Thursday, October 22, 2015

Considerations When Contemplating Energy Savings "bundles"

Proper combinations of rooftop solar PV installations and energy efficiency upgrades can yield some great long term benefits. However, when combining these "bundles" with a single company, extra steps and cautions may be needed.  We have been made aware that there is a company serving North Texas that may be blurring the lines. So the purpose of this blog post is to help you better navigate the process.

When deciding to install a solar PV system on your home, careful consideration is required. It is a long term investment if you purchase or finance the installation. It is a long term commitment if you choose the lease or PPA (power purchase agreement) route. If the installation company offers combination deals of energy efficiency upgrades and solar PV installations, be sure to understand and obtain in writing the cost breakdown of each. This is very important because energy efficiency upgrades are NOT currently eligible for the same federal tax credits, in spite of what some installers may claim.

Things to watch out for:
  1. Companies selling door-to-door
  2. "Free" energy audits, because the cost of the audit is really included in anything you buy from them
  3. High pressure sales person that doesn't want to leave until you signed a contract

Always good things to do:
  1. Research & compare
  2. Obtain multiple bids. If the bid includes a solar PV system installation and energy efficiency upgrades, be sure the costs are separately detailed, for comparison purposes and for tax credit purposes
  3. Ask for and check references
  4. Learn from friends or neighbors who have had solar PV systems installed

When considering the installation of a home solar PV system, as with any large investment or commitment, take time to do your homework and don't let any high pressure sales person push you into something before you are ready.  

Please review "How to Choose a Solar Installer" by the Texas Solar Energy Society.

UPDATE 4/30/16
See this article as an unfortunate example of what we are describing in the blog posting - Watchdog: Angry Duncanville man saves $177 on $18,000 solar investment 
UPDATE 6/11/16
See this article as another unfortunate example of what we are describing in the blog posting - Fort Worth solar energy installer draws dozens of complaints
UPDATE 7/20/16
On June 3, 2016 BBB alerted that Global Efficient Energy has rebranded itself EnviSmart

Shine On!
Plano Solar Advocates (LH)

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