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Local solar installation contractors. Solar panel final inspection

Local solar installation contractors. Solar panel final inspection


    US News ranked Colorado Springs as #3 on the list of Best Places to Live in America in 2020. High altitude living in the Springs is perfect for Air Force aviation, Olympic training, and bringing people a little bit closer to the power of the sun. Yessir, you guessed it, Colorado Springs also makes the list of best places to go solar.

    Blue Raven Solar is proud to be part of an effort to install over 1,000 megawatts (MW) of solar in Colorado over next 5 years, and Colorado Springs is helping lead the way. By 2050, 100 percent of the city’s energy needs are projected to be met by renewable energy sources.

    InterNACHI®: Inspecting Solar Components with Ecolibrium Solar®

    The benefits of this resolution are trickling down to local residents too. Because you live in Colorado Springs you can take advantage of not only the Federal solar tax credit, but also an added bonus… Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) “offers a [


    BRS Field Ops, LLC Electrical Contractor: EC.0101302


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    Save tens of thousands of dollars over your lifetime

    BluePower Plus™ is the most innovative and cutting edge solar financing product on the market by far. Here’s why…

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    Our BluePower Plus plan combines the best financing aspects of a 3rd party owned solar lease, called a power purchase agreement (PPA), with the superior return and flexibility of solar ownership.

    Inspecting Photovoltaic Systems (Solar Panels)

    With BluePower Plus™ you will get 18 months of free solar power, transforming your utility bill into monthly savings you can count on. Learn more about the cost of solar for your home by contacting us, as the price differs for each system installed.

    SmartStart from Blue Raven is the best way to save money with solar from day one. The first 18-month solar payment is a low, promotional amount offered by the lender. The SmartStart program from Blue Raven Solar extends the promotion an additional 42 months by sending you a monthly check to keep your payment the same. This unique 5 year offer is exclusively from Blue Raven Solar.


    Want to be solar Smart? This free ebook covers the basics to help you make an informed decision-from understanding the cost benefits to determining if solar is right for you.

    “We chose Blue Raven because each of the initial contacts was pleasant and professional. We also saw some positive ratings online and can now add our own affirmation. Throughout the process the workers were easy to communicate with and did quality work. After one year we are experiencing just what they predicted, i.e. we are no longer being charged for electricity, but only the very small amount the utility charges to be on their system. We received our tax credit this spring and very happy after one full year.”

    – Paul H.

    Our Colorado Springs Google Reviews

    I have been very impressed with Blue Raven throughout the process of selecting and installing solar panels. Based on the recommendation from two. family members, I selected Blue Raven as one of several choices for installing new solar panels. Blue Raven uses high-quality products and they have great customer service. From a first hand account of a family member, the solar panels are impact resistant, and have survived two hail storms that damaged the roof, two Windows and cars. Both family members had very good experiences with the company, including adding more panels at a later date.I found the whole process to be very smooth and straightforward. The representative I spoke with on initial consultation through a video call, was very knowledgeable and helpful. The company provided great information about different options for service and installation. Engineering schematics and explanations were user friendly, and easy to interpret.Once I selected Blue Raven, they moved forward quickly to get the necessary city and power company permits and even started the application process for my HOA. Blue Raven had an installation date before I was even ready. On installation day, the team of installers and electricians showed up promptly at 8 AM and completed the entire installation in one day. (My neighbor, who went with a different company, lamented that it took his installers six days over eight months to get his system up!)All 19 panels are up and running, and I am now just waiting on the power company to install the net meter and the city inspectors to approve the installation.Overall, I have been very pleased with the whole process, and I highly recommend going with Blue Raven. read more

    This is been a great experience from start to finish! If I’ve had any questions, their customer service has stepped in to help me. One time I got. disconnected, and their customer service rep sent me a text, saying he noticed we were disconnected and had already submitted a ticket on my behalf. Isn’t that awesome?!I can’t wait to see how much money I save with my new solar panels.Alicia read more

    Instalación fue muy profesional y eficaz, el electricista muy detallado y el grupo de instalación muy rápidos y organizados

    .25 per watt] rebate to customers who install grid-connected solar-electric systems” (contact us for details).

    If you live in Colorado Springs, keeping the air clean, the environment green, and saving money on utilities are a high priority. We are helping homeowners across the Springs take control of energy costs using solar energy systems. Equipment have dropped 55 percent over the last 5 years, making solar a no-brainer.

    Other cities we service in Colorado:

    Example solar panel system in the Bay Area

    Blue Ribbon Supply Company in South San Francisco have a 36.3 kW rooftop system system, which is publicly available via the Enphase Enlighten portal allowing us to see the output of the system. The system is installed due south, with a very small pitch of just 5° (nearly flat on the roof), using Enphase micro inverters, and Sharp solar panels (ND-216U1F Sharp).

    The graphs show actual energy output in 15 min intervals.

    Summer solar production. July

    We can see that on a sunny day in summer, overall production is at 222 kWh for the day (6.12 kWh per kW of solar installed). Whilst peak output reached 6.8 kWh over 15 min around 1pm.

    Winter solar production. January

    On this reasonably sunny day in winter, we see overall production is a lot lower, at 101 kWh for the day (2.8 kWh per kW of solar). Whilst peak output reached 4.9 kWh over 15 min near midday.

    Example solar panel system in San Diego

    Verengo Solar from Anaheim installed this residential system in San Diego. It’s a 6 kW rooftop system system, which is publicly available via the Enphase Enlighten portal allowing us to see the output of the system. The system is installed with 14 Hyundai HiS-S250MG 250W panels facing SW, and 10 panels facing SE using Enphase micro inverters.

    The graphs show actual energy output in 15 min intervals.

    Summer solar production. June

    On a sunny day in summer, overall production is at 37.77 kWh for the day (6.3 kWh per kW of solar installed). Whilst peak output reached 4.35 kWh (over a 1 hr period) around 2pm. The peak is later in the day due to more panels facing westerly.

    Winter solar production. January

    On a sunny day in winter, overall production is at 20.52 kWh for the day (3.42 kWh per kW of solar installed). Whilst peak output reached 3.23 kWh (over a 1 hr period) around midday.

    Solar Cost and ROI in California

    Examples of some pricing that we have seen on the forum for quotes near California:

    • Panels: 12.47 kW, 43 x 290W Hanwha Qcells | Inverter: SMA Sunny Boy | Price: USD25,000 before tax incentives (5000.00 per W)
    • Panels: 14 kW, 46 x 305W Hanwha Qcells Q.Peak G4 | Inverter: Enphase micro inverters | Price: USD35,075 before tax incentives (5000.50 per W)
    • Panels: 13.4 kW, 41 x 327W SunPower AC with built in micro inverter | Price: USD36,539 before tax incentives (5000.72 per W)

    For more information about solar in California check out our forum, where you can ask our experts anything about solar, or get your solar quotes reviewed. Here are a few topics that may be of interest:

    “I am in the San Francisco area in California

    After tax rebates and incentives, the difference shrinks down to 3500 between SunPower and REC panels so closer.

    The REC dealer is gently but consistently pushing Solar Edge with power optimizers and says that the Envoy Box accompanying the Enphase microinverter system will need to be replaced after 5-10 years. (The warranty is 5 years whereas all other parts of the system are 25 years.) Is this a common maintenance that needs to be serviced in the life of Enphase microinverter systems with monitoring? I haven’t heard this at all from the SunPower dealer so is this because the “customized” microinverters Enphase supplies to SunPower somehow bypasses this problem?”

    “You mentioned Qcells, It think they would probably be a good balance of quality, performance and affordability. Obviously you would get more generation from using high efficient SunPower or LG, but it would push out the payback period. They might work out to be better ROI in the long run though, not sure, would be interesting to calculate that.”

    Solar panel site evaluation

    You’re certified, you’ve built your brand. and have landed your first prospective client. It’s time to take the first step towards your first solar install.

    For a successful solar installation, the site needs to be evaluated to ensure the best panel placement. taking into account shade, sun angle, weather, and more. Thankfully, planning a solar installation is easier than ever thanks to Aurora Solar’s remote planning software.

    Step 1: installation company evaluation

    In a bygone era, solar installers had to conduct on-site visits to evaluate solar output potential. Those days are fading fast. Aurora’s solar design software estimates a proposed location’s potential solar output and generates complete solar designs and sales proposals with just an address and an electric bill.

    Simplify your solar projects with Aurora Solar’s solar design software. Schedule a public demo with our sales team today!

    Step 2: engineering evaluation

    Once a contract is signed, the installer will have to put boots on the ground to ensure the site is ready to go solar. Until recently, an engineer had to conduct a second site visit to evaluate site compatibility. Nowadays, most projects only require one visit after remote evaluation is complete. In this visit, the installer will inspect roof integrity and the electrical configuration of the home to make sure the 3D renderings from Step 1 will actually work on the real site.

    Solar panel logistics paperwork

    There’s no way around it, solar panel installation does require some paperwork, and many customers expect their installers to handle pencil-pushing for them. Several intuitive apps can help navigate the process, making permitting, bill of materials, and installation easier.

    Here’s some of the paperwork you should expect:


    Solar panels are treated like any other improvement to a home or business and thus require local building permits. It used to be up to you, the installer, to identify the Authority-Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) for each project — but Aurora can now help with our automatic AHJ identification and database. You also need to know the various permitting requirements and ensure your project meets them. The permit process will include:

    • Permit from local building department(s). which typically includes a site plan outlining panel location, mounting configuration, wiring diagrams, grid connection details, and other factors.
    • Paperwork filed to local utilities. usually including a “net metering” agreement, a contract outlining the terms of electric rates after installation, and compensation for surplus energy sold back to the utility.

    A quick word on change orders. Simply put, a change order is a document recording a change to an original construction contract. A permit may require changes to your original plan, and those changes will be reflected in the final project cost. Nearly half of solar installers reported change orders impacted 10-30% of their projects. and about seven percent see change orders affect over half their projects.

    Reducing change orders allows the installer to give accurate quotes and stick to them, avoiding unforeseen expenses and legal hurdles later on. Aurora Solar offers permit-ready designs for installers, helping you avoid change orders and deliver the most efficient system possible.

    Funding and incentives

    Going solar has never been more affordable. New installations pay for themselves in as little as five years. and produce free and clean energy for two decades or more. Plenty of incentives exist making solar even more affordable, and good installers know what they are and how to secure them for their clients.

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    • Federal Solar Incentives. The beloved Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) got a long-term extension and a return to greater benefits with the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. Residential solar installations and battery storage get a 30% tax credit until step down begins in 2033, with commercial solar and storage enjoying a 30% credit until 2025.
    • State Solar Incentives. State solar incentives can be claimed in addition to the Federal ITC. Like the ITC, state incentives are generally calculated as a percentage of the system’s cost. Most states require minimum costs to apply, and credit amounts vary greatly by state.
    • Local Solar Incentives. Many local and state governments offer other financial incentives for solar. Property-Assessed Clean Energy programs. or PACE, represent money set aside by participating local and state governments and made available to PACE lenders, who then issue funds to homeowners or businesses looking to make renewable energy improvements.
    • Rebates. Many state and local governments, utility companies, and solar suppliers offer cash rebates to encourage solar energy. Rebates can offset the cost of new installations by 10-20%, and vary by region and supplier.
    • Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs). SRECs put a dollar-value on non-power aspects of solar electricity generation, such as environmental and social co-benefits. Enrolled producers earn SRECs per megawatt of clean energy produced, and can sell their credits to help offset solar installation costs. Use this tool to find SREC programs to help your customers make the most of their investment in solar energy.
    • Other Clean Energy Financing. Other financial incentives exist on a community and organizational level to help offset solar installation costs. Types, eligibility, and locations vary greatly. Use the DSIRE database to explore various state and federal credits, rebates, SRECs, and other incentives rewarding homeowners and businesses for going solar.

    Solar panel equipment selection

    With the pencil-pushing done, it’s time to get back to the fun stuff. Once you’ve secured all the paperwork and ensured your customer is getting all the financial incentives available, it’s time to start shopping for the right equipment.

    Aurora Solar offers a vetted database of solar panels and components to suit your project’s needs, as well as automated planning software to help you “string” your panels for maximum efficiency.

    Do I Need a “Certified Solar Installer?”

    The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is a non-profit organization that certifies solar installers.

    Solar certification is nice to have, but not necessary to perform a solar installation. A track record of quality work is far more important than a certification as a “solar installer.”

    A solar certification means that your installer was interested in learning about solar. They took a course and passed the exit test at the end. In some cases, they may have also pursued NABCEP’s continuing education credits.

    Think of it like interviewing candidates for a new position at your work. A college degree is a positive indication that the candidate is interested in learning and growing. But simply having a degree doesn’t mean they’re good at what they do – the best indicator is real-world experience in their field.

    NABCEP certification is the same way. It’s a positive sign, but it’s not a substitute for hands-on experience in the real world. Ideally, you’d find someone who has both.

    Aside from NABCEP, some areas have additional certifications that are mandatory to comply with local building codes. For example, in Oregon, all contractors must have a license from the Oregon Construction Contractors Board for solar installations to be up to code.

    Check your local jurisdiction to be sure you clear the bar for a code-compliant installation.

    What Do the Best Solar Installers Have to Offer?


    Installers should hold at least a C-10 license, which is a general electrical contractor’s license. Most people hire an electrician to hook up their system at the end of the project. You want to be sure they’re licensed to handle the wiring and electrical components of your system.


    Insurance not only protects your contractor, it protects your property from damages in case something goes wrong during the project.

    If they damage your property and don’t have insurance, they’re still liable to cover it, but it may require a protracted legal battle to recover the money to make repairs.

    No legitimate contractor works without insurance. If they aren’t insured, run for the hills.

    Workmanship Warranty

    The best solar installers stand behind their work. A workmanship warranty covers any problems that arise as a result of faulty installation. If a panel comes loose because it wasn’t screwed down properly, the workmanship warranty would cover the repairs.

    Contractors offer a broad range on these warranties, anywhere between 1 and 10 years of coverage.

    Be wary of new companies offering long warranties. They may promise a 10-year warranty to close a sale, but there’s no guarantee they’ll stick around long enough to follow through on it.

    If a company offers an extended warranty, make sure they have a verifiable history of doing business in the solar industry. You want to be sure they’ll still be around 10 years from now to honor that warranty.

    Reputation Longevity

    This is a continuation of a few of the points above. Solar is an industry with a long sales cycle and an even longer product lifespan. Some people spend more than a year planning out their system, and panels are warrantied for 25 years.

    For this reason, it’s a huge advantage to find an installer with a long and steady work history. You want to be sure they won’t flake on your project before it’s finished.

    You also hope they’ll stay in business long enough to honor their workmanship warranty, and perform any additional repairs or maintenance in the future (like replacing the inverter halfway through the life of the system).

    Make sure your installer has a long-standing reputation.

    Competitive Quotes

    Solar is still in a bit of a Wild West phase. There’s not a lot of visibility into pricing, and different contractors charge drastically different rates for solar installations. Some are more competitive than others.

    Independent contractors bill around 450 per watt to install a solar system (equipment cost not included). That price can vary based on availability and project complexity.

    We’ve seen every billing structure imaginable, but the most common (and fairest) approach is cost-per-watt. Your installer should bill you a flat rate based on the size of your system.

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    450 per watt is a good target price for installation (not including equipment costs). For example, you’d pay about 10,000 for a 7kW system, and an independent contractor might charge you another 7000 to install it.

    But that can fluctuate based on project scope and the level of local competition. In less populated areas, there tend to be just a few competent installers are booked several weeks out. Because the demand is high, you could pay a premium to land a slot on their schedule.

    To mitigate this, contact as many installers as possible and gather quotes to make sure the rate you get is competitive. You might be surprised at the disparity between bids. This extra bit of legwork could legitimately save you a few thousand dollars on your install.

    How Long Should Solar Installation Take?

    Standard solar installations take just a few days. A professional crew of 3 people can install a solar system in a day if there are no delays.

    The paperwork is in and permits have cleared. It’s time to buckle down and build the system.

    Expect a standard installation to take 1-4 days of physical build time, depending on the experience and size of the crew. Most installation crews work in teams of 2-3 people.

    Certain factors can lengthen the installation process. For example, the crew might come out a few days early to pour footings and let the concrete set for a ground-mount system. Or you might need to upgrade an old electrical service panel. The extra prep work may add a few days to the total build time.

    Of course, you might run into larger problems. If they start drilling and hit bedrock, they might need to bring in different footings or specialty equipment to lay the foundation. That will add to the cost and timeframe of the project significantly.

    Roof mounts can experience delays as well. Sometimes people discover their roof isn’t structurally sound, either due to age or damage from the elements. In these cases, your solar installation project grows into a full roof upgrade or replacement.

    This is obviously a much larger undertaking, and you should budget time accordingly. Your installer should be able to provide a clear quote outlining the scope of the project and give an estimated timeframe for each part of the work.

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