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LostSoul5 t1_jd3ru39 wrote

Probably the biggest thing to watch out for is getting locked into a solar lease. If possible buy your solar PV equipment outright. Solar leases come with penalties for early termination. I work in the solar industry, in the training sector and write to a global audience on everything solar PV. It would be a conflict of interest to recommend specific companies. It's best to gather 3-5 quotes from large to small solar companies for the best balance of customer service and cost. Energysage is trusted by many Redditors to compare solar quotes by location, get $25 off by clicking this link. For another option in gathering solar quotes, EnergyPal helps to leave the final decision of the solar company selected, totally in your hands. Get a $500 gift card from them by using the link mentioned. Always ask these questions of any solar installer when gathering your quotes :

Are you approved, licensed and insured to operate in my state/county/city?

Ask for their license and policy number and verify that it’s in good standing with the appropriate licensing board and insurance providers.

Is my roof a good fit for a solar PV array?

Realistically, most solar panels can be arranged to capture the greatest amount of energy with adjustable racking technology and other assessment tools. In the end, some homes will have better solar coverage of their roof over others. Using a tool like Project Sunroof can help you assess on your own and without a salesperson. If your roof is covered in shade by large trees or a nearby building, north facing or in poor condition it may be not suitable for solar installation. Installing a new roof and solar system at the same time can be a cost effective way to combat climate change and lower your carbon footprint.

What happens if I want to sell my property or move out?

Look for specifics in your contract and ask for them to be explicitly noted. If there are any penalties or fees you’ll see them here. Another important point is the ability to move out of the property and rent it to tenants. In this case, the options should be stated as applicable. Perhaps you wish to have your tenant pay the electric bill but you wish to continue with the financing payments for the PV system. Learn all of these details up front and from the contract’s top to bottom.

Do you use contractors to install the equipment?

Using a third party contractor can bring opportunity for uncertified or unlicensed/uninsured workers on your property.

What type of warranty does the system and install come with?

Warranties and guarantees can vary greatly. They can exclude certain components and not provide a point of contact should something go wrong. Get as many details in writing as possible before signing a contract.

What is your estimated timeline for project completion?

Timelines can vary greatly and can influence total cost. Watch out for the estimated timeline and that it works with your schedule.

Can you provide the total cost of the system to me in digital or paper format?

If you are looking to finance or lease your system ask about any required down payment and how much monthly payments will be. Any state/federal/provincial tax credits/benefits should also be detailed here. We strongly advise readers to own their equipment outright to avoid any additional hidden costs or penalties/fees should they want to exit the contract or sell their property.

There is also more information on finding the best solar installer in the link mentioned.


Chrome2279 OP t1_jd43rm3 wrote

Wow this is FANTASTIC information!


LostSoul5 t1_jd44qwk wrote

I hope it helps with your research and to avoid some of the bad solar companies out there. All the best!


[deleted] t1_jd3qv1o wrote

I would avoid Sigora at all costs.


Chrome2279 OP t1_jd3sjtr wrote



PuffinDaisy t1_jd6bxvi wrote

I have a friend who works at Sigora if you'd like a proposal. Im not really sure where they land on pricing but it would be nice to get your input if you have them come out. She's great and has sold to a few friends, and has a few clients in midlo/Powhatan.


PimmentoChode t1_jd7p80i wrote

100% unless you just need to show people you have panels on your house, you will never get any benefit. They are extremely expensive and over promise and under deliver according to numerous real life customers I’ve talked to. Most of their pricing is based on 25+ year payment plan and a max 30 year panel warranty. You will pay the same avg electric bill you pay today because you’ll be paying for the install. By the time the panels are paid off and you own them, they’re no longer under warranty.


757rvahokie t1_jd425pk wrote

Radiant Solar is a great company that will actually evaluate and give you the truth about whether it's worth it or not on your house. Only about 2 in 10 really are apparently.


brimpol t1_jd3kdla wrote

The roofing company I worked with recently is branching into solar. retex roofing were nice and offered us the best price for what we wanted. We actually want to do solar as well but required a new roof which needed to happen anyway.


Chrome2279 OP t1_jd3ltn3 wrote

Does the solar tap into your local power company to offset their bill?


brimpol t1_jd3m0j7 wrote

Unsure about that yet. Haven't gotten into the process. Gotta save up for the cost first.


nRust t1_jd3m0tk wrote

Every solar installer will provide that as part of their service


phyzyk t1_jd42f30 wrote

How do some people here clean the pollen off their panels? I've tried everything but this green shiz streaks and cakes...


DefaultSubsAreTerrib t1_jd4x7qt wrote

I don't have direct experience with that, though I am curious: is that only an issue if your panel is near/below a tree? If you have a rooftop installation which is otherwise clear of trees do you still need to worry about this?


phyzyk t1_jd56oqd wrote

No I live in a new development so no trees... 3 storey house and the S.O. cleans them up once a year when the gutters get done


Fearless_Arugula_732 t1_jd3lkbc wrote

I used Convert Solar, based in Va Beach. Fair pricing, great service, familiarity with the process with county permits and Dominion set up, great warranty.

Let me know if you want contact info for the sales guy, I'll try to find it.


Chrome2279 OP t1_jd3lr0c wrote

Do they come out to Midlothian/Richmond Va?


Fearless_Arugula_732 t1_jd3m19h wrote

Yeah, in fact, the consultant I worked with lives in the city. I'll message you his info.


Charlesinrichmond t1_jd5plew wrote

Please bear in mind that solar should never be financed if you plan on selling your house during the financing term


Jaded_Apple_8935 t1_jd7tuoc wrote

We had a good experience with Sigora actually so I would recommend them. Several neighbors on our street also used them and had good experiences. Buying the panels outright was too much upfront for us so we financed and they had the best rate. They were quick and got the work done as promised.


Bob--Hope t1_jd4kxxo wrote

I used Empower Solar. Found the process mostly seamless. The company did a good job managing the contract, financing, install, etc. Financing was good. 0% down and financed over 25 years at like 1% interest, so end up paying around $100/mo for the system. The $7k tax credit was nice (though I think it is smaller now).

Not sure I would do it again given my small roof size... Still end up paying electric bills on top of the costs of the monthly payment for the system in the winter.


turnipmeatloaf t1_jd8b6l6 wrote

Just fyi, the federal tax credit for solar was raised to 30% until 2033 by the Inflation Reduction Act


wlight t1_jd6c5wp wrote

Ion Solar was great! DM me if you want a referral code.


electrify-eRVAthing t1_jd96qit wrote

Check out Solar United Neighbors. It’s a co-op that will help you get multiple quotes and assess each one.


StayPositiveRVA t1_jd5j13p wrote

Hi, also in Midlo. I had a dynamite experience with Virginia Energy Solutions. They answered every question I had as soon as I had it and they never pushed me. At least, it never felt like they were pushing me. On top of that, my check for being referred and referring others came quickly and in the promised amount. Always nice!


RVA_Lakeside t1_jd3qwdf wrote

Southern Exposure Solar

Great local company - Ask for Grayson (804) 965-4040


Ravishing_Rob_Rude t1_jd480nr wrote

The best. 5 star reviews and great people. No idea why this is getting downvoted.


DefiantSentry2113 t1_jd5zmoj wrote

I second this recommendation. Used SES back in 2020 for my panels. They didn’t play any of the “used car salesman” style games that I got from other companies I got quotes from.


Em_Cadd t1_jd3uozh wrote

We used sunlight solar. Great experience


7SlotGrill t1_jd3vghx wrote



RyuMusashi973 t1_jd512l9 wrote

Seriously Tesla was 100% cheaper than the company I went with but at the time (2020)Tesla was not doing the Richmond area. I recommend people to check Tesla solar pricing on their website before going with another company.


7SlotGrill t1_jd5nllg wrote

See my downvotes? The VCU libs here can't stand progress when the guy owns Twitter too...they lost their platform. I can smell their tears LMAO


PimmentoChode t1_jd3o3um wrote

Total racket


TheLombardyKroger t1_jd3suo9 wrote

> Total racket

No offense, but that’s a terrible name for a solar company.


PimmentoChode t1_jd3w6cm wrote

Fair, I laughed. The industry is plagued by poor explanations and overpriced installs. It doesn’t take a lot of math ability to look at warranty expiration compared payoff timelines for the “0 down” offers to realize you never own the panels and you will barely reap much benefit. My gripe has nothing to do with the tech, or benefits of solar, and everything to do with big solar companies.


Gamegis t1_jd3wnsz wrote

Big solar companies don’t do residential jobs. As someone working in the solar industry, rooftop residential solar is too predatory for me to ever feel comfortable in.


deathbeforeupvote t1_jd3wrxa wrote

I agree with that. That’s why this comment from u/gracetw22 has always stuck with me.


gowhatyourself t1_jd5tww2 wrote

She's right. I'm a real estate agent and the number of headaches I've either heard or been directly involved with regarding solar are pretty numerous and I have never ever ever met anyone who came out ahead on cost savings with solar. If someone is into solar as a green alternative for personal reasons I get it, but the numbers just don't add up for 99% of people out there.

It is also absofuckinglutely infuriating dealing with solar companies when trying to sell a home. If you don't have the spare cash to buy the panels outright, do not get solar panels.


Charlesinrichmond t1_jd83gnz wrote

I don't want to talk down solar, because I think it's great. But I have never been able to get the numbers to work without tax incentives even with me doing the install.

Mass Dominion solar makes much more sense.


Ok-Boysenberry8373 t1_jd3odv6 wrote

I used sigora solar. They were great, but it was more the sales person. Brian Gearing. He is fantastic. He works for a new company, Convert solar. or 804-263-0655. He is very low pressure.


pumpkinart t1_jd3oz9o wrote

I found them to be very pressing in perusing the contract. Solar was not the best option given the low 'offset' but they kept pressing me.


BadGinger42 t1_jd44dz6 wrote

We had a very good experience with Brian Gearing at Convert Solar. He knew his stuff. Low pressure but kept in touch. Pretty seamless install and permitting. Stuck to the timeline. Got us set up with reselling SRECs. Price was right- we joined the local solar co-op and got an already negotiated price. The only hiccup we had was the installers were about to directly drill panels into our metal roof. Thankfully, I was watching what they were doing and stopped them. Got it sorted out quickly and they used seam clamps like they were supposed to. Haven’t had any problems since install 8 months ago. Didn’t like Sigora at all. Salesperson was an absolute dufus with no respect for my time.