Going solar is gaining in popularity but if you are thinking of making the transition, then you want to go about it in the smartest way possible. Would you buy a car without taking a test drive, or researching your options, consulting reviews and shopping around for the best price? Installing solar panels is a similarly expensive undertaking, on the order of $20,000 for an average 5 kW system. But what you get with solar panels that you don’t get with most cars, is an investment, not just one that pays off in your bank account under the right circumstances, up to thousands of dollars per year over their average lifetime of 20 years, but one that is also an investment in a cleaner future.
Taking a solar energy test drive
Because the test drive is such a critical element of most car purchases, we asked ourselves why such a service didn’t exist for solar panels, and then we built one! With Sunmetrix GO, you can install virtual panels, see how much electricity you would generate and how that compares to your actual electricity consumption, even hour by hour if you take the extra step of uploading your Green Button data from your utility. We use satellite data, thousands of images for each location, so it takes a few minutes to process your site (on average ten minutes) so please be patient – the results are worth the wait (and because each site has to be linked to the homeowner, we do require you to create a free account). On your Dashboard, you can look back at what happened last month, when perhaps there was a heat wave, or last week when you were away on holiday maybe, and see what happened. Getting just a single number about your solar potential, as other solar websites offer, is a bit like planning for winter with a single average temperature of 20F. Wouldn’t you want to know that some days it dips to -15F? We show you the variation, so that you can know what to expect when you install panels on your roof, and you will be able to choose the system size that best meets your needs.
Do your research
Doing some of your own research and getting some preliminary numbers is a great first step. You can get a ton of useful information and numbers using our solar energy calculator, Sunmetrix Discover, which doesn’t require any registration. From there you can use our Buy or Lease calculator or check out the tax credits, solar rebates and other financial incentives available to you in the United States or in Canada. And if you want to learn more about a particular solar topic, we offer you more than 250 articles about solar energy that are full of practical information to help you as you navigate this important decision. Just visit the Learn section of our website and see all the great articles we’ve written for you! By doing this initial research, you will get even more out of your GO test drive and be better informed when you speak to installers.
Check out installer reviews
Speaking of installers, you might be wondering how to proceed when it comes to selecting which company to work with. We have a comprehensive database of highly-rated installers with reviews from homeowners just like you. You can search the list of installers in your area by ratings or distance and each installer has a dedicated page with more details about their company.
Get quotes with Sunmetrix and get cash back
Lastly, getting quotes – you’ve heard the advice before: it pays to get more than one quote. We encourage homeowners to get three because it’s not until you speak with the installers and that you receive their quote, that you can choose the installer that is the best fit for you. And better still, if you go through Sunmetrix to request your quotes, we can help you get the best cashback deal when you complete your installation. We help you through the quote request process with our Best Match service, where you let us find the best three installers in your area based on their reviews, proximity and any potential rebates they are offering. Or if you prefer, you can select for yourself the installers you wish to receive quotes from (up to three at a time). Our quote request service is absolutely free for the homeowner and the quotes you receive from the installer are free, no-obligation quotes.
We want to help you through the entire process of initial research to getting your quotes. At Sunmetrix, it is our mission to help homeowners go solar, one home at a time! We’re here to serve you, so please get in touch, share your experience and tell us how you think we could help more.