A Solar Designer Makes A Difference
When our Energy Advisers are out in the field, many customers openly ask what makes our company different than any other solar company out there. We speak highly of the value of using a local solar company, the product lines we carry and the warranties that come with the products. We also touch on the value our company brings to the local community, whether it is giving back to the schools with donations or volunteering in local organizations and at local events. And although those are major differentiators, another important distinction of our company is we have a dedicated, trained, and highly experienced Solar Design and that designer creates each solar system we install and ensures appropriate codes are answered to and permits are obtained.
What is a Solar Designer?
A solar designer is a solar professional who is focused on the design of each solar array that is installed on every residential or commercial contract that is signed. Panels are strategically organized into arrays on rooftops or on ground mounts to ensure the panels organized into a pattern that allows them to be at their highest efficiencies and production levels and all electrical and permitting codes are answered to. A Solar Designer is also charged with communication with PG&E, or other appropriate utility, to ensure that all technical and permitting aspects are answered to for a fluid transition to using solar power on the grid.
What Does A Solar Designer Do?
A Solar Designer is an integral part of the commercial and residential solar process, from initial stages of quoting through the creation of closing documentation, showing the job as complete and connected to the correct utility grid.
When the sales process transitions from early conversations to customers wanting to learn what an array would look like on their home or business and associated costs, the interaction moves from the Energy Adviser to the Solar Designer. The Solar Designer takes the necessary data points regarding a homeowner’s energy use and creates a unique system that answers to the energy consumption of the homeowner. The Solar Designer uses specialized software to ensure panels are designed into array sets that are aesthetically pleasing to the homeowner, while also ensuring maximum energy production from each panel. Upon customer approval, the Solar Designer takes the next series of steps to begin construction.
With finalized design plans in hand, a Solar Designer then visits the appropriate government office to petition for necessary construction permits. Solar installers make the process look simple and quick, however, it is considered a major construction project and requires special permitting from the city, county or another specific jurisdiction office.
When the Solar Designer receives the permit, construction can begin and the Solar Designer prepares for final steps of the solar designer process, which entail working with PG&E, or other appropriate utility, to request “Permission to Operate” or PTO, which means the utility company has approved the installation and the panels are not only in full operation, they are working in conjunction with the utility and your panels are feeding into the energy meter attached to your home.
A Solar Designer wears many hats within a solar installation company. Their job demands they are not only knowledgeable but competent in understanding a variety of solar design and engineering software programs, agility in maneuvering through the various code and permit expectations and requirements of a myriad of city and county jurisdictions, as well as understand the process for obtaining PTO from a variety of utilities.
Why is Working with a Solar Designer Important?
Many solar companies do not have a solar designer within their business organization. However, at Del Sol Energy, we have long realized that a designated Solar Designer was imperative to our business model. Our focus is on the customer experience and ensuring each customer has a solar array designed to match their energy needs that is installed in a fluid manner. This means that as our Energy Advisers specialize in the customer experience, our Solar Designer can ensure the logistics of the job are tied up tightly. Our Energy Advisers are trained intensively on products and how to work with our customer base. They are not trained to design solar arrays, and even with the advancement of solar design technology, even the savviest salesman is not a solar designer because they lack the knowledge, experience and training to truly do the job fully and accurately. The intensive nature of the job means that the designer can focus on their tasks and the sales team can focus on their customers.
Another bold advantage of working with an Energy Adviser who works closely with the Solar Designer is that the quote you are provided is accurate. You can be confident that the quote is not a subjective quote created quickly by a salesman trying to close a deal before an engineer looks at the design set and can confirm the accuracy of the quote. Part of our commitment to the customer is providing honest quotes that we can stand by because we know the person who created it is knowledgeable, trained and committed to the customer experience.
Time to Act
Finding the right solar installer can be difficult. Knowing what to ask and who to ask can be confusing. Yet, one area to explore is to ask about how the solar arrays are designed and who is tasked with working with the jurisdictions for permits, code compliance and working with the utility to set your system up to the grid. The value of a specialized Solar Designer is often overlooked, but overwhelmingly large to any solar installation company.
If you have ever thought about going solar or if you are unsure about what questions to ask, visit our article on important questions to ask, or just stop by our Solar Showroom in downtown Brentwood and speak with our Solar Designer or Energy Adviser today.