Posted by:

ktgrimes

Panels are great, the process was a disaster.

EnergySage Customer
Quick Facts
Average Annual Savings

$900

Energy Needs Met

100%

or more of electricity

Net Investment

$8,972

Return on Investment

10.0%

What You Need to Know

Description:

Our system was built using Panasonic modules with Enphase micro inverters.

Maintenance Requirements:

Too soon to tell

My Motivation:

I've been thinking about it, my friend finally did it and told me about the benefits. I started thinking ahead and was concerned about the rising costs of energy living in California and wanted to take advantage of the 26% credit.

Advice:

Just be aware that you might end up needing a new roof prior to installation and that is going to cost maybe cost more than the panels.

Experience with Installer:

There are very few likes about the installation process in general. In the end, the panels are up and working fine but it took a lot of patience to get to this point. I chose Solar Optimum using the advice of the person I spoke to from energy sage. I really liked the service and the guidance that was provided by energy sage, but in the end I wish I had just chosen a local, highly recommended solar installer. From the beginning, the communication of Solar Optimum was HORRIBLE. I'm not exaggerating here. I would estimate that out of 20 times I should have received a phone call from them about the step next, I had to make the call 18 of those times. The staff that did show up were helpful and if I called Glendale they were helpful but getting someone to be proactive was not possible. Not only that, they clearly have a communication issue between Glendale and the local office in Benicia. The process begins around October 24th or so, I get a phone call saying they are getting close to getting started on the installation and will be in touch with me about the delivery of materials over the next few days. I said, "sounds good." The very next morning at 8 am with NO phone call, a guy shows up out of the blue (he was new and his name was Chenu) and said he was going to unload the materials in my garage or driveway in preparation for my installation which could happen "in the next couple of days." Without knowing about this ahead of time we could not accept the materials as we cannot park our cars outside overnight. This Chenu guy said communication from Glendale was not good and he was annoyed (not at me) and said he was sorry and will get back in touch with me. He left a few materials in my garage but not the panels. A few days later, someone new shows up. (I don't know what happened to Chenu.) The new guy, Christian was super nice and helpful. He was okay at communication, but only because I would call him or text him. They were moving fast and installation of the panels was fine, but there was a little hang up with the building of the main panel on the side of the house. I was okay with this, I understand delays and things come in to play, but JUST TELL ME, call me, text me, let me know. It was usually a, "we'll have to come back" kind of statement and then nobody would show up. I would get frustrated, call down in Glendale and then miraculously someone would show up or call. This seemed to go on forever, as they had "one more little thing to do." Then suddenly someone shows up to finish and its the same day the city was coming to inspect it. So as a result, the city guy has to come back another day. Luckily, he was able to come back within a few days. My system passed and was ready to start. I suddenly start to get emails from pge that my system is ready to "be turned on." I get emails from Solar Optimum that PTO was granted. I am feeling relieved finally. I text Christian to ask if there is something I need to do and he says, "no someone else will come by and do it for you." Christian said he will reach out to that person and I should hear back. Days go by, I don't hear from anyone to turn the system "on," I call Glendale again, someone will get back to me, nobody does. More emails start to come in about system activation, etc. I get tired of waiting, so around Dec 4th or so, I open the email from Enlighten and start reading. It says something about checking the switches in your main panel to see if they are on. I go out at night and the switches are all on. I then add the Enlighten app to my phone and create a log in for my account. I check my panels and they had been working since Nov 25th. That's good thing of course and I was thrilled they were working, but in the end Solar Optimum couldn't regain my confidence AT ALL. I would never recommend them to anyone. The panels are great and my system is working fine, but I am one of those customers that needs communication...not a lot, not frequently, just the minimum. They are not that kind of installer I guess.

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