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How to Compare Solar Proposals (in Colorado and Elsewhere)

Updated: Mar 23, 2023

When you install solar panels, you are committing to reducing the electricity costs on your property for decades. Therefore, choosing the right solar provider is crucial, whether you’re adding renewable energy to your home, business, or commercial property.

While shopping for the best deal in town, there is a lot to consider when purchasing solar panels beyond the cost of the system itself. In this article, we’ll show you how to compare solar proposals, evaluate your choices, and maximize the value of your renewable energy investment by choosing the right installer.

Choose Solar Companies First & Proposals Later

Although gathering multiple quotes is highly recommended for any substantial property upgrade, it is possible to eliminate unlikely candidates by conducting your own, independent research before scheduling too many time-consuming consultations.

Instead of firing off emails to every solar installer that appears on Google, we recommend determining exactly what you are looking for in a solar company, based on your own set of criteria and values. While choosing a local solar company is a great way to support your city or state’s economy, finding an installer nearby can also lead to better customer service down the line when compared to businesses based in other parts of the country.

As past customer experiences can be one of the best metrics for the quality of a company's products and services, you can also reduce the number of quotes you request by evaluating a solar business's reputation through online testimonials. In addition to checking review sites like Solar-Reviews and Google Maps, we recommend looking out for customer complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau by searching for a company’s BBB listing.

When sitting down with your top choices to compare proposals from various providers, there are many questions you can ask solar companies to further differentiate them from one another. Again, based on your personal set of criteria, you can compare proposals by asking companies questions such as:

  • Do you subcontract your installations or is everything done in-house?

  • What will be covered in my craftsmanship warranty?

  • Who can I contact if I have questions about my system in a few years?

  • How long has your company been in business?

  • Where are your panels manufactured?

  • What is my expected installation timeline?

  • Is there a chance of any backend charges that would increase my total project costs?

Evaluate Your Financing Options

Although we alluded to the fact that money isn’t everything when comparing proposals, at the end of the day, reducing energy expenses remains the primary reason that people are going solar in the 2020s.

When looking at the total cost of a system, however, it is important to confirm exactly what your price point is based on. Often, solar companies present a bottom line figure as a cash price, which can be misleading when financing a system. So unless you are paying for the entire installation upfront, you can more easily compare the true value of your solar proposals while focusing on financing terms, interest rates, and expected monthly payments.

Occasionally, a company may also present your total investment costs with the tax incentives for going solar already considered in the price of a system. Here, it is important to verify your qualification for local tax breaks, rebates, or programs before you make a purchase, as many available solar incentives are not applied at the point of sale and are usually controlled by a third party.

It’s all about trust.

Ultimately, whenever you are deciding between solar proposals, it really is all about trust. Do you trust the solar company you are working with to deliver a high-quality system and dependable customer care? To answer this question, you can analyze everything from gut feelings to cold hard facts in order to determine your level of trust.

While “disappearing” discounts and pushy sales tactics can often lead customers into bad deals or solar traps, it is fairly easy to establish a baseline of trust with a company that positions itself with your best interests in mind, free of any fabricated “rush” to sign a contract. It also helps if your provider uses reputable software programs and installs equipment from well-known manufacturers.

Although, when vetting multiple trustworthy companies, we recommend not getting too hung up on small price differences or focusing too much on specific solar panel or inverter brand names. If you’re working with a reputable installer, it is likely that you will be saving money on your avoided utility costs through net metering, no matter the detailed, technical aspects of your equipment.

Trust Apollo Energy in Colorado and Wyoming.

Based in Denver and serving customers all along the Front Range of the Rockies, Apollo Energy is a locally owned and operated solar energy company in Colorado. If you have any questions about going solar or would like to receive a free quote for your photovoltaic (PV) system, please do not hesitate to contact us today.


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