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brand new to forum seeking advice on quote

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  • #16
    I got few quotes so far and I am surprised how different are they. I got offers from 2.3$ to 4.5$ per watt for the same systems. Only the brand is different. But since they all offer 20+ years warranty, I am thinking to go with the cheapest offer.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by apricot View Post
      I got few quotes so far and I am surprised how different are they. I got offers from 2.3$ to 4.5$ per watt for the same systems. Only the brand is different. But since they all offer 20+ years warranty, I am thinking to go with the cheapest offer.
      While I'm firmly in the camp of solar PV equipment (beyond some basic quality level) now being pretty much a commodity, after your set your goals as to what you want in terms of a lower electric bill, or other goals, the search becomes one of looking for an installer who has integrity and is ethical, with the ability to deliver a quality installation.

      Finding such installers is not as easy as finding quality equipment.

      Question: Do you want low buck, or most bang for your buck ? There is a big difference.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post

        While I'm firmly in the camp of solar PV equipment (beyond some basic quality level) now being pretty much a commodity, after your set your goals as to what you want in terms of a lower electric bill, or other goals, the search becomes one of looking for an installer who has integrity and is ethical, with the ability to deliver a quality installation.

        Finding such installers is not as easy as finding quality equipment.

        Question: Do you want low buck, or most bang for your buck ? There is a big difference.
        All I want is to not pay more than the fair price for a good system. I guess I should do some more research about what brands and services provide more quality and pick from those.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by apricot View Post
          But since they all offer 20+ years warranty, I am thinking to go with the cheapest offer.
          I doubt any of them offer a 20+ year warranty.

          PV modules typically come with a 25 year warranty on "Production"
          Inverters come with a 10 year to 25 year warranty though some are not worth much.
          The system itself is usually covered by the installer for 5 to 10 years.


          Your price difference seems pretty high, I would doubt that those are all equal systems.
          OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

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          • #20
            Originally posted by apricot View Post

            All I want is to not pay more than the fair price for a good system. I guess I should do some more research about what brands and services provide more quality and pick from those.
            Root around in the CSI database for some idea as to who may be doing what for how much and where for some additional pricing information.

            The more knowledgeable you get, the lower the probability is you'll get completely screwed. Go for lower initial price without more information and the odds go in the other direction.

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            • #21
              I would check previous posts about prices and there are several companies listed depending on where you live

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              • #22
                I install and sell systems in that area, when getting solar for your home get something you will be happy with for the next 25 years. In order to sell solar moudles in the usa manufactures must have 25 years production generaty that's standard.
                When choosing an inverter there are diffrent types we like to install Solaredge inverters as they allow you to not be locked into number of modules, easy to add more modules in the future, great monitoring system and they are DC so no conversion is done on the roof, they are the top of the line.
                The prices I see on this post are pretty normal, we usually install solarworld or Canadian solar with solaredge and monitoring for around $2.85 a watt. If you find something like that you got a good deal. There are a lot of diffrent panels out there stick to known brands.

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                • #23
                  Been nibbling around edges of topic for awhile and now about to take the next step. Which is? Get a a paid adviser concerning what I actually need and what is available, or plunge right into the quote pool full of solar installers. Also wondering what is included in estimated prices for installation: do estimates include all system components and labor necessary to throw the switch? Are there extras required if EV is contemplated in future? Basic questions, I know, but unable to find answers in forums. Thanks.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Annapolitan View Post
                    Been nibbling around edges of topic for awhile and now about to take the next step. Which is? Get a a paid adviser concerning what I actually need and what is available, or plunge right into the quote pool full of solar installers. Also wondering what is included in estimated prices for installation: do estimates include all system components and labor necessary to throw the switch? Are there extras required if EV is contemplated in future? Basic questions, I know, but unable to find answers in forums. Thanks.
                    I'd start by setting goals about what you want to accomplish. Then getting unbiased information about ways to meet those goals from sources who do not have skin in the game and actually provide good (that is, reasonably accurate) information.

                    If the goal is a lower energy bill, start by learning how to reduce consumption. Know this: conservation and use reduction are far more cost effective ways to a lower bill (but less sexy) than PV. Example: Start by simply turning stuff off. Cost == 0, payback immediate.

                    After that, spend 20 bucks and get/read a copy of "Solar Power Your Home for Dummies". More than just solar, it has a lot about preliminary energy savings and conservation as well. Educate yourself before you go further.

                    Suit yourself, but IMO only, getting a hired gun is one (bad) way to meet energy saving goals. To my experience, most of them are dopes who repeat what they've heard from peddlers or the media, and then puke it out to the solar ignorant, take the money and disappear. To those hired guns who are not dopes, my apologies.

                    After the read, come back here and fill in some knowledge gaps. Doing so after the read will make your questions better, and thus the answers better with a lot less wasted time on your part and on the part of those willing to provide information.

                    Then, still after the read and conservation efforts, and a few answers here/there, if you still think PV is a goal to pursue, run something called PVWatts. Read the help/info screens a few times, use a 10 % system loss rather than the 14 % default and make a few runs. From preliminary costing/est., figure out the most cost effective mix of PV and bought electricity that suits your needs. A 100% offset of an electric bill is rarely the most cost effective mix.

                    Then, and only then, call vendors and tell them what you want. Listen to their suggestions, but if you've done your homework in some form similar as outlined above, you'll probably come up with at least as good a project as any vendor will.

                    as for EV's, they are nice, and everyone sees one in their future, me too. But I' think long and hard about it. Lots of future projections, but the future isn't written yet with a lot of details yet to be even identified much less addressed or worked out yet. That con man Musk is still building toys by hand in a tent.

                    Take what you want of the above. Scrap the rest.

                    Welcome to the neighborhood and the forum of few(er) illusions.

                    Get your own knowledge and information. Knowledge is power. After you learn that saving energy is far from rocket science, you'll know more than most so called experts. Then you can have fun listening to the nonsense they return when you ask them questions you already know the answers to. Believe me.

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