It is interesting that when solar panels were first introduced into the market in the mid-1970s, they were going for $75/watt while today the solar panel cost has plummeted to less than $1/watt. Due to the decreasing solar panel cost and the increasing electricity cost; many homes and businesses have installed solar panels on their rooftop.
By the year 2016, more than 1 million homes had already installed solar panels on their rooftops. In the next 10 to 20 years, the solar panel cost is predicted to continue to decrease and it is expected that it will be cheaper than today’s lowest wholesale energy cost (energy from coal-fired sources).
As this trend continues to advance, more and more homes and businesses are looking for places where to buy solar panels. Today, because of the rapid growth of the solar industry, there are many solar manufacturers and hence very many solar brands and it may prove not easy to make the decision about where to buy your solar panels.
Solar Panel Buying guide: where do I buy solar panels
Since the process of buying solar panels may involve a lot of research and preparation; where to buy your solar panels will depend on your current circumstances including, but not limited to whether you are buying through cash, loan, solar PPA or leasing. Also, before you decide or start looking for where to buy solar panels, you may want to consider these three aspects:
1. Reviews & ratings of different solar panels brands.
2. Compare solar panel quotes from multiple solar installers
3. How you intend to finance your solar panels?
Reviews & ratings of different solar panel brands
With the growing solar industry, there are very many solar panel brands due to having many manufacturers. Some of the popular solar panels include Sunpower, Sharp, Solar World, Sanyo Electric, Schuco USA, Canadian Solar, Mage Solar USA, Kyocera Solar, Silicon Energy, Trina solar, etc.
Since today there are so many brands out there, looking for consumer reviews and ratings of solar panels may help you find the best solar panels for your home or business. Consumer reviews will normally touch on solar panel quality issues, customer service as well as the performance (solar panel efficiency) of the different solar panel brands.
Also, consumer reviews will tell on other aspects of solar panels such as the warranty provided on different solar panel brands and their experiences with these brands. EnergySage is a great resource to help you review and find ratings for different solar panels as well as solar inverters. According to SolarReviews, the average rating for solar panels in America is 4.64 out of 5.00 based on 360 reviews.
Online solar marketplaces such as the EnergySage also provide you with information on consumer reviews and ratings of different solar panel brands and those of solar installers found in your local area. Therefore, where to buy solar panels will depend on these consumer reviews provided by this resource that give you these reviews.
However, if you are looking for solar quotes from different/multiple solar installers, online solar tools may be the best place to start your research regarding where to buy solar panels because you will be provided with consumer reviews as captured below.
Compare solar panel quotes
Comparing solar quotes from multiple solar installers is a service that is provided through online solar tools that help you decide quickly about where to buy solar panels. Online solar tools/marketplaces like the EnergySage provide an integrated service that helps potential solar panel buyers to conduct comprehensive research, including but not limited to: how many solar panels you need, how much solar capacity you need as well as your specific solar panel cost and the savings you would accrue over the lifespan of your solar panel.
Online solar tools like the EnergySage will also provide you with solar panels options from different pre-screened solar installers and assist you with making great comparisons to get your best solar panel quote.
How you intend to finance your solar panels
This is an interesting question to ask yourself before shopping for your solar panels because different solar dealers/installers may have different rates or terms of agreement when it comes to loan rates, solar PPA or even leasing solar panels.
Therefore, depending on your current financial situation you may decide to pick on different dealers based on their rates or even based on their ratings and consumer reviews. Online solar tools could be a good place to start to compare and find out the financing rates been provided by different solar dealers/installers in your local area.
In conclusion, online solar tools like the EnergySage provide a one-stop-place where to buy solar panels because you can compare your solar panel cost, financing options available to you, different solar panels brands/multiple installers while reviewing their ratings.
You will also get estimates on how much you can save with solar-based on your current energy consumption, roofing design and other factors (shading) that affect the amount of sunshine hitting your roof.