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Costco/Sunrun Quote - $19K for 5.225kW system. Thoughts?

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  • Costco/Sunrun Quote - $19K for 5.225kW system. Thoughts?

    Hi everyone,

    I am a new member on this forum. I live in Southern California (Orange County), and received the following quote from Costco/Sunrun to purchase a solar panel system:

    $19,000 (pre-incentives)
    5.225 kW DC system
    Will produce 8,103 kWh of electricity in year 1, and will offset approximately 97-98% of our current electricity usage. It is estimated that the payback period is about 8 years.

    19 panels - REC275TP
    1 inverter - Solis 4600W
    SnapNrack racking system

    Is this a good deal, or can I do better? If this isn't a good deal, what should my "target" pre-incentive purchase price be?

    Also, in speaking to the SunRun representative, he said there was no wiggle room on the price, as it was pre-negotiated by Costco. Wanted to see if people have had different experiences dealing with Costco/SunRun?

    I'd greatly appreciate the community's input on this solar panel proposal. Thank you!

  • #2
    Wiggle room my butt. Shoot for ~ $3.00/Watt, negotiate upward from your price rather than downward from their's, and think long term bang for your buck rather than getting stuck in the first cost syndrome. Use local, established installers who have been around for a long time as electrical contractors and will stand a decent chance of being around after the reduction in the bloom on the solar lilley solar bottoms out. You can do a lot better than that price and that quality. Get educated, know what you want and learn what's available to meet your needs. You got snagged walking down the main aisle at Costco. Get educated before you spend $20K.

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    • #3
      Costco ususally offers cash back when you purchase a system. We purchased an HVAC system from them and received a $1000 incentive. You might investigate this further.
      Kerry
      San Diego, CA

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      • #4
        (1) Costco Incentives - you are correct that we were offered incentives: 10% Costco cash card ($570) and Executive Member cash back ($742), on top of a $5,700 tax credit, for a net price of $11,988. I did not list any of these in my original post because my understanding was that, in evaluating a proposal, I should be providing the pre-incentive prices.

        (2) I received a few other proposals from other installers, but all came in at or above Costco/Sunrun's price of $3.63/watt. I only started dealing with Costco/SunRun because my wife's friend referred us to them. In speaking with the SunRun salesperson, I did make it clear to him that $19K was much too high, and that I'd be more willing to consider them if his proposal was closer to $15K, not $19K. That's when he told me the prices were pre-negotiated through Costco and were non-negotiable. It was at that point I told him we would not move forward considering his price.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by kmm View Post
          Costco ususally offers cash back when you purchase a system. We purchased an HVAC system from them and received a $1000 incentive. You might investigate this further.
          You'll also probably get more if you ask for more. Otherwise cash back or gift cards or other such crap is a moot point because there's no way to confirm, but bet there's at least $1,000 and more buried somewhere in what you paid to make up for what amounts to a phony save story that does little more than give you and other consumers the warm and fuzzies because you think you got a deal. Mark it up to mark it down. It's just business and the way the game is run.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by OCRibeye View Post
            (1) Costco Incentives - you are correct that we were offered incentives: 10% Costco cash card ($570) and Executive Member cash back ($742), on top of a $5,700 tax credit, for a net price of $11,988. I did not list any of these in my original post because my understanding was that, in evaluating a proposal, I should be providing the pre-incentive prices.
            I think it is OK to include Costco incentives in your quote, but not the tax deduction.

            That said, I took J.P.M.'s sage advice and replaced my 25 year old HVAC system before going solar. I ended up needing 3 less PV panels from my original Solar quote of almost 3 years ago.
            Last edited by kmm; 04-04-2017, 04:39 PM.
            Kerry
            San Diego, CA

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by kmm View Post

              I think it is OK to include Costco incentives in your quote, but not the tax deduction.

              That said, I took J.P.M.'s sage advice and replaced my 25 year old HVAC system before going solar. I ended up needing 3 less PV panels from my original Solar quote of almost 3 years ago.
              I don't think it was sage advice as much as common sense. I sometimes use the boat analogy. A boat that's otherwise seaworthy has a leaky hull. It's probably more cost effective and sensible to first caulk the hull (seal the building envelope) before getting a more efficient bilge pump (new HVAC equip.) before spending $$ on a way to provide more expensive electricity (an expensive PV array) to the old pump. First things first. Most cost effective first. Education before anything else.

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