My goal was not to get ripped off and know that the installer would use the best equipment while providing a high quality installation. Because of this, I started educating myself on what a great solar install looked like and what was a competitive offer before I started interviewing installers and collecting solar bids.
I only hire companies if people have great things to say about them. Because of this, I contacted some companies that had great yelp reviews and chose to see what they offered. Kingdom Solar was one of these companies. I asked for a quote on their website and shortly after, I was contracted by Chris (the owner). My initial impression of Chis was a good one. He noticed that I seemed educated and asked if I had an idea of what I wanted. I told him what I was looking for and he made some recommendations. I told him I would look into his recommendations. (Spoiler: He was spot on in his recommendation according to my research) He designed my system using his computer while I was on the phone with him and then sent me an email proposal/quote. Based on my research, I thought the quote was priced fairly, but I had nothing to compare it to yet. All I knew is that Chris offered the best equipment, a great solar design on the roof, and seemed like he would be really great to deal with.
Later that week, I had a few more quotes from other companies. They were significantly more expensive and used lower end equipment. I was shocked considering these companies had many 5 star reviews. One of those companies wanted to place the panels on the east side of my roof (when it is common knowledge that the west side is superior). Another, (medium sized company with hundreds of 5 star reviews) quoted an inverter that wouldn't handle the size of my solar array and would end up clipping power (they apologized when I called them out on it and then quoted the proper inverter at a significant price increase). It blows my mind considering that most people wouldn't be educated enough to know this information and that the trust the solar company to quote the correct equipment for a particular job.
I emailed Chris because I wanted some items changed on my quote. I received a call from him within minutes and we had a fantastic conversation. After sending me an updated quote, I told him that I may be interested. He was not pushy at all and informed me that the next step was an on-site survey. I scheduled one for that weekend.
Chris came by that weekend (on time) and checked out my electrical panel. I asked him some difficult questions to test his knowledge on solar (He passed). Lastly, he got on my roof, took measurements, and ensured that his software was accurate in panel placement design. I shared a few concerns I had regarding installation. My roof is only 2 years old and I wanted to make sure my roof penetrations were properly waterproofed. In fact, the thought of having people walk on my costly and fragile concrete roof had my stomach turning. He addressed my concerns and went above and beyond by agreeing to install using the methods I had wanted. He still was not pushy and told me to contact him if I had anymore questions and then left.
Later that week, I signed. Installation day came shortly afterwords. Chris and his crew were on time for the installation. Chris briefed them on the job and reviewed the plans. I got met each person working on the job and they got started. I'm a picky homeowner and wanted things done a certain way. I was there monitoring the job the entire time and the crew was fantastic making any accommodations I requested. They did attic work, so no conduct is visible on the roof and painted any exposed conduit so it blends into the background. I was in the attic while they were doing the work, it was very detailed. Chris's crew definitely takes pride in their job. In fact, I am super happy to say that out of everyone in our neighborhood, I have the BEST looking solar install.
The system was installed and inspection came two days later. The Tracy inspector RAVED about how good the job on the roof was done. Chris joked around and said he was happy that the homeowner (me) was around to hear that. The inspector turned to me, looked me straight into the eye, and told me he wasn't paying lip service and that most installers are not that detailed on the roof. BOY - Was I happy to hear that!!
In summary - if your looking for an extremely high quality solar installation, with the best equipment available for the best price, and probably the best and most flexible installation crew - contact Kingdom Solar. I can continue to go on and on, but this review is already long. I usually don't do this - but if your thinking about Kingdom Solar, but there is any doubt in your mind - feel free to send me a message asking any questions regarding my experience with Chris and his install crew. I'm so happy with my install, I'd be glad to answer any questions regarding my experience.