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Solar system quotes: How to guarantee the best price

Last updated 7/15/2020

If you’re thinking about buying a big-ticket item, you’ll probably want to shop around before making your purchase. Consider an airline ticket for example. It’s not as simple as finding the cheapest flight – there are many factors that make a particular ticket the right option for you. You’ll also want to know: What time does the flight depart? Is it a direct flight, or will there be a layover? What’s the airline’s safety record? Or what’s their record of on-time arrivals?

By using a comparison-shopping approach, you can ensure that you have all of the relevant information in front of you before making a purchase. The same is true when shopping for solar power systems for your home or business. At EnergySage, we encourage every solar shopper to receive and compare multiple solar installation options on our website first, rather than solely talking to a single solar installer.

EnergySage recommends that you engage with 3 to 4 solar installers and financing providers in your area in order to understand the trade-offs between each option, and ensure that you maximize your return on solar investment. Take the time to review all of your solar energy quotes and ask questions about the key differences between the proposals.

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How comparing solar energy quotes saves consumers money

When you receive multiple solar energy quotes from installers, you can compare equipment choices, financing options, and solar company reviews to find the installation quote that best suits your needs. By comparing multiple quotes for solar energy systems from installers in the EnergySage Solar Marketplace, you can save 10 to 25 percent on the cost of going solar as compared to your state averages. Installers on the EnergySage platform know that their information is being standardized and reviewed side-by-side alongside quotes from other solar companies, and this encourages them to provide a fair price and the best terms possible for your solar energy system.

Solar shopping: Find the best solar quote

Installing a solar energy system is a major purchase with many different components, all of which can impact your financial returns. However, comparing solar energy quotes doesn’t have to be complicated. You can use the EnergySage Solar Marketplace to make easy side-by-side comparisons between quotes from multiple installers and providers. Below are the key points for comparison as you review your solar energy quotes.

Solar panel brands and models

There are more than 100 different solar panel brands and many models within each brand.  Each panel has specifications related to size, design, efficiency, durability, and warranty, among others. All of these specifications impact solar panel quality. Solar installers will provide you with solar panel quotes that feature different models; by comparing your options, you will be able to find the best solar panel value for your home.

Inverter types and brands

Solar panels capture solar energy as direct current (DC), but almost all households run on alternating current (AC). Inverters convert DC electricity to AC electricity, and are included as part of every solar energy system. There are three types of inverters, and multiple inverter manufacturers; the inverter that you choose depends on the specifics of your property. Solar installers tend to have preferences for a particular type or brand of inverter. By comparing solar energy quotes, you can investigate these options yourself and identify the key differences in the technology that installers recommend.

Solar financing options

Most property owners can’t or don’t want to pay for their solar energy systems in cash, which is where solar financing comes in.

Financing options include:

  • The solar loan, which you can use to finance your purchase of a solar energy system.
  • The solar lease, in which you pay a fixed monthly payment to “rent” your system from a third-party owner.
  • The solar power purchase agreement (PPA), where you agree to pay a low per-kilowatt hour rate for electricity produced by a third-party owned system installed on your property.

Understanding the relative returns of each financing option is essential to finding the solar energy quote that meets your financial needs.

System design

How your solar panels are configured on your roof can impact the amount of solar power you generate, as well as how your system will look from the ground. Each installer will design your system differently, taking into account the variations of your roof. Compare each design and ask your installers about their reasons for any differences. Make sure you are comfortable with both the amount of power your system will generate and how it will look on your property.

Solar company reviews

While comparing the relative benefits of your solar energy system’s physical components is important, every solar shopper should also consider solar company reviews when deciding which quote to choose. Having a trusted, professional relationship with your installer is important to ensuring that you install the best solar power system for your home. Compare solar installers on EnergySage to find one with significant industry experience, good references, and robust warrantees.

Start your solar journey today with EnergySage

EnergySage is the nation's online solar marketplace: when you sign up for a free account, we connect you with solar companies in your area, who compete for your business with custom solar quotes tailored to fit your needs. Over 10 million people come to EnergySage each year to learn about, shop for and invest in solar. Sign up today to see how much solar can save you.

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