Solar 101: How to Compare

Let’s face it, buying solar can be even more confusing than buying a car, if that is even possible.
Solar 101 - How to Compare

So, let’s get to the basics.

First, make a comparison sheet with the following questions:

  1. What is the KW size of the solar array being offered? (Note: It is the Kw size of the array that matters; not so much the individual panels)
  2. What is the guaranteed production in kWh and how long is the guarantee?
  3. If purchasing, what is the cash price?
  4. If financing, what is my monthly payment and for how long?*
  5. Who is the manufacturer and what is the model of the panel being offered?
  6. How long is the manufacturer’s warranty?

Second, research 3-4 solar installation companies, and make sure you can comfortably and completely answer each of the questions.

Finally, do the comparison and make a decision. Simply answering these basic questions, will provide the knowledge base necessary to make an informed decision.

Of course other details regarding solar installation can be learned in the process. Solar installation companies will want to share all that they have offer in order to win more business. They will readily and eagerly let you know how solar works, how it is installed, and how it will positively affect the value of your home. And they will be happy to tell you the kW of each panel, the efficiency rating of each microinverter, and how the power is converted from DC to AC power. But rest assured, if the installer is offering a guarantee, then they already figured out the engineering.

For the majority of folks that do not desire that level of detail, Solar 101 suffices.

So go get educated and tap into the sun!

*        (The interest rate is not significant because there is a higher dealer fee to get a lower rate, e.g. a 1.49% loan at $120/month for 240 months is more than a 3.99% loan at $110/months for 240 months.)