Where to Buy DIY Solar

Last year I tried selling residential photovoltaic solar systems. It didn’t go well. One thing that convinced me not to pursue it further was that a prospect of mine priced out a Do It Yourself system and ended up paying a lot less than what I would have charged him. I spoke to him recently and he’s very happy with the system.

He installed the system with the help of a contractor and it’s been running for a few months now just fine. He bought the hardware through Mr Solar.com (phone 888-680-2427) and had it installed by Thomas Houghton, owner of Sun Energy Engineering (phone 925-217-1629) in Pleasant Hill, CA.

He said he has had no problems with the equipment and that the manufacturer’s warrantees are all very good. And the contractor was excellent though he had to call and pester him a little to get him on the job. You can’t really fault the contractor too sharply on that because, well, that’s how it always ends up going.

M. K. said that Sun Energy Engineering was able to get about a 20% discount off the prices published on the MrSolar.com website.

I was able to sell a 5 kilowatt system at about $8/kilowatt. That’s $40,000 complete. I estimate that M. K. got his system for maybe $24k + $3k installation = $27,000. That’s $13,000…. 1/3 off! Of course, he had to manage the process himself and figure out all the paperwork. The paperwork can be a bother but it’s certainly not $13,000 of pain!

The prices I’m mentioning don’t include city, state and federal rebate programs which often end up reducing the price of a system by half.

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