### Update ###
I'm upping the review to three stars given Varney refunded my money - he seemed like an upstanding guy who's just dealing with difficult staffing issues. One star is reserved for totally being screwed like a faulty installation or doing a partial install - at worst, 6 weeks of my time was wasted, but at least I'm not out of money or incurred any other liabilities.
I'm not sure if Ra Solar (also known as "Free Energy Systems Inc.") is still in business anymore - but if they are, you should avoid them. I signed the contract in July, and they were really communicative upfront (e.g. asking for documentation from PG&E, HOA contact information, scheduling a site visit). But after the site visit and paying them the $1000 deposit, they stopped responding to e-mails. The following is a timeline of events:
(1) Signed the contract on 07/29/2019. Sent all the requested documents to Shauna Buchanan and Renato Primo - including HOA application, PGE records, etc.
(2) Dylan came out on 08/05 for the home visit. I paid the $1000 deposit.
(3) Sent an e-mail to Shauna on 08/19 asking if the design was ready for approval. No response.
(4) Shauna called on 08/22 asking if I wanted to schedule my installation that weekend - but I reminded her that I never received the design and that the HOA hadn't even been made aware of the request. She apologized and sent me a copy of the designs for the approval (which were dated 08/14). I approved the design, and she submitted the application to my HOA.
(5) Sent Shauna and Varney Johnson an email on 08/26 to let them know HOA approved, no response.
(6) Sent Shauna and Varney another email on 08/29 to let them know HOA approved, no response.
(7) Sent Renato an email through EnergySage on 09/05, he responded that he reached out to operations manager - but he never received a response from the operations manager.
(8) Sent Varney an email on 09/10. No response.
(9) Sent Renato an email through EnergySage on 09/11, no response.
(10) Left a message for callback on 09/11 on main line - requesting installation date.
(11) Called main line on 09/12 - phone number is now reporting that it's no longer in service.
(12) Called Renato on his cell phone, but his mailbox is full.
During this time frame, I was checking Livermore's permit and service requests portal - nothing was pulled for my address.
Per the previous review, it sounds like Shauna may no longer be with the company; and since Varney and Renato are no longer responding, lines are no longer in service, and voicemail boxes are full - I'm just assuming they're out of business (or close to it). This whole process has been completely disappointing. I was excited for going solar and really wanted to stay with a local business - but this has been a total mistake.
# Update #
(a) Called the main line again on 09/12, and it's now active. I got a hold of Alyssa, and just asked to cancel my contract - she said she'd get a hold of her boss and will get back to me. Varney called back and apologized, and said he'd honor my request to cancel the contract and would mail the deposit check back tomorrow.
(b) Varney e-mailed on 09/12, to summarize the call - he apologized and reiterated that he'd cancel the contract and would return the full deposit.
(c) Renato responded on 09/12 to my 09/11 EnergySage message, stating he'd follow-up with his operations manager, Varney. Renato's reply is out of context at this point, given Varney and I have agreed to cancel the contract and return the full deposit from the prior call and e-mails.
(d) On 09/16, the operations department contacted me that my installation is on track; which contradicts what Varney stated on the 09/12 call and e-mail (that Ra would cancel my contract and return the deposit). I e-mailed back to let them know that Varney agreed to cancel the contract and return the deposit in full - but no response.
(e) Called Varney back on 09/16, and he said the e-mail was a mass e-mail they sent to everyone, and that my contract was canceled. I asked if my deposit check was returned, and he wasn't sure but would verify.
(f) On 09/17, the operations department/mass e-mail replied that the refund check was sent out on 09/16.
(g) Deposit arrived on 09/18.
(h) On 09/20, Renato sent out a reply e-mail. The summary was they were sorry, but at the same time the timeline was "well" (it's in quotations because he literally air quoted the word multiple times in the reply) within timeline and that my reviews were premature. He also called out that my HOA approval was 08/26 - not 8/22 - which I updated in this review.