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Solar Panel Installation reviews in Gaithersburg

  • A
    Celestial Solar Innovations, LLC
    We were shopping for solar panels for our house in Maryland, but wanted to put them on a new shed we were building. The shed roof was designed to maximize number of panels, faces south southwest and has no shade. We called several companies including a large supplier in the area. We were impressed with the responsiveness and professionalism of Jim Reilly with Celestial Solar Innovations (CSI). We had done quite a bit of research online before contacting any companies; Jim���s informative approach was just what we needed to fill in the blanks. He listened to our ���requirements��� and offered options for the type and number of panels that satisfied all of them. Jim acted more as a mentor than a salesman as we discussed pros and cons of each option. Jim���s quotes were in line with the large supplier and more reasonable than other companies. We decided to go with CSI and Panasonic panels. Panasonic for their performance knowing we will be in the house for a long time. Part of our discussions with Jim included the installation process. Once we signed the contract we knew we would go into a ���quiet��� period for a few weeks before the physical installation took place. During this time we would get sporadic e-mails from the county and the electric company so we knew Jim was busy taking care of the permitting/approvals. Once we had approval the installation was scheduled for a couple weeks out, the delay was due to weather. When the crew arrived they were polite and enthusiastic. Have not heard that much banter between a bunch of guys over two days without a cuss word (which impressed my wife and not our granddaughter). Each knew their role whether wiring in the house, in the shed or installing support rails and panels on the roof. Before they left they cleaned up to the point we would not have known they were there except for the panels, inverter and disconnects. The utility installed our net meter within ten days after the system was ready and we are now monitoring the performance of our system. Could not be more pleased with Jim and CSI!
    - Dave Q.
  • A
    Celestial Solar Innovations, LLC
    We interviewed multiple providers after already having done some extensive research. I strongly recommend being prepared and understanding the pros and cons of installing a solar system and being sure it is the right investment for you. If it is, then Jim and Celestial Solar are top notch. Even after determining that solar is the right fit, there are decisions to be made such as micro inverters versus power optimizers. Some companies install one or the other. Jim can help guide you through all of this, but again you should also do your own research. Jim took the time to listen to us and understand what we wanted and built on that providing us with an efficient, aesthetically pleasing system. We went with all black panels and the installation crew did an amazing job in being sure that none of the wiring was visible. They were able to run the cables through our insulated attic! Jim replies to emails and is easy to get a hold of. We have now received two electric bills and we are saving money. In fact, our last bill (which reflected a full month of solar) was $20! A twenty dollar electric bill!
    - ALBERT F.
  • C
    Direct Energy Solar
    Let me start by saying the installers (technicians and engineers) did a fabulous job installing my system. Regarding the front-office (sales, marketing, project manager), I have fewer accolades.
    Let's start with the salesman. Nice enough guy. After-sale, he was mostly AWOL. The one time I heard from him was when he denied offering me LG panels even though I had an email from him with an LG panel data sheet!
    The Project Manager (PM) was also a nice enough guy, but mostly non-responsive. I had to go over his head on more than one occasion to get anything done. And, his handling of permitting was a disaster. If it wasn't for me contacting my county energy department directly, I probably still would not have a solar install. As it was, it took over six months from sale to install.
    And now I'm dealing with Customer Service after-install about the level of visibility into my system. I was told by sales and PM that I would have per-panel data, but my Enphase account does not provide that access.
    - Michael K.
  • D
    We didn't go with them because, they were too expensive. We didn't like their plan. It was 13 cents a kilowatt and a 20 year contract. There wouldn't have been any out of pocket expense for us. They came out several times and did a lot of work to prepare for the estimate. They were ready to install and we decided not to do it. I would not recommend them.
    - Mike M.
  • B
    Solar Energy World LLC
    I believe it was a quality installation and the system has been running well (after one initial failure not Solar Energy World's fault). ��My biggest issue with the company was communications during the process. ��I think the company had grown too far too fast and they may not have kept up with sufficient support staff. ��That may have changed by now. ��As an engineer, I asked a number of questions and it took some time to get the answers but I eventually did get what I was looking for. ��It also took a little time to work out the details of rewiring the electric panel to allow some circuits to run off of an emergency generator if the electricity goes down (if you're hooked to the grid you get shut down so linemen don't get electrocuted from energy you may be producing with the solar panels), but again, everything was worked out and all is running well. ��The company's field workers did quality work from coming out before the installation to ensure the proper designed etc., to the ones that did the actual installation (setting up the framework then installing the panels and the inverters and wiring). ��A few weeks after the installation, one of the two power inverters went bad (not the fault of Solar Energy World). ��Within a short time they had a new inverter installed (no cost, no hassles) and my system was up and running again at full production. ��The estimates they give for your system are only that. ��Sometimes I've produced significantly less than expected and sometimes significantly more (mostly depends on the weather, snow cover, etc.). ��I had the system sized (10.2 kW, forty 255W panels) to meet my expected overall average energy needs and this year it looks like I'll be close to meeting that goal. ��Since March of last year my electric bills have been $5.36 a month (two fees you can't get rid of if you're hooked to the grid). ��Not only have I gone carbon neutral (I installed geothermal too, replacing oil heat), but my system generates an income for me through the SREC energy credits. ��Why should the big utilities be the only one to make money. ��Solar allows everyone who installs it to use natural resources on their own property that would otherwise go to waste. ��I would use this company again.
    - Thomas R.
  • A
    Direct Energy Solar
    I chose Direct Energy Solar because they had the most competitive financing options. I did not have the money to pay for my system up front and I did not want a lease. Direct Energy had a very straight forward loan option.
    Contract was signed in June 2015, however due to the permitting process by Pepco and Montgomery County it was not installed until October, and I was not able to turn it on until 3 weeks after that. None of these things are Direct Energy's fault. In fact once the county gave the final approval they installed my system within 2 weeks.
    The install guys were very professional and the system looks great on my roof. 
    What I find most impressive is Direct Energy's commitment to their special offers. When I signed on to the system they guaranteed a 60 day install or I would revive a check for $500. My system install was closer to 120 days and true to their word I revived a check for $500 about a month after my system went online.
    After 2 months of use the system works great. I can monitor my daily solar generation and I have not had any problems so far. I would recommend!
    - Matt R.
  • A
    Solar Gaines LLC
    Overall, excellent.  As it stands, I paid $0 up front and am paying about $200/month on my loan.  My system generates about $200/month in electricity, plus I get about $200/month in cash from the SRECs that are sold.  So I the system literally costs me nothing, and my electricity bill went down by $200!!! This compares to the measly $20/month I would have saved by going with the big name place!  Your savings may vary as my roof is pretty good for solar, but definitely go with these guys if you're looking at it from a price standpoint.  If I would have paid the big name place, I would have paid $10,000 more for a system that was 1/3 smaller... yikes.
    I choose a black panel that looked better aesthetically, and a specific inverter that has a backup outlet feature and they were one of the only ones in Maryland that could accommodate both requests.  The system is currently generating about 20-30% MORE electricity than it is guaranteed to produce, which is an added bonus.  All the conduit and panels, etc. were installed very cleanly and professionally, the whole thing looks great.  Most people don't even notice I have solar due to the way my roof/house is oriented.
    The whole process was taken care of by Solar Gaines, all I did was sign a few pieces of paper.  The system was originally promised to be installed fairly quickly, but took a bit longer before everything was worked out with permits, inspections, PEPCO nonsense, and so on.  Most of that was not their fault, but some of it could have been handled/communicated a little better.  I think they were pretty busy at the time.  I spent a lot of time crossing out things I didn't like in their standard contract which were confusing/incorrect and they took the time to make the changes needed to improve their general contract to be more clear.  They definitely wanted to do things correctly.
    Overall, I would definitely go with them again.  Haven't had any problems and got a great deal on the system.

    - Justin Y.
  • C
    Solar Energy World LLC
    Their seminar, plant tour, sales and installation were excellent. Everyone who we met was top notch. Then it all fell apart. Took 3 weeks/3 calls from us to get an inspection scheduled. Thank goodness for Summer in the office, she is professional and does her best to explain and inform. She is the perfect "face" of this company.
    Once our system was installed there was NO follow up. If this company instituted a follow up policy they could avoid what happened to us (not being able to get inspection scheduled) and figure out where there are weaknesses in their company and maybe most importantly, make the customer feel like they care.
    We paid for our system up front, and between the inspection issue and Pepco's timeline we waited 2 months to have it turned on. Solar Energy World needs to explain to customers that there could be a timeframe during which they are still paying in full for their utility and also paying for the solar system.
    They were great at the paperwork and the administrative stuff. We have online access to our metering info and also to the SREC system.
    I really liked this company and selected "recommend" because I don't believe in slamming someone for what appears to be a weakness in their process. Our system has been operational for two months (during the shortest days of the year) and has been generating power, but it's too early to assess. (Unfortunately the net meter was installed by Pepco December 11 and today is February 20 and we have not yet seen a bill. Pepco is a whole other story of probems...)
    I am optimistic that it will all work out.
    NOTE: Gross system cost was $49k less tax credits/grants of $16k equals $33k
    - Christine A.
  • A
    Aurora Energy, Inc.
    I have been interested in solar power for a while and had originally thought of going with one of the major suppliers through a leasing program.  I am so glad that I did a bit more research and found Aurora Energy and Sunpower Solar systems. 
    Jason Brennan from Aurora came out to do my initial estimate and he was the only estimator that actually came out with instrumentation to determine true estimate of solar energy that my roof pitch and heading would receive.  Ideal heading is due south but mine was not far off of it so it was still within the acceptable range.  Jason developed a system and explained to me the upfront costs along with the available tax credits and state grants that would help defray these costs. He also helped me to calculate the total costs versus what I could expect to pay to Pepco and I soon realized that this system would end up paying for itself within 7-8 years.  With a 25 year warranty on the panels, I should realize a significant long term savings on my electrical costs.
    His crew always arrived on time and did their work in a very professional manner.  We had some delays due to the multiple snow days, but his guys were always back as soon as the snow had cleared sufficiently that they could safely work on the ceiling.  The installation went forward like clock work and I am very pleased with the final product.  Jason handled all of the permitting and the paperwork with both Pepco and the Maryland State Energy grant ($1000).  Aurora also has a relationship with Digital Federal Credit Union for an attractive, low rate (4.99%) financing so I didn't have to come up with all costs out of pocket.
    I was also impressed that near the end of the project the owner of the company came out to introduce himself and check on my satisfaction with the work.  Clearly, he is highly involved in the performance of his crews.
    So if you are wondering how my electric bills are, my last bill was for $28.  The bill before that was $206.  My current usage for this month on Pepco's website is a negative 205 Kw which means Pepco is going to pay me for the electricity I produce in excess of what I use.
    Overall, I am very please with Aurora's performance and consider them to be a highly reputable company.
    - Hank W.
  • A
    Solar Energy World LLC
    We wanted to get an early start and it coincided with a rainy season and had some rough times digging very deep large holes for support posts. Their tractor got stuck often on the hill going up to site and had to eventually use some old rugs I was taking to dump to get it up the hill. Concrete was poured and attaching hardware was set into concrete. The foreman at time seemed to be a little unexperienced in ground units and the concrete was a bit rough in some outer edges. The panel installation onto posts was a bit off alignment at first and I had to call the office and have them reset to align the 2 units of 14 panels each so they were aligned properly. They did this immediately and all was well.
    The yard as a mess due to weather conditions but they brought in a lot more top soil then they were planning on, I am sure, to level the ground. This was not an extra charge for all the soil.
    Operation of the 6.5 kw system of 28 panels had been outstanging. Bills over the summer have ranged from $6.00 to $40 depending on weather conditions. Winter a bit more up to $80-90 if our wood stove is not keeping the heat pump off.
    SRECS values dropped immediately as we began making them from over $300 to around $130, but it's all good and seems to more than make up for what we are paying or at least breaking even. It was a good investment.
    State and Fed grants and such were received just as they stated and for the amount stated. County reimbursement is lagging and we are on a waiting list for a property tax  credit. A good investment for us and good for the environment as well.
    - Terrance T.
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Solar Panel Companies in Gaithersburg

Companies below are listed in alphabetical order.

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  • Freeman & Sons

    568 Lebaum St. SE
    Washington D.c., District Of Columbia