apples comparison on the cost between solar proposals.
Contact us to review your solar proposals
If you have any questions about quotes you’ve received, please reach out. At All Solar Texas we will tell you honestly if it’s a good deal or a bad deal. Even if the deal is better than ours, we’ll let you know.