There’s no better time to get solar panels installed on your home or building. Despite the drop in gas and oil prices in late 2014, solar is still the future. Get in while it’s hot (pun intended). The founder of PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla Motors, Elon Musk, is confident that “solar will beat everything, hands down, including natural gas.” Elon is basically our modern day Nostradamus / Ben Franklin.
The only question now is, “where can I get solar panels for myself?” When people ask me, I always recommend that they contact a handful of solar installers in their area and pick the one they trust most. Some people don’t know how to get free solar proposals. It’s as easy as contacting a solar installer. But which solar installer should you contact? I’ve put together a short list of some of the largest and most reputable solar installers that operate nationally (*well, in a bunch of states at least). These are the solar installers I’d recommend to my friends and family, so I might as well recommend them to you too.
Where to Get Solar
If you live in a place where once of these companies is active, I recommend starting here first. Contact them, get a free evaluation and see what your options are. Each one will quote you a custom solar array size, and let you know how much it costs (and what rebates you’re eligible for). You can use that information to make an informed decision on whether to installer solar panels or not.
You can then contact a few local installers in your area to see if they give you comparable estimates. You’ll feel a lot more comfortable listening to the sales pitch of your local installer once you’ve easily gained the knowledge of what size solar system you might need, how much you can expect to pay, and your financing options. Making the decision the install solar will be much easier. So, what are you waiting for? Get a free evaluation from each of these solar installers right now!
Solar City is now the largest solar installation company in the US. Their niche is good value solar PPA’s and leases. Basically, they offer to install solar on your roof “with no money down and your utility bill decreases.” That’s right: you pay nothing and when they’re done putting panels on your roof, your electric bill is cheaper. They want installing to be a no-brainer for people, and in fact, the PPA and lease options of installing are the most common ways people install solar now. SolarCity does everything for you, from design and installation to financing and monitoring. Oh yeah, and they take care of all the maintenance, so you can sit back and enjoy the lower electric bills for 20+ years.
Sungevity is almost a tech company more than a solar one. They use advanced technology to analyze your roof and provide you with quick “iQuotes” online for you to review. Then, Sungevity partners with specially trained local installers in different areas and only works with these “Preferred Installers” to put solar on your home. It’s one of the quickest and easiest ways to get an idea of how much solar can fit on your roof and how much it will cost. You literally just fill out a questionnaire online and they mock up a system using satellite photos of your roof. If you’re just curious to see what solar might cost or what size system a professional might offer, start here.
Real Goods Solar (now RGS) began installing solar in California in 1978 way before most people were talking about solar panels. Of all the installers from California, they’ve grown the largest because they know what they’re doing and they do it right. Building upon their local success and experience in California, they have expanded their company’s values and quality workmanship to almost all major solar markets in the US. Bad installers don’t last as long or grow as large as Real Goods Solar, so you can trust this original (now nationwide) installer.
Pure Energies (aka 1BOG) is basically the Groupon of solar. Sign up for their site and see if you live in an “active area”. If you do, that means they’re organizing a bunch of people to go solar all at the same time. They organize a group solar purchase to take advantage of economies of scale. Basically, you can get a much cheaper solar array by buying in bulk. It’s worth signing up for just to see your options.
5. Go Local
Lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you to contact a local solar installer in your area and see what they have to offer. All of the companies above are solid and a couple (Sungevity and Pure Energies) partner with quality local installers anyway. But it’s always a good idea to see if your neighbor can beat the big guys on price, value, or maybe just trust. It’d be impossible for me to list every local installer in every area, so Google is your friend. Simply type “solar installers in [your city]” and click on any that pop up. Give them a call and they’ll likely set up a time to drop by your house and chat. If you’re nervous about the face-to-face salesman, just use your knowledge from the online quotes you got from the companies above. That’s what I’m here for – to help you feel more comfortable in making the decision to go solar.
Now you know how to get free solar proposals. It’s only gotten easier to get information and have solar panels installed. Contact any or all of these solar providers if they’re active in your area. At the very least, you’ll get some free information on how much it’ll cost to go solar and how much solar it would take to reduce your electric bill. If you’re curious at all about solar, get a few free quotes. You might be surprised how much money you can save.
Disclaimer: All names and logos are registered trademarks of their respective companies. Yes, some of the links above are referral links, and if you choose to install with any of these companies, I’ll get a referral fee, but not at your loss. Actually, a few of them will give you a bigger discount because I referred you.