The solar panel salesman

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catdude
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The solar panel salesman

Post by catdude »

Hi Bogleheads -

The other day a salesman was in my neighborhood and I talked to him for a few minutes. He was selling solar panels; his company is Infinity Solar. I asked him to send me whatever info he had via email. He said no, he really has to make his pitch in person. So I said OK, and he's gonna come back and see me tomorrow afternoon. Now I'm feeling a little anxiety about his visit. I sense that I'm gonna get a hard sell from this guy, and I hate hard sells. I get very stubborn when salesman refuse to take "No" for an answer.

Have any of you had solar panels installed on your house, and/or dealt with solar panel salesmen? How was your experience? Did things work out OK? How much did it cost, and how long did it take to recoup your investment? Any specific experience with Infinity Solar? I'd appreciate you sharing your story....

I'm thinking I'll email the dude and cancel the appointment. I can always get a quote via his company's website.
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bradinsky
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by bradinsky »

Betcha it’s a high pressure sales attempt. If their info isn’t available on line or offered as an alternative to a face to face meeting, then I would not grant them the time. Your call!
If you want solar, do your due diligence, educate yourself & find out what’s available. DON’T let someone pressure you.
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catdude
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by catdude »

bradinsky wrote: Mon May 02, 2022 9:30 pm Betcha it’s a high pressure sales attempt. If their info isn’t available on line or offered as an alternative to a face to face meeting, then I would not grant them the time. Your call!
If you want solar, do your due diligence, educate yourself & find out what’s available. DON’T let someone pressure you.
Thanks. What I'm most concerned about is that this guy will be coming to my house. I may not be able to get rid of him.
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mighty72
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by mighty72 »

Can you setup something outside the house to sit? Easier to get walk away if someone is not in the house and doesn't have to see anything in the house to sell solar panels. He probably can't even tell you how many panels can fit where and give a design without going on the roof.

It will be a high pressure sales pitch for sure. Even if it is a deal, I would like to get other quotes to compare
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SB1234
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by SB1234 »

catdude wrote: Mon May 02, 2022 9:24 pm Hi Bogleheads -

The other day a salesman was in my neighborhood and I talked to him for a few minutes. He was selling solar panels; his company is Infinity Solar. I asked him to send me whatever info he had via email. He said no, he really has to make his pitch in person. So I said OK, and he's gonna come back and see me tomorrow afternoon. Now I'm feeling a little anxiety about his visit. I sense that I'm gonna get a hard sell from this guy, and I hate hard sells. I get very stubborn when salesman refuse to take "No" for an answer.

Have any of you had solar panels installed on your house, and/or dealt with solar panel salesmen? How was your experience? Did things work out OK? How much did it cost, and how long did it take to recoup your investment? Any specific experience with Infinity Solar? I'd appreciate you sharing your story....

I'm thinking I'll email the dude and cancel the appointment. I can always get a quote via his company's website.
I have successfully parried a few of these salesman over the last few months. Everytime I say the same thing that I am definitely installing solar just not immediately and say a few months later I will be in a better position to evaluate.
anecdotes are not data
lostcoast
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by lostcoast »

I used this website to get multiple quotes.
https://www.energysage.com/
Cruise
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by Cruise »

My rule is to never talk with salespersons or contractors that initiate a contact. Never.

Good luck.
RobLyons
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by RobLyons »

I just had solar installed in March of this year. It's not something you should make a quick decision about and I agree you should cancel this appointment. Take your time to read about solar, the cost and benefits, etc. You also should buy and not lease. Here's my experience.

Had 2 quotes, both indicated too much shade on my roof from neighbor's tree
Waited about 5 years for neighbor to cut down said tree (partially destroyed in storm)
Obtained multiple quotes, locally chose 3 then used energy sage for 7 more.
decided to give Tesla a shot
Poor customer service, slow response time, cancelled
Went with local installer. Great customer service
Decided to upgrade panels

Total cost is $28,800
26% Federal tax credit next year
$1,000 state
Will hopefully have no more electric bills, will also get paid via SREC program
No battery backup, as that's expensive
Break even period around 6-7 years

Good luck.
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"
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catdude
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by catdude »

Thank you all for your responses. All very helpful. Earlier tonight I emailed the salesman and just said that I am unable to keep the appointment. I asked him to provide whatever info he has via email and that I would consider it.
RobLyons wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 1:19 am Total cost is $28,800
26% Federal tax credit next year
$1,000 state
Just curious... is that a refundable federal tax credit? Reason I ask -- my annual fed tax liability is usually around $3,000 (I have a nice nest egg but my pension income is relatively modest). I wouldn't get the full benefit of a non-refundable credit.

I took a look at this company's website. They have an example quote... it's based on an average monthly power bill of $315. They project that in 30 years the average monthly bill will be $764. Well, for starters, my average electric bill is $65 - $75 a month (it's just me and the cats here, we don't generate much electricity). It's gonna take a looooong time for me to recoup an investment in solar panels. The site indicates that you'll save a ton of money over 30 years. I'm 66... I don't have 30 years... I'll be due for my reward before then. Chances are good that in another 10 or 15 years I'll be ready for the Old Folks Home.
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RobLyons
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by RobLyons »

I believe it's nonrefundable but you can carry over any unused amount to the next tax year.

And in your situation, I would not do solar.
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"
chipperd
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by chipperd »

We have had a few of those folks in our neighborhood and while I've been curious, I never schedule salespeople in my home. How will you get him out if he refuses to leave?
I scheduled an online appointment (forgot the company name, sorry) and as I expected, our bill is to low to make solar even close to cost effective.

Best of luck.
"A portfolio is like a bar of soap, the more it's handled, the less there is." Dr. William Bernstein
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TJat
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by TJat »

Avoid the door to door solar people. They sell super low quality panels and default to weird lease or rental arrangements. If you’re interested, get a few quotes from companies you find online in your area. Make sure the salesman is knowledge themsmelves in the technology rather than just be some guy in polo with clipboard running your house into an app
59Gibson
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by 59Gibson »

catdude wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 2:05 am Thank you all for your responses. All very helpful. Earlier tonight I emailed the salesman and just said that I am unable to keep the appointment. I asked him to provide whatever info he has via email and that I would consider it.
RobLyons wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 1:19 am Total cost is $28,800
26% Federal tax credit next year
$1,000 state
Well, for starters, my average electric bill is $65 - $75 a month
This is going to be very difficult to justify financially. I recvd a couple of quotes 5 years ago with an avg electric bill of around $80-100/mo. It would have taken me nearly 18 yrs to recoup..no thank you. Maybe the #s have changed since but I doubt that much.
markcoop
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by markcoop »

I had someone come the other day. From my door I told him that I'm not sure how long I will stay in my current house. I may move in 4 years. When he continued the pitch - "it will increase the value of your house" - I decided I needed to be a bit more forceful and say no thank you I am closing my door.
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by willthrill81 »

You can bet that if anyone shows up at your door to sell you something of much more value than Girl Scout cookies, they are almost certainly overcharging for their product.

Hard pass.

My folks just had someone do the same at their place last week.
I have left the forum but occasionally check PMs.
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catdude
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by catdude »

The salesman dude replied to my email this morning, saying that he had a report tailored for my house, and that his manager would "send it over" to me. I don't know if that means he's gonna email it to me or just show up at my door. Is this like a car dealership, where the salesman turns you over to his manager to close the deal?
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SmallSaver
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by SmallSaver »

Plenty of good solar installers out there. You're already on the hook a bit (like responding to a spam email). Don't sign anything and get a few more quotes if you want to go solar! Feel free to post some details up here if you want more eyes on it.

(The tailored quote is no big deal. You can draw one up yourself by plugging your address into PVWatts. More sophisticated ones might include things like elevation or even tree shading. That said, payback estimates have a couple of variables that make a big difference, so not hard for an unscrupulous salesperson to, say, turn up the expected electricity price, to make things look rosy).
59Gibson
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by 59Gibson »

catdude wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 5:09 pm The salesman dude replied to my email this morning, saying that he had a report tailored for my house, and that his manager would "send it over" to me. I don't know if that means he's gonna email it to me or just show up at my door. Is this like a car dealership, where the salesman turns you over to his manager to close the deal?
The manager is telling him not to leave your house without ink. Do you have a guest bedroom? :D
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catdude
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by catdude »

59Gibson wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 5:56 pmThe manager is telling him not to leave your house without ink. Do you have a guest bedroom? :D
Yeah, I do. He'll be the guest that never leaves. :)
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TJat
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by TJat »

59Gibson wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 6:17 am
catdude wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 2:05 am Thank you all for your responses. All very helpful. Earlier tonight I emailed the salesman and just said that I am unable to keep the appointment. I asked him to provide whatever info he has via email and that I would consider it.
RobLyons wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 1:19 am Total cost is $28,800
26% Federal tax credit next year
$1,000 state
Well, for starters, my average electric bill is $65 - $75 a month
This is going to be very difficult to justify financially. I recvd a couple of quotes 5 years ago with an avg electric bill of around $80-100/mo. It would have taken me nearly 18 yrs to recoup..no thank you. Maybe the #s have changed since but I doubt that much.
My electric bill averaged 380/month so financially, I had an attractive ROI and payback period. At $70 per month,
I wouldn’t bother.
DoubleComma
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by DoubleComma »

59Gibson wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 5:56 pm
catdude wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 5:09 pm The salesman dude replied to my email this morning, saying that he had a report tailored for my house, and that his manager would "send it over" to me. I don't know if that means he's gonna email it to me or just show up at my door. Is this like a car dealership, where the salesman turns you over to his manager to close the deal?
The manager is telling him not to leave your house without ink. Do you have a guest bedroom? :D
LOL - I'm picturing Glengarry Glen Ross and the sales manager is Alex Baldwin telling this rep coffee is for closers and ABC.

Of course there are high pressure sales folks out there, it works when they are trying to convince someone to buy there solution not a competitor.

However the idea a sales rep will continue to waste their time if you firmly say "No thank you, I'm not interested" is silly. Now they might not accept "No" the first time, but if one is polite and fairly says it twice then they will leave you alone.

The problem comes in when the prospect is NOT direct and is more non-committal and loose in their communication. Sales is numbers game, number of prospects/opportunites is one of the measured KPIs by nearly every sales organization. If you don't want to be bothered, don't be a prospect. If they sense you are a buyer, just not buying for them, it will be game on. If you aren't a buyer they will leave you alone.

OP - stop asking for them to send you stuff. That is sending the message you are interested in there product. You already clearly told this forum you aren't interested, now tell the salesman and or his manager.
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by dodecahedron »

RobLyons wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 2:32 am I believe it's nonrefundable but you can carry over any unused amount to the next tax year.

And in your situation, I would not do solar.
Correct that it is nonrefundable. The carryover seems to work not just for the next year, but pretty much indefinitely, as far as I can tell. I bought my CSA solar panels back in 2017 and just used up the last of the solar carryforward on my 2021 tax return.
Californiastate
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by Californiastate »

Cancel the meeting. You are not ready. I can have fun with salesmen but I’m not a nice person.
Diluted Waters
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by Diluted Waters »

catdude wrote: Mon May 02, 2022 9:24 pm Hi Bogleheads -

The other day a salesman was in my neighborhood and I talked to him for a few minutes. He was selling solar panels; his company is Infinity Solar. I asked him to send me whatever info he had via email. He said no, he really has to make his pitch in person. So I said OK, and he's gonna come back and see me tomorrow afternoon. Now I'm feeling a little anxiety about his visit. I sense that I'm gonna get a hard sell from this guy, and I hate hard sells. I get very stubborn when salesman refuse to take "No" for an answer.

Have any of you had solar panels installed on your house, and/or dealt with solar panel salesmen? How was your experience? Did things work out OK? How much did it cost, and how long did it take to recoup your investment? Any specific experience with Infinity Solar? I'd appreciate you sharing your story....

I'm thinking I'll email the dude and cancel the appointment. I can always get a quote via his company's website.
I initiated contact with a regional solar company in September of 2020 after doing a lot of analysis and research. I determined that at our pretty inexpensive electric rates (much much less expensive than rates I've seen elsewhere, such as CA), a system that covers 85% of our annual usage would pay for itself in a little under 10 years net of federal and state tax credits. This became my criteria. I didn't want a system that took forever to pay us back.

I chose the company based primarily on a neighbor's experience and secondarily on internet reviews. Gross price was almost $26,000 for a 6,290 DC watt system, grid tied, no battery, 100% turn-key (I didn't even have to turn the key) including permits, inspections, activation by the power company and filing the state tax credit paperwork (which was longer and more tedious than our 2021 federal tax return). Net of tax credits, the system cost me about $17.5K. I'm satisfied with the system.

The salesman came out when invited and looked at the general scope of work and talked to me. They would only send a proposal after their engineers came out to measure, look at the load panel, orientation, roof, plans (for structural engineering), and so on. After that, I paid for the engineering work and could back out if the engineering determined that the system couldn't be built for the proposed price, net of the cost of the engineering. Installation began in February of 2021 and was substantially complete in about two days.

That said, I called them this year to see what it would take to add another three panels to our original 17 panel installation. Rough estimate came back $10K. At our current rates, this would take about 55 years to see a return on investment. I told the salesman that and heard nothing further. I'll wait until a recession and for supply chains to recover and see then if I still want to do it. This price is crazy high, and I already have the controller, panel, conduit, everything but the panels and mounts. Wow.

I would not talk to a door-to-door salesman about this kind of thing. It has to be done right, or they or the system could:

- take your money and install little, nothing or a defective system;
- not pull permits and get inspections, or botch the interface with the building authorities and cause many more problems;
- not pay suppliers, leaving you with a lien on your property, possibly for a long long time;
- bungle the coordination with the power company, leaving you with bills that charge you for the solar you generate (happened to a friend at work with another company) or months and months without the installed and paid-for solar contributing;
- burn your house down;
- electrocute you or someone else. Dead.
- All of the above.

-DW
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by Strayshot »

Salespeople make money by closing the sale. They make the most money when people don’t understand what they are buying or don’t bother to shop competitively. This is true of cars, software, real estate, “investments”, and many other things including, yes, solar panels.
Solar sales in particular love to convolute the pitch by showing you lots of info on optimistic ROI calculations and how you are helping the environment. You care about the installed cost per watt of the system as a baseline metric and that is it. Production can be inflated by using inaccurate geometries in the calculation. Ignore any tax rebates or anything else, those will be the same across systems and can be used to make the ROI look more favorable.
Do not lease a system, that curse will hang over you in many ways.
bradinsky
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by bradinsky »

If we had an individual that needed to leave but was hesitant to do so, I would just let our 165# St. Bernard out of the kennel. When we have visitors, we put him in his kennel. He’s very gentle & loves people but the size & fear of slobber freak people out. Big fun!
tim1999
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by tim1999 »

Next time, don't answer the door in the first place for these types of people.
softwaregeek
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by softwaregeek »

lostcoast wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 12:02 am I used this website to get multiple quotes.
https://www.energysage.com/
Hired a guy off energysage and it was a disaster. Ask me how I know how a solar panel distributor can put a lien on my house despite having no contract and never having heard of them when a subcontractor is unpaid.
Wannaretireearly
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by Wannaretireearly »

First Covid year, luckily had time and patience to deal with Tesla solar. Got my 5.1kw system. (15 panels) for less than $11k. Around $8 after rebate. Very happy now. Only regret is I should’ve got 3-5more panels, maybe…
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
richard.h.gao
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by richard.h.gao »

Tell him you went with Tesla.
sleepy06
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by sleepy06 »

Have some friends come over for the pitch to lighten the mood and provide backup if required. Or, if you have kids, bring them to the pitch. I used to walk away from kids when someone was calling on the phone to have more quiet but learned if I talk on the phone around my kids the conversations are much more brief. Win-win. More time with kids and shorter conversations.
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ClevrChico
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by ClevrChico »

I've read solar panel sales is a high commission, high pressure game. Instead, I'd prefer to work with a local installer/family owned solar business. They seem much more chill to me, and it's likely you can work with the owner directly.
lostcoast
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by lostcoast »

softwaregeek wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 10:54 pm
lostcoast wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 12:02 am I used this website to get multiple quotes.
https://www.energysage.com/
Hired a guy off energysage and it was a disaster. Ask me how I know how a solar panel distributor can put a lien on my house despite having no contract and never having heard of them when a subcontractor is unpaid.
Sorry to hear about that. Thanks for posting this as I have yet to go ahead with my project.
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by Ron »

lostcoast wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 12:02 am I used this website to get multiple quotes.
https://www.energysage.com/
Interesting site, since it contains quotes on systems quoted/installed in my location, along with computed payback period (all at/around 10 years for our area of the country with less than perfect sun exposure).

Since I/wife are in our mid-70's, it means that on average the payback period to go solar (at today's rates) means that we would only see our initial "investment" making sense if we survive (or are still in our current home) until our mid-80's - or later.

It confirms my initial suspicion that it would make little sense to us. All we would be doing is pre-paying our electric bill with the cost of the panels/installation along with any roofing costs that may be required.

I read a promotion from one dealer/installer that said "do it for the sake of your children/grandchildren, even if it doesn't make financial sense for you".

No, I don't think so....

- Ron
robphoto
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by robphoto »

There should be local reputable solar installation companies you can contact. Glad you skipped the salesman, it really takes some calm review of proposals to understand what you're getting, what the rebates are, etc.

Ask people you know that got solar what they did; if you see any roof installations on your neighbor's houses, ask.

We did rooftop solar a few years ago, and haven't had an electric bill since. The other nice thing is that as rates go up, you're not buying that more expensive power.

If you think you might get a an electric car, or other electric use, it could be worth installing more capacity than your current usage, if that's allowed (where we are, the utility won't agree to an installation that puts out more than your expected usage, but this varies by locality)

We just had battery backup installed, which is covered by the federal rebate, and where we are is also subsidized if you agree to let the utility use some of the battery power at peak usage times (think high summer afternoon).

If you use a local electrical contractor, you could also get them to quote other electrical work you need; for us the quote was very reasonable since they would already have the crew on site.
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yankees1966
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by yankees1966 »

Op;

FYI.

Solar as it pertains to Oregon - https://www.bendbulletin.com/localstate ... 2bab1.html

Not sure if this is still accurate. You want to see which states are best for solar from sun standpoint and financial standpoint.

https://sunroof.withgoogle.com/ - Plug in your address to see what level of sun hits your roof line.

Best roof line is A line roof - my opinion as it will give most coverage. I have a hip roof and my panels are scattered in different parts of roof line.

You'll want to do research as to which directions are best for solar panels and sun.

Check your electric bill for yearly usage. Ex. My yearly usage is 16000 Kwh. Each panel can generate 350 Kwh. You will need approximately 45 panels.

Does your roof line have enough space for 45 panels? See if they are able to provide a design before you sign on dotted line to see where the panels would go on the roof.

How old is your roof. Might want to consider or need to replace roof to accomodate solar panels.
davebo
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by davebo »

I don't buy anything from door to door salespeople as a general rule, only exceptions are for local kids selling things door to door for fundraising. After we had moved into a new community, there was a door to door guy that was selling water softeners. My wife talked to him briefly outside and then told him that she wanted to check with me, so he offered to come back when I'd be home. He came back and gave me the pitch, but then couldn't justify why his softener was better than the ones sold at Sears. All he kept saying was that they were junk and then left in a huff. After that experience, I'll never even speak with these guys again.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Ron wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 8:52 am
lostcoast wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 12:02 am I used this website to get multiple quotes.
https://www.energysage.com/
Interesting site, since it contains quotes on systems quoted/installed in my location, along with computed payback period (all at/around 10 years for our area of the country with less than perfect sun exposure).

Since I/wife are in our mid-70's, it means that on average the payback period to go solar (at today's rates) means that we would only see our initial "investment" making sense if we survive (or are still in our current home) until our mid-80's - or later.

It confirms my initial suspicion that it would make little sense to us. All we would be doing is pre-paying our electric bill with the cost of the panels/installation along with any roofing costs that may be required.

I read a promotion from one dealer/installer that said "do it for the sake of your children/grandchildren, even if it doesn't make financial sense for you".

No, I don't think so....

- Ron
Presumably your estate would benefit even if you don’t live long enough to benefit more directly. Solar at my house positively affected what price I was willing to pay for it.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by TomatoTomahto »

robphoto wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 9:05 am There should be local reputable solar installation companies you can contact. Glad you skipped the salesman, it really takes some calm review of proposals to understand what you're getting, what the rebates are, etc.

Ask people you know that got solar what they did; if you see any roof installations on your neighbor's houses, ask.

We did rooftop solar a few years ago, and haven't had an electric bill since. The other nice thing is that as rates go up, you're not buying that more expensive power.

If you think you might get a an electric car, or other electric use, it could be worth installing more capacity than your current usage, if that's allowed (where we are, the utility won't agree to an installation that puts out more than your expected usage, but this varies by locality)

We just had battery backup installed, which is covered by the federal rebate, and where we are is also subsidized if you agree to let the utility use some of the battery power at peak usage times (think high summer afternoon).

If you use a local electrical contractor, you could also get them to quote other electrical work you need; for us the quote was very reasonable since they would already have the crew on site.
In the Northeast, utilities are paying heaps for peak draw from your battery via a plan called ConnectedSolutions.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
quantAndHold
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by quantAndHold »

Solar is great. Solar also pretty much sells itself, and the companies you actually want to deal with are not ones that need to go door to door to sell their product. If you actually want solar, get multiple bids from reputable companies.

Usually the door to door types are not just talking about a solar install, they’re selling some shady financing or leasing plan as well.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
Ron
Posts: 6926
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 7:46 pm
Location: Allentown–Bethlehem–Easton, PA-NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area

Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by Ron »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 9:58 amPresumably your estate would benefit even if you don’t live long enough to benefit more directly. Solar at my house positively affected what price I was willing to pay for it.
You validated the salespersons statement.

Any financial consideration would not be within our lifetimes; for us with the information available at this time, it makes little sense.

- Ron
psteinx
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Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2007 2:24 pm

Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by psteinx »

For any rapidly improving, but long lasting (years/decades) technology, the buy/no buy decision must be based not only on what's available today, but also what might be available in 5+ years.

If solar only pencils out for you to a minor extent today, perhaps it might be more compelling in a few years.
robphoto
Posts: 401
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:42 pm

Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by robphoto »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 10:03 am
robphoto wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 9:05 am There should be local reputable solar installation companies you can contact. Glad you skipped the salesman, it really takes some calm review of proposals to understand what you're getting, what the rebates are, etc.

Ask people you know that got solar what they did; if you see any roof installations on your neighbor's houses, ask.

We did rooftop solar a few years ago, and haven't had an electric bill since. The other nice thing is that as rates go up, you're not buying that more expensive power.

If you think you might get a an electric car, or other electric use, it could be worth installing more capacity than your current usage, if that's allowed (where we are, the utility won't agree to an installation that puts out more than your expected usage, but this varies by locality)

We just had battery backup installed, which is covered by the federal rebate, and where we are is also subsidized if you agree to let the utility use some of the battery power at peak usage times (think high summer afternoon).

If you use a local electrical contractor, you could also get them to quote other electrical work you need; for us the quote was very reasonable since they would already have the crew on site.
In the Northeast, utilities are paying heaps for peak draw from your battery via a plan called ConnectedSolutions.
Connected Solutions is the program we're on. Between Federal tax credit, 0% loan, and Connected Solutions, the battery option was very appealing. Especially since battery backup now works while being recharged by the solar array.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by TomatoTomahto »

robphoto wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 11:46 am Connected Solutions is the program we're on. Between Federal tax credit, 0% loan, and Connected Solutions, the battery option was very appealing. Especially since battery backup now works while being recharged by the solar array.
In MA, based on reasonable projections, we expect to get around $5k per year for our participation. Admittedly, we have a lot of battery capacity.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
softwaregeek
Posts: 793
Joined: Wed May 08, 2019 8:59 pm

Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by softwaregeek »

Solar can be great or terrible depending on existing utility rates, state regulations, and your actual property. I am close to four year payback but I have the ideal on all categories. Under the proposed new state regulations it would be a 12 to 14 year payback.
Not Law
Posts: 247
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:05 am

Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by Not Law »

In my rural area there are no dealers, reputable or otherwise. The only way to get solar information (or to purchase) is to deal with the traveling sales people who know nothing about what they are selling, just how to sell things. Just like car dealers, they are selling the monthly cost/savings of a system. None of them have heard of solar shingles, nor have any local roofers. While I might consider solar, I want to deal with knowledgeable people, not commission seeking sales people.
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yatesd
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Location: MD

Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by yatesd »

Cruise wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 12:59 am My rule is to never talk with salespersons or contractors that initiate a contact. Never.

Good luck.
Keep in mind this is limiting access to smaller firms who don’t have the same marketing capabilities. There are many industries where old fashioned engagement is the only viable methods.

This is one reason big companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Apple, etc have done so well during COVID. They don’t need to see you, instead they drive people to their product.
tunafish
Posts: 352
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by tunafish »

catdude wrote: Mon May 02, 2022 10:27 pm
bradinsky wrote: Mon May 02, 2022 9:30 pm Betcha it’s a high pressure sales attempt. If their info isn’t available on line or offered as an alternative to a face to face meeting, then I would not grant them the time. Your call!
If you want solar, do your due diligence, educate yourself & find out what’s available. DON’T let someone pressure you.
Thanks. What I'm most concerned about is that this guy will be coming to my house. I may not be able to get rid of him.
I don't let people I don't know into my house. If you have his phone number, call and cancel. If you don't have his phone number, leave a note on your door saying go way and don't return and don't answer the door. If he shows up later, hopefully you have a screen door you can keep locked, or look out a window and then don't answer the door.
Ron
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Location: Allentown–Bethlehem–Easton, PA-NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area

Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by Ron »

chw
Posts: 1245
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 4:22 pm

Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by chw »

lostcoast wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 12:02 am I used this website to get multiple quotes.
https://www.energysage.com/
+1. Cancel the salesman, and use this website to obtain your information and quotes. We used EnergySage 4 years ago, and were very happy with the transparent quote process, and the installer we chose.
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