How It Works
Welcome to EnergySage! Below you will find an overview of the EnergySage Marketplace and how it works.
Go Solar with Confidence
Watch videos on how to get the most out of your EnergySage experience!
Go Solar with Confidence
Watch videos on how to get the most out of your EnergySage experience!
Introduction to EnergySage
EnergySage is the solar industry’s first and only online comparison-shopping marketplace for solar. We are backed by the U.S. Department of Energy and leading organizations as a straightforward way to help millions of Americans go solar. By using our platform, you can review detailed educational material, and engage with our team of Solar Advisors throughout your buying experience. Most importantly, EnergySage gives you the ability to easily receive and compare multiple solar quotes from our extensive network of over 500 pre-screened installers.
Reviewing your property profile
After you have signed up on EnergySage and set up your project profile, our team of Solar Advisors will review your property to ensure it’s a good fit for solar and check that your profile information is complete and accurate. We may contact you if we need any additional information.
The EnergySage installer network
EnergySage has an extensive network of over 400 pre-screened, high-quality solar installers who will compete for your business. Our rigorous screening process ensures that all our installers are licensed, insured, experienced, and have a reputation for delivering exceptional customer service. Because of our extensive coverage, you’re very likely to find several high-quality solar installers that are local to your property.
EnergySage Solar Advisors
The EnergySage Solar Advisor team is made up of solar energy experts with backgrounds and training in solar panel technology, financing options, and installation best practices. They are a 100% free resource that we offer to our solar shoppers to assist in the solar buying experience.
This team can help:
- Answer your questions about solar
- Review your solar quotes with you
- Work with installers to ensure you receive all the information you need
- Support you in making the best decision for your property
Attaching your electric bill
Your electric bill provides detailed energy usage history and pricing information that is critical to helping solar installers design the right system for you. This information ensures that your new solar energy system will meet your annual electricity needs, and also allows EnergySage to accurately forecast the financial benefits you will receive from installing solar.
How to get your electric bill
Most utilities allow you to download an electronic copy of your bill so you can then upload that to EnergySage. The complete bill with all the pages is ideal, including your usage in that month and also your history of usage over the last year.
If you don’t have an electronic version of your bill, you can scan it or take a picture with your smartphone and email it to email@example.com. You can also fax it to 509-352-1100.
OR fill in your bill details
If you cannot attach an electronic version of your bill, you can still enter your bill details to get started. This should include your last bill amount, kWh usage for that month and an estimate of your average monthly usage throughout the year, taking into account seasonal variation.
Completing your property profile
To get the best solar quotes possible, please complete the solar preferences section of your profile. These questions include various details like the type of financing you prefer (if any) or the age of your roof. You can specify if you’d like solar installers to be able to contact you via phone, or only EnergySage. Solar Advisors can call you to help move your project along.
Engage with installers
You can easily communicate with installers through the EnergySage Message Center. This system allows you to keep your email address private and to organize all of your communications in one place. You should feel free to reach out to installers at any time with questions or to schedule a call or site visit. You can reply to installer messages directly from your email inbox and still keep your email address private, and you can send out a single message to all installers to save time!
If you decide not to go solar
Out of respect to the installers who took the time to send you a custom installation quote, please let your Solar Advisor know if you are not planning to move forward with solar or if you are going to wait. This allows installers to update their records and will let them know that they do not need to reach out to you any longer.
Getting interest from installers
Properties with complete profiles that are good fits for solar are likely to get a lot of interest from installers.
Typically, about three installers will submit quotes online within a week or so. They may contact you in advance to ask some questions or to set up a site visit to ensure their quote is accurate.
Little to no interest
If there is little to no installer activity in your property, then your Solar Advisor will reach out to you to offer assistance. There are a few steps that we can take to help you get some more quotes. The first step is to reexamine your property profile and make sure that all the information that installers need is filled out correctly.
Interested solar installers will submit a quote through the EnergySage Solar Marketplace. You can review the quote in detail online and compare it with the other quotes you’ve received. Additionally, you can always speak with your Solar Advisor to help you review your options.
If a solar installer sends you a quote directly through email, mail or in person, please ask them to upload it to the EnergySage Marketplace. One of the key benefits of using the Marketplace is that it displays all of your quotes in an easy, apple-to-apples format, ensuring you make an informed decision.
Quotes can be updated
You can always ask the installers to revise and update their quote to your liking. For example, if you would like to have the installers use a specific panel brand, inverter type or quote a particular system size, just send them a message on the Message Center to let them know of your preferences so they can modify the quote accordingly.
The quote comparison tool
One of most valuable features of EnergySage is the ability to easily compare quotes in our standardized side-by-side view.
Each quote contains a variety of important metrics to consider. Key aspects include the profile of the installer, the technology offered, solar energy production information, the warranties offered and the customer service mentality of the installer. In addition, EnergySage highlights many of the important financial metrics that you can use to evaluate each option, such as payback period. These metrics all have explanations to help you understand their importance, and you can always reach out to your Solar Advisor if you have any questions.
The benefits of comparing quotes
Make use of EnergySage’s quote comparison tool to fully understand the key differences between all your offers. You can examine system pricing, technology used, warranties offered, installer reviews, design differences and more. You can also compare each financing option to see which one offers the best overall value for you. People using EnergySage generally save 20% or more off the costs of installing solar simply by receiving multiple quotes, comparing them, and selecting the best value.
Every solar installer uses their own set of assumptions to calculate your costs and savings, which can make it difficult to evaluate different offers. The EnergySage Solar Marketplace uses a fixed set of assumptions for every quote so that you can make true apples-to-apples comparisons across all of your offers, including:
Electricity bill data
Solar installers typically estimate how much electricity you’ll use in a year, as well as your utility electricity rate, when developing a quote for your home. To standardize your solar offers on EnergySage, all of the quotes you receive in the Solar Marketplace are based on the same electricity bill data.
Electricity rate increases
Your utility electricity rate will increase over the 20+ years that your solar panels produce electricity. Installers offering the same equipment at the same price could come up with very different 20-year savings if they use different electricity rate assumptions. All of your quotes on the Solar Marketplace use a standardized rate increase calculated from 10-year state-level historical averages.
Solar renewable energy certificate (SREC) values
If you live in a state with an SREC market, you can sell the SRECs generated by your system for extra cash. However, SREC values will fluctuate based on supply and demand. The EnergySage Solar Marketplace use a standardized SREC value based on historical data to make it easier to understand your 20-year savings for each option.
Every solar panel system’s electricity production will decrease gradually over time. Solar installers may use different assumptions about how much your solar panels’ electricity output will decline each year. On the EnergySage Solar Marketplace, the system degradation rate is standardized across all of your quotes.
Making Your Decision
Selecting your installer
When you have decided which installer’s quote you would like to move forward with, you should select it by clicking “Select Installer”. Find it as a stand-alone button or under the “Next Steps” menu.
Confirming your quote
After you click “Select Installer”, you can review their quote details once more and then press the “Confirm” button to inform the winning installer. You'll still be able to work with the selected installer to finalize proposal details after this confirmation.
Selecting an installer online will…
1. Lock in your deal
This will inform the installer that you are interested in working with them. Selecting the quote online does not create an obligation to move forward. This will let the installer know that they should follow-up with you to provide you with a contract for services.
2. Notify the losing installers
Selecting an installer will notify the other installers that you have chosen a different provider. Moreover it allows you to provide all losing installers with feedback without having to spend time calling or emailing them individually.
After contract signing
Now that you have selected your installer, they will take over as your main point of contact. Your next step is to sign a contract with your installer for your solar installation. The installer will apply for necessary permits and utility approvals and will work with you to complete any needed paperwork for rebates (if available) or other incentives. A typical residential solar installation may take 2-3 days, but commercial installations vary considerably in length, so ask your installer for details.
Share Your Experience
Rate and review your installer
Have your voice heard! After your solar installation, we ask that you rate your solar installer on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, and additionally write a review of your experience with them. We believe in the trust and honest communication that comes from transparency and clear conversations. Therefore, we ask for reviews that are truthful, clean, and helpful to both the company and other EnergySage shoppers.
Write a case study
You can easily create a case study of your solar installation that you can share with family and friends. This can include some pictures of your installation and any details you are willing to provide. The more details, the better, as this helps to inform more homeowners about the benefits of going solar!