Let’s take a look at a few commonly asked questions about investing in solar today, as well as some specifics about the services we offer.
- Why Should I "Go Solar" Anyway?
- Isn't solar too expensive for most people?
- How are you different from other solar companies?
- What do you mean by a "true" apples to apples comparison?
- If I hire an Uptown Energy Solutions Consultant, what exactly do I get?
- Does Uptown Energy Solutions’ service cost me anything?
- Does Uptown Energy Solutions offer Commercial services?
- Can an “everyday” homeowner afford Uptown Energy Solutions’ service?
- Will I save money by hiring Uptown Energy Solutions?
- Does Uptown Energy Solutions do PV solar system design?
- What solar installation companies do you work with? I'd really like to learn about a specific one.
- What technologies do you work with?
Answer: If you don’t know already, we’ll spell it out for you: a solar installation can, in fact, save you a bundle of money on your electricity costs as well as reduce our state’s greenhouse gas emissions. Yes, that global warming thing you’ve been hearing about is real and yes, you can actually do something about it while also personally benefiting immediately.
Answer: Not at all. Costs have dropped significantly over the last few years and many more organizations are offering low-interest loans to help you get solar on your roof today, even for $0 down. This has caused solar installations to boom all over the world, all over the United States, and yes, even right here in Florida. The 30% Investment Tax Credit currently being offered by the US Government is a huge help to many buyers of solar as well, but it will not last forever. So even though costs are still dropping, you should act soon to take advantage of this 30% discount.
Furthermore, based on recently breaking industry developments these low product costs we’ve been enjoying may not last forever either.
If you’re still not sure if you believe us, that’s fine. Just pay attention next time you hear about a multi-million (or billion) dollar company investing in solar here in Florida (like IKEA, Walt Disney World, the US Air Force, and even some banks already have) and realize that they would not be doing that if it didn’t make financial sense. If it makes sense for them, it can make sense for you too.
Answer: This is our favorite question – we are the “first of our kind” in Florida, unlike any other companies you may have heard of nationally, and coined the term “Full-Service Solar Consultant.”
We do not physically install solar panels, we purely act as a consumer advocate and educator. We just want to help you find the right installer to fit your project needs, and make sure you understand what each installer is offering so that you can feel comfortable and confident before you make a purchase. While a company whose only job is to sell and install solar equipment will benefit the most purely from you spending a lot of money, we benefit the most when your investment makes the most financial sense. (See the question “Does Uptown Energy Solutions’ service cost me anything?”, below, for more information on our costs.)
A big advantage of PV solar technology is that there are a standard set of equations that can be used to calculate the benefits a buyer can expect to receive from their installation. However, the person doing the calculating still has the opportunity to choose the numbers the use in the equations. In other words, different individuals can get different results for the benefits of a system, even if they are using the same equations, simply by choosing different inputs.
So, in the real world, when you compare proposals from different installers, you are almost guaranteed to see very different estimates for expected financial benefits, even if they are proposing the same equipment. This creates an obvious problem when comparing each proposal side-by-side.
We do our own analysis on each proposal our clients receive, using the same set of inputs for each project. This is called using a “standardized approach” and is only way to truly compare solar proposals side-by-side, apples-to-apples.
Answer: Uptown Energy Solutions will provide you with a professional solar expert specifically assigned to your project to teach you more about the benefits of investing in solar, and help you determine if a solar project may be right for you. Then, your Solar Energy Consultant (SEC) will act as your personal advocate and reach out to the local installation professionals in your area, collect quotes for your project, and prepare a report which compares what each company has offered. No matter how many quotes you want to look at, you only have to talk to with one person, and a stack of proposals will be reduced to just a few pages. Plus, even after you’ve signed a contract with an installer, your SEC will continue to be available to help you see your project through to completion.
Answer: Yes, but only if solar is truly a good fit for your application. Our full-service consultation brings you value by helping you save money and many, many hours of your own time, but we ask only for a small percentage of your savings. We feel this is much better than other experts or sales reps who may be paid as an hourly rate or a percentage of your total project cost. This ground-breaking strategy ensures your Solar Energy Consultant (SEC) will be motivated to make sure you are generating more AND spending less. Normally the additional cost for you is only about 3% of the project total, and is paid only after we’ve found you an awesome deal.
Also, because our percentage is so small, you know we won’t be pushing you to go through with an installation unless we expect you to receive a significant return on your investment.
Answer: Yes. Our service is perfectly applicable to a company of any size who would like an industry expert on their team to help lead the way through their solar investment. We’ve got the technical know-how and analytic capabilities that your C-level Execs are sure to love. Please contact us or visit our Commercial Solutions page for more information.
Answer: Absolutely! Our service is simply designed for those who place a high value on their time. Because we’re able to leverage technology and an innovative pricing structure to bring a premier service to homeowners at a fair, affordable price, our service can apply to anyone at any income level.
Answer: The short answer is that yes, you absolutely could save money with our service. Often times the difference between the most expensive quote we receive and the least expensive quote we receive is several thousands of dollars. If you were to reach out on your own, who knows which you would find.
However, we always like to remind our clients that sometimes you get what you pay for, and everyone’s needs are different. With 100+ installers operating in Florida, each will offer a unique combination of price, products, skills, experience, service, and culture. So, although you can save money with our service, the biggest benefit of utilizing our Solar Investment Consultation service is knowing what your options are and choosing the total package which will allow you to move forward with confidence.
Answer: Yes and no. Our team is armed with engineering experience and advanced solar design software, and we use these to model and simulate the performance of each company’s proposed system. However, we do not perform the final design and engineering for county permitting, or guarantee any performance results. We believe it is in our client’s best interest for the company who is completing the installation to have full knowledge of and control over the system that they are physically installing.
Answer: We are a no-conflict of interest service. We are willing and able to work with anyone, and will gladly contact a specific company on our client’s behalf at their request, whether we have worked with them in the past or not.
Answer: Our service is primarily directed towards PV Solar customers since this technology has the ability to generate the greatest savings for our clients.
In terms of PV solar technology, we work with the same panel and inverter options that are available to your the national and local installation companies. The most common manufacturers we see include SolarWorld, Hanwha, SunPower, Trina, Enphase, SMA (SunnyBoy), and SolarEdge.