I'm trying to install 33 solar panels across two roof surfaces (11 on the main house, 22 on the detached garage). Got two bids one from Sphere Solar and another from a larger regional installer. The bids were actually comparable, however a few things pushed me to use Sphere Solar and team:
1. Sphere solar was able to commit to finishing the project by Sept 30th 2017, when the state sales tax exemption expires for solar projects. This saved me 10% right there.
2. Edwin the owner of Sphere solar was very knowledgable in the whole project - one would expect the larger installer know better, totally wrong! In the solar industry, all it matters for the consumer are the panels and inverters, since the warranty on them are provided by the manufacturer. The only difference between different installers are workmanship warranty which runs 10 years and the system is modularized enough that fixing it isn't hard even if your installer runs out of business.
3. Sphere solar came with a bid 10% lower than the other installer (due to tax savings) with a better inverter - we ended up with Enphase M250 micro-inverters instead of solar edge optimizers + line inverter offered by the other installer. This upgrade offered by Edwin is vital in the overall quality of the system for two things (a) micro-inverters are a little more efficient than line inverter so the output is higher (b) Line inverters have a life expectancy of 10 years however micro-inverters are backed by 25 year manufacturer's warranty so it will last as long as the panels.
4. The tipping point form me to choose Edwin came when he found out that I needed to run a new trench between the detached garage and the house instead of re-using a conduit I put in last year. The other bigger installer did not brought this up at all but vaguely mentioned to me that if they needed to run trench after their electrical team took a look I would need to provide the trench. Totally not cool! After some back and forth I felt being lied to by the sales people of the other installer who refused to even dig the trench even if I pay more for it, and Edwin offered to do the trench within the proposed bid! I truly liked the business which are willing to go the extra mile to keep the consumer happy and protected!
5. On top of all the great work he has done, Edwin brought up a problem with my existing conduit which happened to run too shallow to be up to code during the trench work. I was really grateful that this was found out so I was able to get it fixed properly.
Overall, I'm a very happy customer and would definitely recommend Sphere Solar energy!