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Solar Panel Installation reviews in Berkeley

  • A
    They worked very **** ** this project, and did not give up until the system worked correctly and reliably. In fact, it now works better than it ever has, probably because of the rewiring of the panels to give a higher voltage. On a typical sunny day, we are using about 3 kwh over the 24 hour period; without the solar panels, we would be purchasing about 13 kwh.
    - Peter B.
  • A
    Great. Read the reviews, in our experience it all rang true. John gave us the best bid with the highest quality equipment, was there from start to finish, and had a really nice and competent crew doing the work. He made it really easy for us by taking care of all the permitting (city, pge), was in contact with us as the process moved forward, was totally low key pre-contract, and overall was great to work with. My only suggestion would be if he would be somewhat more assertive about suggestions to minimize power usage prior to designing the solar system - truthfully that's on us - but he is so knowledgeable that it would be great to leverage that if possible. Get a bid, see for yourself.
    - Jeff S.
  • A
    Hi, We recently installed 14 solar panels on our south-facing roof in Albany. I started by checking out about ten solar installation companies. Based upon their on-line presentations and reviews, I narrowed the field down to five companies. I asked each company to make us a proposal. Some companies came by in person, and others made their proposals based upon on-line projections of our roof. From these proposals I learned that there was a variety of arrays to chose from, a myriad of solar panels and productivities to choose from, and inverters, micro-inverters, and optimizers to choose from. I kept asking the five companies for new (and more productive) options. One thing I learned from all five was that it was not cost-effective to oversize the system. Over a few weeks I received 21 different (ascending) proposals from the five companies. Ultimately, I based my decision on Confidence in the Company, and System Cost per installed watt. A1 Sun was my first choice of a company and they delivered. I cannot recommend A1 Sun high enough! I signed a contract with them on a Monday and I was producing solar on a Friday eleven days later. I can’t say enough about the installation process. A1’s technicians arrived on time, were thoughtful and courteous, addressed our concerns, and cleaned up after themselves on a daily basis. The installation was completed far in advance of our expectations.
    - George P.
  • C
    I wasn't furnished with the layout plans prior to the construction although I paid for them and they are supposed to be part of the agreement. The panels block some views and are unsightly. They have to be moved to another part of my roof at my expense. The problem could have been avoided with good communication. I was simply told "this has never happened before".
    - Keith W.
  • A
    The install team was great too. They worked two days through Maryland snow and rain to install 18 solar panels on my 3-story townhouse. I know of no other company that would do that.  They were on time every time. They explained net metering, and how my system essentially used the power grid as a backup battery, and all the excess energy I produced during the day I could essentially pull back and use at night so nothing was wasted. They explained how power outages actually work. Also helped with the required HoA paperwork and all required permits. And lastly I LOVE the equipment and Internet-integrated software. I can see my real-time energy consumption, and real-time energy production, as well as production and consumption by day, month, and year. All this was 100% free to me. Great company, great experience with Bay Area Solar Panels.
    - Jerromy E.
  • A
    My first inquiry regarding conversion to solar power was
    made through the City of Berkeley website which referred me to Energy
    Sage.  After I made a request for bids on
    the Energy Sage website, I received two bids, one of which was from Solar
    Union.  The Solar Union representative
    answered all my questions about how the system would work, what kind of
    relationship I would have with PG&E, and the difference between owning and
    leasing a system.  He was very prompt and
    thorough in responding to my questions.  The
    actual installation took no more than three days, including approval from the
    building inspector for the City of Berkeley. 
    The system has functioned flawlessly since its installation.  The Solar Union representative has continued
    to be very helpful, answering questions about how to follow the real time
    performance of the system?monitoring capabilities are included in the
    package.  I am very happy with having
    solar electric generators on my roof, both for my personal good and for the
    good of the planet.
    - Judith S.
  • A
    RC Energy and its owner Justin Lonson has a great team from sales to fulfillment. They helped me with the Solar Design, showed me the panel layout, energy production and helped me understand various financing options. I chose to pay cash for the system as it was the most attractive return. They also took care of getting neighbor and HOA consent.  The next step was permitting with the town of Carlsbad which they handled most professionally. Once the project was ready for install, they contacted me well in advance to set the install date and a week prior spoke to me about logistics. They delivered all the components the day prior to install. My install job was complicated but they completed the job in 3 days. I had to wait a week for SDGE to turn on net metering. FIVE STARS!
    - Kumar A.
  • D
    1. -- 2013 The first solar breakdown was after the warranty expired -- the inverter failed and was replaced in 2013. This could have cost thousands to replace and, to their credit, SL&P negotiated with Fronius (the inverter company) and replaced the inverter for the cost of labor only. I sincerely appreciated their efforts on our behalf. However, dealing with their office was not a satisfying experience. This is when the poor service began and it continues up to today. .
      a. When I contacted their office via email for warranty info on the replacement inverter, I received a strange email that said that when we bought the house from the previous owners, the warranty was not transferable to us. After some back and forth, it seems that they had put our paperwork into our neighbor's file and assumed, without checking the paperwork, that we had purchased the property after the solar was installed.
      b. After that issue was straightened out, I asked again for the warranty on our new inverter. They said that the inverter was refurbished and that there was no warranty. I explained that the person who spoke to me at the time of installation referred to the inverter as new. Perhaps he meant that the replacement inverter would be new (to us). But when he said "new", we of course expected that it would be...NEW. The woman at their office claimed they had discussed these things at the time of installation. This is not true. No one said anything about the inverter being a refurbished one and that it would not have a warranty. I made the point that there was nothing on the work order that said the inverter was refurbished nor was there anything about no warranty. Then she told me that no solar power company provided a warranty on a replacement inverter. I dropped the issue because it was clear there was nothing else I could do.
      c. Another paperwork error: On the work order, there were two "current" dates, the Work Order date was incorrectly typed 8/8/11 and the date next to their signature was correctly typed as 2/26/13. This has led to several confusing conversations since then.
    2. -- 2015 Now the system has failed again and my contacts with the SL&P office are even more incomprehensible. I called their repair number because the system was shutting down and restarting approximately every 20 minutes due to overheating (error code on equipment screen).
      >On 8/12/15, I left a message "The system has broken down, yet again". When Mindy called me back she repeated my message word for word, making fun of my voice and the way I emphasized words in the message. She asked if the system was down right then and I said that it was currently up but that it had been cycling off and on for a while and it just happened to be on as I looked at it. She said that they were very busy and it would be difficult to make an appointment. I had to repeatedly insist that she refer the issue to the repair department before she agreed.
      >On 8/13, I had not received a callback so called again. Mindy said that she would forward a message to Repair again.
      >On 8/17, still no callback so called SL&P again and selected a different extension and complained to a very professional woman who said she would call repair for me. I recommended that they not install systems if they weren't able to support them. The response was that their Repair department repairs systems installed by other companies, too. In my opinion that is beside the point. Received message from Repair. He gave me his direct number and said he would be on a job in the afternoon but would call me first thing 8/18. I called back to leave a detailed message with my name and address, background info about our system, the error code on the inverter display, and the symptoms of the problem, so as to prepare for our 8/18 call.
      >On 8/18 at 11:30 am, he hadn't called me so I called him. He obviously hadn't listened to my message, and didn't even remember he had left a message for me, because he had no clue who I was and I had to repeat all info I had left in my message. He thought the problem might be the fan and said he might save me a site visit fee if he contacted Fronius before a site visit to see if they would approve ordering a fan in advance. If they don't approve it, he will have to come out and check the system first. While I appreciate his trying to save me money, I am generating no solar power on warm days due to the overheating problem and on cool days, the restarts don't happen frequently.
      >On 8/21, I still hadn't heard back, so called again. He told me he hadn't heard back yet and there was really nothing more that can be done because he has to wait for them to call. Meanwhile, on warm days, my system does not generate much solar power and I'm hoping the overheating will not generate a fire.
    I don't know when this problem will be fixed or even if the fan is the problem. However, I given the lack of responsiveness and professionalism, the poor quality equipment, and actual rude treatment in one case, I could not recommend Sun Light and Power to anyone.
    - Judy L.
  • A
    These guys were awesome!  We have been wanting to upgrade our home for a long time but just never seemed to get around to it. We got a letter from PG&E telling us about some rebates available for energy efficiency work.  We looked around and found several reputable contractors.  When Advanced Home Energy's auditor came out he spent 2 hours in our home walking around, talking and sitting down to really understand what we wanted to do.  He then gave me a proposal with pictures and information which was leaps and bounds above the hand scribbled estimate that we got from the other guys.  It wasn't a difficult decision to go with them, and it was definitely the right one.
    They showed up promptly the day of the work.  It was raining that day and the guys were great about putting down tarps and wearing booties in the house (I didn't ask them, they just did it).  Jose, the main guy, let me know the plan and went over the scope again with me.  He and his crew were super nice and very professional.  They were in my house for two weeks doing all the upgrades.  It's construction, so there was definitely noise and disruption to the house, especially with the wall insulation where they drilled into the walls and pumped their insulation into the wall.  It was pretty neat to see the process.  Each day they cleaned up nicely and overall were very courteous and careful around the house.
    The solar took a while longer to get installed.  A different team came a couple weeks later to install the system.  That went very quickly, only took a couple of days to install.  And now we finally have solar panels on our roof!  I haven't gone up on the roof to look at the work but our bills have gone to $15/month from around $125/month before.  I wasn't expecting such a big drop so I'm super happy about that.
    Overall, great people and great company!

    - Laura F.
  • A
    The installation went very smoothly and the system has performed as expected over the course of the last year. I have zero complaints about the installation, subcontractor, or equipment, and am very pleased with results. The electrician who installed their system remarked to me that he enjoyed working with Complete because they use top of the line components. The staff at Complete Solar young, competent and enthusiastic. Their pricing seemed fair. The field is competitive. The actual price of the panels is dropping. Their business is basically built around selling, and designing the system. They project manage the installation and permitting process. It's pretty much a piece of cake.
    - Charles C.
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Solar Panel Companies in Berkeley

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