After researching many companies, I found The Solar Bros on Yelp last year and decided to give them a call because of all the great reviews they had.
We spoke to Jacob who did a phone interview first and asked me all of the initial questions about our current usage, PG&E billing, and what our ultimate goals were for solar power. After the phone call, a home visit was scheduled about two days later where he came out and showed us a customized presentation for our house and how we could best achieve 100% solar generation for the lowest cost.
The Solar Bros have industry leading panels to achieve a higher power output per panel than any other manufacturer. We were able to purchase less of their 360 watt panels than would have been necessary from a competitor with 260 watt panels. The Solar Bros also uses "micro inverters", which means each panel on the roof has it's own power inverter which makes having one central inverter unnecessary. This is great for future expansion to add more panels as central inverters can only handle a limited number of panels per unit.
The Solar Bros warranty is also pretty great. They offer 25 years on both the product and power generation, claiming that their panels will still generate 60% more power at the 25 year mark than the current competitions' product.
After the in-home meeting I received one more quote from another local solar company, but they could not beat the price+minimum number of panels+warranty that ultimately sold us on The Solar Bros. We did decide to purchase/finance as opposed to leasing the equipment.
Once we gave approval to The Solar Bros to proceed, the loan process and inspection all happened within a week after. Initially they had told us it could be up to 6-8 weeks before our installation date, so imagine my shock when they called to schedule the installation only two weeks later!
The installation crew did a great job for us. The install took two days. On day one they removed the concrete tiles where the panel mounts go, attached the panel mounting hardware to the roof, and installed the flashing around them. On day two they installed the panels, the control unit, and wired everything up. All of the workers were friendly and they were even considerate enough to cordon off our front garden area to prevent anyone from accidentally stepping in it. The city inspector came that afternoon and signed off on the work. Before they left I was shown the complete system and all of the work done; plus they assisted me with creating an account and downloading the iPhone monitoring app. The last step was to wait for authorization from PG&E to flip the switch and go live with solar!
I received email notification from PG&E about five days later so I went to the garage and (unceremoniously) turned on the solar breakers to activate the system. We've been running since January 14th and it's been pretty awesome to see in the monitoring software how much power we generate vs. how much we use each day.
Slightly less than a month from start to finish and an easy and professional experience from these folks!