Chris’ Solar Story: Buying Solar

I always dreamed of having a solar powered home. I envied the panels on others’ homes. I could literally power everything in my home with the sun’s energy. So early last year, my wife and I started seeing ads pop up on Facebook for solar. They were very enticing ads. Almost borderline scam like with promises of paying nothing up front, putting nothing down, and so on. It was like sleazy used car salesmen started hocking solar panels.

Still, I had that nagging desire to be a more environmentally friendly person. And that cool factor. I’d be that hippy neighbor with the panels on his roof.

We took the bait. She filled out the form with our information and we waited for the call. Before long, we had a decal laden car in front of our house. He showed us a fun video about solar and how their program worked. Here’s the easy financing. Here’s how big our company is. You’re in good hands. It all sounded great like a good sales pitch should. We talked some numbers and discussed the system. Then my wife and I said we would think it over.

I researched everything I could, I posted on Reddit, I gathered quotes from other companies. Just like asking if Intel or AMD is better, try asking if you should get SolarEdge or Enphase, string inverter with optimizers or microinverters. I compiled my quotes into a spreadsheet (doesn’t everybody?) and tried to make sense out of it.

A little company came out and actually inspected the roof. He warned me about the trees and potential shade issues. Then he came up with several proposals. Possibly the most sound options I received but the financing was too expensive.

Our initial salesman had burned a bridge. It felt like bait and switch. He changed his story too many times. I thought we were giving up on solar. It seemed too far out of reach. I threw it on the back burner.

A few months went by and we were contacted again. A different salesman came out. He ran the numbers again. He gave us two “free” panels to sweeten the deal. He finally swayed us. We were going solar.

From this point, it should have been quick and easy. Slap on some panels, wire it into the house, call it done. Nope.

To be Continued…

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