State-sponsored Solarize community solar programs abound in Massachusetts, where current and upcoming programs include Lincoln-Sudbury-Wayland, Newburyport and Winthrop; and Rhode Island, where Cranston and Charlestown are the latest towns to Solarize. (Yes, Solarize is a verb now, too.)
We’re big fans of Solarize programs here at New England Clean Energy because they drive solar energy adoption and that in turn helps the planet. What could be better?
But, having been the installer for seven Solarize-type programs*, we know firsthand that homeowners and business owners in the midst of a community solar program don’t always realize they can choose a different installer than the one recommended by the Solarize committee. You do have choices, and checking out a few of them is the best way to ensure you get what is right for you.
We’ve been on both sides of the equation. We’ve been the selected Solarize installer and had customers choose another company, and we’ve had customers choose to go solar with us when we weren’t the official installer. It’s all good.
Chances are, the solar installer for your town is perfectly reputable and capable, but what’s right for your neighbor may not be best for you. New England Clean Energy has more positive consumer reviews on independent website SolarReviews than any solar company in the northeast. (And we’re third in the nation!) Despite our extremely high customer satisfaction, we know we won’t be perfect for everyone. We’d just like to see everyone get the system that is right for them.
When comparing solar installers and systems, we recommend taking a “consumer reports” type approach. Check references, consumer reviews, equipment options, installation practices and timetable, and anything else that is important to you.
And ask for our ebook on how to compare solar proposals or read my blog post on the subject, because sometimes what seems like, for example, a $2,000 difference in price is actually much less than that when you compare apples to apples.
(And remember, your federal tax credit covers 30% of the system price so a difference of $2,000 is actually $1,400. Thanks, Uncle Sam.)
Happy solar shopping.
*New England Clean Energy was the installer for Solarize Medfield, Solarize Foster, LittleBoxSolar, Stow Solar Challenge, Solarize Acton, Solarize Shirley, and Solarize Harvard.
If you liked this article, you might also enjoy:
- Solar Systems Made Simple
- Beware the Assumptions in Your Solar Quote
- Solarize Medfield Community Program Ends at Tier 5 Savings