Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Going solar #2

I would like to ask you - who are already on solar power - a few questions, if I may.

How many companies did you contact?

How many of those did actually come to your place to give you a quote?

What determined which company you went with? Price? Salesperson? Quality of information? Etc.?

We have had 2 quotes so far and they are so different where the set-up (type of panels, side of roof where to put them, etc.) is concerned it is mind-boggling. So at the moment we have no clue who to go with. We have another person coming next week. Maybe that'll clear things up a little?

Your experience and suggestions are as always very, very welcome!


Gavin said...

Hi VG.

I contacted 3 companies. Two I discounted as cowboys straight away when I hit them with lots of questions, and one remained. They came out and gave me a very good quote within a few days. I used a company called Energy Matters, who I highly recommend. I think they have an Adelaide office now.

The reason I chose them was that they were professional, I went to visit their little operation in person and they bent over backwards to help me out and answer my questions, and they delivered everything they promised.

I could tell that they were not feeding me BS!

Hope that helps.


Kel said...

Hi veggie. ditto everything Gav said about energy matters. If you like i can get simon to email you or you can give us a call to talk with him. he'd be more than happy to chat about your questions. He's very involved in alternative energy issues and is a powerhouse of info.

Em said...

Hi VG, I'm going through the same process atm - so far I've had 5 quotes, but only 3 of them are able to answer my Qs and the same 3 have all come to do at least one on-site inspection/discussion.

I'm waiting on the final quote then putting them all through a spreadsheet to try and compare them on a cost for energy output basis, then compare their warranties and what their customer service/experience seems to be.

They are quoting on several different sized systems and I'm working out the return on capital invested, and how long it takes to amortise each system, depending on how you partition your energy use through the day and what interest rates are. With interest rates so low atm it works out better financially to invest in a system than to keep savings in the bank - so long as there is some guarantee of price on grid-feed payments (which I'm finding is more complicated than it first appeared).

I keep asking them questions; the more they talk, the more I learn and the more they seem to show their experience or lack of. In the end I will probably choose the business that seems the most professional and honest.

Sorry to blabble on, since I'm still att he learning stage. HTH :)

Veggie Gnome said...

Hi Gavin, Kel and Em! Thank you so much for your comments. We appreciate your feedback. It is always interesting to hear how others go about doing things. We do find that we are slowly getting a much clearer idea, what to look for, what to ask, what we want and need, etc.

Kel, thanks so much for your offer. I will get back to you. :)

Everybody's comment is very welcome. So if you want to share your experience, please don't be shy! :)

Darren (Green Change) said...

We chose I talked to one of their sales guys in person at a solar hot water information night (he also knew about the solar electricity products), and he was able to answer all my questions quite well.

Earth Utility is also sponsoring a multi-year sustainability initiative I'm involved in (Sustainable Illawarra), so they're a decent size and not some fly-by-night operator.

They've been very good with communication etc so far, and whenever I've rung with new questions they've been very on the ball.

I've also heard good things about Energy Matters - I don't think you'd go wrong with them either.

Gecko said...

Wow, how similar are our blogs? Right down to the fonts, how spooky! Even the country counter! Great minds eh?
I really like your blog, if you don't mind me asking, what state are you in? (I'm guessing coz ur saying how hot it's been your in Aus! =P)