Is Project Solar a Good Company?
Project Solar was founded in 2016 by Trevor Hiltbrand with a goal to decrease the cost of going solar. Their DIY installation process has completely eliminated the need for door-to-door salesmen, which has significantly lowered the price.
Project Solar has developed many resources to assist customers in installing the solar array themselves, but professional installation is still available to those who want it.
|How does Project Solar’s DIY process work?||The DIY process is very similar to the professional installation process up until the installation step.
Customers start by making a $100 deposit, sending in pictures of the home, finalizing the design, and signing the contract. Project Solar then draws up engineering plans and submits them to receive permits.
Those who choose the DIY option will have the solar equipment shipped to their home once the plans are approved. Customers can use resources provided by Project Solar to install the equipment themselves.
After passing the final inspection, the solar system will be activated.
|What payment options does Project Solar offer?||Project Solar offers cash purchase and loan options. They partner with lenders to get the best rates on solar loans, but they do not provide financing for DIY solar projects.
Those who choose the DIY option must pay with cash or get financing through a third-party.
|Does Project Solar sell high quality equipment?||Yes, Project Solar sells high quality solar equipment. They are very transparent about the equipment they offer.
Project Solar sells solar panels from Silfab, ZN Shine, mSolar, CanadianSolar, and Q-Cells. Their microinverters and home batteries are all from Enphase Energy.
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Do Customers Like Project Solar?
Project Solar has received more than 80 verified reviews on BestCompany.com, and the majority have positive things to say about their experience working with the solar company. 79% of customers left a 4- or 5-star review, and 15% left a 1- or 2-star review.
Many happy customers praise Project Solar for:
- Excellent customer service
- High quality equipment
- Quick & smooth installation
- Better prices than competitors
- Good communication & fast response to questions
One satisfied customer who followed their DIY process said:
“Project Solar provided good equipment and support and the lowest price. I am really happy with the solar array that we now own and I installed it myself with their support. I recommend them as a good company to work with.” - Will
Those who were disappointed with their experience frequently mentioned:
- Poor communication
- Changed project managers several times
- Multiple delays
Project Solar Process
Before signing a contract to work with Project Solar, the Customer Support Team will provide a quote and answer any questions you may have. Once you decide to move forward, Project Solar requires a $100.00 deposit.
Project Solar claims that most projects take between two and four months to complete from the initial deposit through installation. However, because the permitting process relies on the response from multiple third parties, this timeline can vary.
The first several steps of the process are the same, regardless of the installation option chosen.
First, the customer submits information and photos to an Onboarding Specialist. They help the customer choose a design, and once it is finalized, the customer signs a contract.
The engineering team will use the photos and other information about the customer’s home to create electrical and structural plans. If the engineers think that the home needs any additional upgrades to make the solar project work, they will need to receive the customer’s approval before proceeding.
With the customer’s permission, Project Solar’s permitting team will submit the official plans to local departments for approval.
4. Utility Company Application
Project Solar will complete the local utility company’s application process and sign up for a net-metering program (if it is offered locally).
Customers who opted to install the system themselves will have equipment shipped to their home. They can then follow the extensive resources offered by Project Solar to install the solar array.
Those who chose professional installation will schedule a time for the installation. Professional installation can take between one and two days.
The home must pass an inspection to receive Permission to Operate (PTO) from the utility company.
Once Project Solar has received PTO from the utility company, they will contact the customer to turn the solar system on and make sure the customer has access to the Enphase App.
Project Solar Pricing
Project Solar is one of very few solar companies that are transparent with their costs. By eliminating the need for salesmen, they are able to offer competitive pricing.
Because each solar project is unique, their website provides a long list of possible additional fees. The following is not a comprehensive list, but its purpose is to demonstrate their transparency in regards to pricing:
Cost of Solar
- Full service: $1.54 - $1.75 per watt
- DIY: $1.19 - $1.40 per watt
The above costs are after incentives.
Possible Additional Fees
- Site survey (if you can’t send pictures): $200
- Less than 4kW DIY system: $1,000
- Less than 4kW full installation: $2,000
- Same day install cancellation: $1,000
- 4+ arrays: $500
The above costs are before incentives.
Project Solar Payment Options
Another way that Project Solar is able to offer competitive pricing is through financing options that do not include dealer fees.
Of the most common solar payment options, Project Solar accepts cash purchases and loans. They do not have lease or PPA options available.
Professional Installation Financing
Customers who choose to have their solar professionally installed can pay with cash or a loan.
To provide competitive rates on solar loans, Project Solar partners with different financing companies, including the following:
- Clean Energy Credit Union
- Dividend Finance
- Climate First Bank
While loan rates change based on the customer’s credit school, lender, and term, rates among their partners are between 4.99% and 6.99%.
Unfortunately, Project Solar’s lender partners do not finance DIY solar projects. Those who choose the DIY route must pay in cash or use a third-party to finance their system.
Project Solar accepts any independent financing, but payments must follow the same schedule in the contract regarding cash payments.
Project Solar is also very transparent about the solar equipment they offer.
Project Solar offers solar panels with varying wattages and different brands to accommodate each homeowner’s unique needs.
All of Project Solar’s preferred solar panels are monocrystalline and come with 25-year warranties. To create the best curb appeal for your home, all of their solar panels are also black-on-black.
|Brand||Model||Power||Year 25 Power|
|mSolar||120BB HC Series||365W||84.3%|
|CanadianSolar||CS3N-395, 400||395W - 400W||84.25%|
|Q-Cells||Q.PEAK DUO BLK ML-G10||385W - 410W||85%|
|Q-Cells||Q.PEAK DUO BLK-G6+ / AC 340||340W||85%|
Project Solar installs microinverters from Enphase Energy, which is a trustworthy and reliable solar technology company.
They install the Enphase Energy IQ7+ and IQ8+. Both come with 25-year warranties and operate at 97.6% efficiency, but the IQ8+ is slightly more expensive.
Project Solar offers Enphase IQ batteries in two different sizes: 10.08kWh and 3.36kWh. The larger size costs $9,796 after installation and incentives.
Because the microinverters and batteries both come from Enphase, homeowners can use the Enphase App to track the flow of solar energy through the microinverters, to the battery, and throughout the home.
The Enphase IQ batteries come with a controller that allows you to turn appliances off and on depending on the power left in your backup battery.
Project Solar Warranty
Every piece of equipment from Project Solar comes with a 25-year manufacturer warranty. This includes a performance guarantee which promises that the solar panels will be producing 80% of their original power production after 25 years.
We highly recommend Project Solar for their unique DIY process and competitive pricing. With professional or DIY installation, customers are able to skip the many in-personal conversations with a sales representative, which significantly decreases the cost.
Project Solar is also very transparent about their pricing and equipment, which helps homeowners to quickly decide if the company is a good fit for their situation.