When deciding to explore solar, if you're not starting with a referral, consider researching solar panels. You'll find there's a real difference between SunPower and everything else.
Long after the installation company is off your roof, the solar panels they installed will be with you. For 20 years if you leased them and for 25 – 40 years if you purchased the system. That’s a long time to have an inferior product that will produce substantially less power each year. And if a company tells you not to worry about it, that they will pick a good panel for you, run! If they’re not willing to share the name of the panel so you can do research on it, then they’re trying to pull a fast one. And if they say it’s because it’s just a lease or a power purchase agreement and that they still own the equipment, still run. A panel that produces less and less power each year and is subject to malfunctioning because it’s not made for the harsh desert heat is a headache you don’t want.
In addition to a lease with fixed payments or a loan or outright purchase, some companies offer an arrangement known as a Power Purchase Agreement, or PPA. It’s an arrangement where you pay for all the electricity that a system produces at an agreed-upon rate. The problem is, the rate you pay probably increases every year, which would be fine if you could be sure that electric rates were increasing at an even faster rate, but there’s no way to know that. In fact, electric companies are switching solar customers to a time-of-use rate so it’s hard to know when you’re going to be using power for the next 20 years, and how the electric company will keep changing it. It’s best to just get a system that covers all your usage and gives you fixed payments for 20 years.
That’s why you need to get more than one bid so you can understand all the different ways that solar can work. A local company like Renova can help explain everything to you, including the pitfalls of different financing arrangements and different panels. SunPower is the most advanced and efficient panel available and is guaranteed to still be producing 92% of the original amount of power at Year 25, more than any other panel manufacturer. And with a comprehensive 25-year warranty that covers parts, labor and shipping, it's the best in the industry as well.
Over the course of your lease or loan, your SunPower system will produce more power for your money than any other solar panel, and that's value you can take to the bank.