Articles tagged "installers"

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Freedom Forever Solar: The complete review and consumer guide
Freedom Forever is a relatively new company on the solar installation scene, but it has grown very quickly, reaching 6th place on the Solar Power World list of residential solar installers. In the most recent year, Freedom Forever installed 92 megawatts of solar. The company operates in most of the major solar markets in the US and employs over 1,700 people. If you’re looking for a solar installer for your home, there’s a good chance that you’ve come across their name.
Illustration of a person cutting a contract
Stuck in a long solar lease contract? Here's what you can do.
As more people realize their disadvantages, solar leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs) are shrinking in popularity, dropping from a high of 59% of the market in 2012 to only 37% in 2019. That’s still a sizeable chunk of the market, and some people regret signing these contracts. With 20 year contracts being common, solar leases can tie you up for a very long time. Many consumers sign them without doing adequate research, especially after being solicited by door-to-door or kiosk salespeople.
Sunrun: The complete review and consumer guide
If you live in a city where home solar is popular, like any of the big cities in southern California or the Bay Area, you’ve probably heard about Sunrun. Maybe you’ve seen their blue vans rolling around town, or had their sales people knock on your door. Sunrun is the largest home solar installer in the US by a wide margin: they currently have about 14% of the US market. Not only that, but they recently acquired Vivint Solar, adding another 6% market share to their total.
Photo of a solar home
What's the deal with Tesla solar panels?
Tesla Energy, the division of Tesla responsible for solar and home battery products, makes the well-known Solar Roof that looks like sleek roofing tiles but generates clean electricity. But the Solar Roof is an expensive product that is best installed on a home that needs a new roof. If you have a newer roof that doesn’t need replacement, it typically doesn’t make financial sense to install a Solar Roof. In fact, Tesla recently dramatically raised the cost of the Solar Roof - double the price, according to some.
Petersen-Dean logo
Petersen-Dean goes bankrupt: what this means for consumers
Petersen-Dean, a roofing and solar company founded in 1984 that operated in nine states, went bankrupt in 2020, leaving many of its customers in limbo. The company operated in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Nevada, Oklahoma and Texas. They started as a roofing company, then began offering solar installations, especially in California where solar installations are required on some new homes. While the COVID pandemic was perhaps the straw to break its back, the company was apparently in poor financial health for some time.
Door-to-door solar sales: don't get scammed!
How to avoid being scammed when a solar salesperson knocks on your door (7 tips)
With the exploding popularity of rooftop solar, competition among solar installers to capture as much of that market is intense. If you live in one of the hot markets for rooftop solar such as California, Hawaii, the southwest, and some northeast states, there’s a good chance you’ve heard your doorbell ring and found a solar salesperson at your door, ready to pitch you on the benefits of rooftop solar. It’s one thing to buy Girl Scout cookies (Thin Mints!
Photo of San Francisco painted ladies houses.
Find the best solar companies in the Bay Area
The San Francisco Bay Area is the part of California that includes not just the City of San Francisco, but nine surrounding counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, and San Francisco. The Bay area gets plenty of sunshine: the average year has only 68 days of precipitation. It’s also cooler than other regions of California, which is good for solar panels (because solar panels produce less electricity when hot).
Photo of a closed business.
What happens if your solar company goes out of business?
Residential solar has taken off like crazy in the United States in the past decade. About 162,000 people in the US work in jobs directly related to solar installation, while solar in general employs a quarter of a million people. That’s a lot! It’s a huge new sector of the economy. But like any other business sector, there are excellent companies, and some not-so-excellent ones too. With thousands of solar installers around the country, it’s inevitable that some operations will be poorly run, fall behind their competition, or generally face challenges that cause them to close up shop.
Fraud alert
5 types of solar installer scams (with real examples)
There are thousands of rooftop solar installers across the United States, and most of them are honest companies that do good work. Unfortunately, like any industry, there’s always a few bad apples. There are great plumbers out there, but you could also end up with a company that tries to fix a leak with silly putty. This is why when you hire any type of contractor, whether it’s to install solar panels on your roof or fix a leaky toilet, it’s always a good idea to do a little research so that you can become a better informed consumer.