MicroFIT Solar Panel Installer Quotes

Is there a difference between quotes you receive from installers of solar panels under any government subsidized solar electricity home improvement plans?

What about one such as the Ontario MicroFIT solar program where the rate you can earn for each kilowatt-hour produced by your roof top solar panel installation is fixed by a 20 year contract?

Oh my, yes.

It has been a long while since we wrote about our possible participation in the Ontario MicroFIT roof top solar panel program. In fact, it has been more than 9 months since we wrote the following articles:

How Many Solar Panel Installer Quotes Is Enough?

Over the past 9 months or so we received 5 quotes in total.

It is not that we procrastinated.

The reason why we received quotes from so many solar panel installation companies and over such a long period of time is that we never received a proposal or quote with which we were totally satisfied.

You go to a restaurant for dinner. How long does it take you to decide what to order? 5 minutes? 10 minutes?

How much does your meal cost just for your portion? Say it costs around $40.

Now, consider that you are asked to spend between $30,000 and $60,000 for a solar panel installation?

The cost of your solar panel investment would therefore be between 750 and 1,500 times larger than the cost of your restaurant dinner!

And, be honest, do you really understand solar panels, how they work, the technology, what an inverter is and why you may need one, what a micro-inverter is and why you should use them vs one or two inverters?

Sure, your revenue per kilowatt-hour is guaranteed for 20 years under the Ontario MicroFIT program.

Yet, do you really want all that complexity?

That’s why we took our time and received 5 quotes.

The Solar Installation Vendors

The purpose of this article is not to bash any one or all of the vendors from whom we received the quotes.

Rather, the purpose of this (and the next few) article is to inform and educate you on what to expect.

Therefore, we will simply use Vendor A, Vendor B, Vendor C, Vendor D and Vendor E when we talk about the different  solar installation quotes.

So you know, we will immediately eliminate Vendor E. This is the vendor who simply gave us a quote via email based on the product details from one of the other quotes we received.

Begin At The End: References

For today’s article, I’ll start at the end with the references.

I say ‘at the end’ because, while you can receive a vendor’s references at any time, these are people who have already gone through this process with the vendor.

We received, and so you can expect, the full gambit of references from any vendor who provides you with a quote / proposal for solar panels to be installed on your home:

  • Solar Panel Installation Vendor A
    • Provided a listing of 13 references (full name, phone contact information, city and solar panel installation description) as part of the site visit; i.e. we had not even received a quote yet from this vendor and there was this vendor up front with all of this information
  • Solar Panel Installation Vendor B
    • Provided a listing of 3 references with their quote (full name, phone contact information) when I asked for it after receiving their quote
  • Solar Panel Installation Vendor C
    • Provided the same as Vendor B
  • Solar Panel Installation Vendor D
    • After being asked for weeks before and after receiving this solar installation vendor’s quote for references, we received two references (partial names and phone numbers only) which I called but was not able to connect with them, followed three weeks later by two additional names and phone numbers

Solar panel installation vendor D had a lot going for it (as you will see in our later articles). Yet, if I am to spend tens of thousands of dollars as a financial investment  yet not see a return of my original investment (forget any income from it) for 6 to 9 years, references is incredibly important to me.

Is it to you?

Next time the site visits.

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