I started looking at rooftop solar panel installations in January (for reference, it is currently May). They’ve been dropping in price so much lately that I figured it was time to see just how much money they could actually save (don’t worry, I’ll answer this for you at the end). I contacted a few of the highly-rated companies out there for quotes and consultations, GSS being one of them. After speaking with them all and comparing their offers, their online reviews and the behavior of the associates they sent out to my house, I decided to go with GSS. The rest of the review is my story working with them but if you want the summary: these guys are an incredibly professional team that really know their stuff and work with you every step of the way. I have zero regrets about choosing them and I would absolutely recommend them to everybody looking to go solar.
Here are the details about my experience with them.
I called GSS up and explained my situation: “I’m interested in rooftop solar, I have some electric cars that eat a ton of power and I want to charge them with renewable energy so I need a pretty big array.” Eric Kilens was the rep that responded to my call. He came out and took some standard measurements; roof size, angle, azimuth, tree cover… the usual stuff. That took all of twenty minutes. He then proceeded to stick around and talk to me for an extra half hour about the whole process, the technology behind solar, the net metering policies in New Hampshire, electric vehicles, and just about every other relevant topic that came up. I’m the kind of guy that wants to know everything that’s going on and he was more than happy to answer. This extended past the initial consult because after each company got in touch with me I proceeded to flood their inboxes with more questions. Eric was the only one that didn’t eventually get fed up with me. He responded quickly to each one – usually that same day or the day after. If he didn’t know the answer, then he knew who to ask. He got me in touch with other experts at GSS who traditionally work behind-the-scenes like Alec the warehouse manager or Erik (with a K), one of the owners, when I had detailed questions about panel specs or inverter choices.
Eric and I went back and forth quite a bit about array design, number of panels, brand, power rating, and even the microinverter size to go with them. It wasn’t just a “here’s what we’re going to do, take it or leave it” kind of situation… the whole team was very flexible and accommodating, even if I made unusual requests that went against their typical installations. To give you some perspective, we started the paperwork in February and we were still making changes to the plan in mid-April as new technology became available and replaced the old stuff. Eric, Tanya and Emily were always very courteous and cheerful when taking my questions and requests. This was especially appreciated during the permitting and paperwork review processes. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but you have to get a lot of people to sign off on a solar installation before you can actually install it. These guys held my hand through the whole process though. They kept me up-to-date every day on who would be showing up to inspect which parts of my house and what that meant for the project. They took care of all the coordination between the town inspector, the utility company, and the PUC for the state tax credit. I know it was a lot of work, but I never had to deal with it. They did it all.
After three months of preparation, the permits were finally in place and the parts we decided on had arrived. Now, my setup involved 14.4 kW of power from 48 panels in six rows across two roofs. GSS brought a team of five to my house and they managed to put the whole array together in a day and a half. These guys were just as polite and respectful as the staff I’d been coordinating with so far. The installation crew has been in the game for a while and they are masters of their respective trades – that much I gathered right away – but what really surprised me is how well they worked together as a team. They kept communication constant, they didn’t argue about anything, and they had a rhythm to their work so they all finished the important parts at the same time. I shadowed them throughout the whole process, asking questions about what they were doing and why they decided to go with one technique over another. Each one seemed happy that I was taking an interest in their work instead of just leaving them alone. I learned about electrical engineering from Phil and Troy, mounting rail construction from Nate and Brandon, the microinverter map from Darren, and panel laying from Jake and Zach on the second day. Not only that, but they told me the company’s story and a bit about their team dynamics as well. GSS is a fairly small team compared to most companies, so they have a very important advantage: they all know each other personally as friends instead of just colleagues. That was pretty apparently when I saw how they worked together, but hearing them say it was a key value of the company really made it clear. These guys are a tight-knit team, and they all believe in the mission. This is definitely the crew you want doing your solar installation.
Eric told me early on that GSS aims to “under-promise and over-deliver”. Well, my array has been active for about two weeks now and I can confidently say that they pulled that off. The panels take care of all of my power needs and they ended up costing about $100 per month less than my old power bill. These guys started saving me money the moment the array got switched on. My roof is beautiful and slick, it’s generating more than enough to power our home and our cars, and I learned a ridiculous amount of stuff about the world of solar throughout the journey. GSS made it the experience an absolute pleasure. I strongly recommend them to anyone that wants to look at getting a solar installation.