In this second article discussing the “bottom line” of a solar quote, we are addressing the impact of having a full-service office and store-front location.
As introduced in previous articles, many customers look for the bottom line in every quote they are presented with. The final dollar amount they are committing to pay is frequently what dictates which residential solar installation company they choose to go into contract with.
The power of the dollar is an important one to address. How much we spend, how we choose to allocate budgeted funds is an important aspect of making large purchases or deciding to make large upgrades to our homes.
However, it is also important that solar customers understand what goes into the final contract amount and discuss why the cheapest quote is not always the best choice.
Full Service Office
Residential and Commercial Solar companies do not all have a full-service office. Within the industry, there are a lot of what we refer to as “Chuck in the Truck” companies. These companies consist of a 1 man, maybe two-man, crew. The named “Chuck” in the truck is responsible for all aspects of the solar process, from sales, design to installation and maintenance.
Although this does save a considerable amount of money that can be passed on to a customer, it is a risk for the customer to sign a contract with Chuck.
Solar is a construction process that requires
- permitting work with the City or local jurisdiction
- PG&E interconnection processes
- annual maintenance
The process looks simple enough, but it is complex that demands many experts in many different areas. It is virtually impossible for one individual to do all aspects of the job in a timely, correct manner.
Our company is a true business. We have a store-front location that allows customers to stop by and work with our sales team, design team, and even speak with the owners.
Del Sol Energy’s office team ensures that the customer experience of going solar is simple. Our sales professionals are highly trained to educate our customers on the solar process. A team of finance partners are experts at sharing the best financial solution to our customers. The Design and Engineering department ensures quotes are accurate and answer to each mandate set forth by construction mandates. They also ensure accurate engineering and manage all aspects of the install process that includes permitting and interconnection. We have a customer service specialist who ensures each customer has a “real person” to speak to when they call in and works hard to provide answers to each question. Our marketing team and business development team work together to introduce the aspects of our company that differentiate us from other companies. There is a powerful office synergy that exists to ensure the best solar experience for each and every customer.
And as a full-service office allows all aspects of the solar process to be completed in a professional and accurate manner, it does mean the “bottom line” on a quote is higher than the “Chuck in a Truck” who does not have to incur costs for managing a full office.
What Happens When There is A Problem?
The biggest worry consumers should have when dealing with one-man solar companies is “what happens if there is a problem?”
At Del Sol Energy, we have an office full of experts who are available every day of the week to help. If there is an internet outage and someone needs to help you reset your monitoring or your inverter, we have someone who can help. You don’t understand your utility bill? We can help. You are ready to sell your house and you need to ensure the correct permits were pulled to install the system on your home. We have it. If there is a problem, we are here. Additionally, we are a solid, local business that has long committed to being the local solar solution and will continue to be as such.
What happens two years down the lane after your solar installation with “Chuck in a Truck?” Chances are good you will not be able to find him, or any of the people who was hired as a contractor. In fact, you might not even be able to find their insurance carrier, assuming they had one.
Most incredibly small solar companies do not survive beyond a year. That means, if you have a question or a problem down the lane, you are going to reach out to get service, help or assistance from a company like ours. Additionally, if there is a problem and you cannot find your solar installer, they won’t be there to fix the issue, or finance the fix – and you will end up paying considerably more.
The Bottom Line
In many competitive solar bids, the bottom line is what customers look for. The less costly the installation, the more likely they are to sign on the dotted line. However, we are asking you to be mindful of why the cost is different. Generally speaking, the cost differences can be attributed to a small “company” out trying to make fast money – underselling a product, and not worried about customer care.
We believe that our customers experience going solar is important. We work hard to ensure each customer has a beautifully, professionally installed system and has the confidence that we will be there to pick up the phone for many years to come.
Often, the price difference is service, trust, commitment and confidence. Paying a bit more up front can save a consumer thousands of dollars in the long run and provide peace of mind.