A1 Solar Power was founded in 1986 and boasts decades of experience in the renewable energy industry. The solar company installs residential and commercial solar projects throughout California, and uses only the most current technologies and state-of-the-art solar techniques to make sure their customers are receiving the best possible solar electric systems available and only the ones that best suit their needs. A1 Solar Power provides clients with expert recommendations for the system that is best suited to their energy needs, budget, and expectations.
With help from its expert staff of qualified energy consultants, designers, and solar technicians, A1 Solar Power offers homeowners a thorough explanation of the benefits of solar, the specific solar equipment that will be used, and what financing options are available to fund their solar project.
- Residential and Commercial Solar Services Available
- Solar Financing and Payment Options
- System Monitoring Included with All Commercial Systems
Residential and Commercial Solar Services Available
A1 Solar Power offers solar installation services to residential and commercial customers. The company's turnkey projects begins with a free inspection to help homeowners determine how much they could expect to save each month. California has over 300 days of sun, making it the perfect environment for going solar while saving money on the electric bill and reducing one's carbon footprint. And some states even allow for net metering, which means any solar system that is tied to the power grid will actually run backward when excess energy is generated and this excess energy is able to be sold back to the electric company. In many cases, this will zero out or reduce your monthly utility bill.
Some people may also qualify for the Federal Tax Credit and other rebates and incentives for installing a solar panel system. Additionally, installing a solar system on your home will increase its value and in most cases will help you sell your home more quickly if you ever decide to sell.
Solar Financing and Payment Options
A1 Solar Power offers a variety of payment options for both residential and commercial customers:
- Outright purchase — An outright purchase is the best, most cost-effective plan to choose for those who are in a position to make such a purchase. When purchasing a solar system, you can use the federal tax credits to cover a percentage of the initial cost. Combine this with your state and local utility incentives and your system will cost you significantly less than you might think. However, you need to act fast because the rebates and incentives are slated to end soon. Another great reason for owning a solar system is that you can lock in your rates for the next several years and as the electric rates increase over time, your solar system will become even more valuable.
- Leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs) — a lease or PPA option is great for those who don't have much money to put down for a solar purchase. With a lease option, you won't be required to put any money down and you won't have to worry about performing any of the repairs and maintenance either. When you select a lease option, you don't actually own your solar system the solar company does. That means you won't receive any of the rebates or incentives. These will go to the solar company who installed your system. This is how they can afford to provide you with a solar system for no money down. However, with these programs, you will benefit from the reduced monthly rates, which are based on the energy from the system that's on your roof. These rates are fixed and are usually lower than what you are paying your current utility company. It also means you will start saving immediately.
- Financing — if you choose to finance your new , A1 has an in-house finance department that can help match you with the program that best fits your needs and budget. The company's large network of exclusive lenders and private lending pools will provide you with a customized finance plan that other banks and lenders can't. Additionally, there are no hidden requirements at any time. You will also like the fact that A1 assigns you a personal account manager who you can work with you one-on-one to give you advice and help you along the way.
System Monitoring Included with All Commercial Systems
A1 Solar Power provides 24/7 solar system monitoring for commercial systems via web-based software and hardware. The solar inverter communicates with A1 Solar Power to relay any errors immediately, which includes live and historical system data, alert notifications and greenhouse gas avoidance numbers. However, this option is not offered to residential customers, which we will talk about in the next section.
- Residential Systems are Self-Monitored
- Warranty Information Not Detailed
- Customer Complaints
Residential Systems are Self-Monitored
While A1 Solar Power appears to offer some basic monitoring for a residential solar system, the website clearly states that the homeowner is primarily responsible for the monitoring system. System productivity can be influenced by the weather, climate changes, and other underlying factors and they also ask you to call them should your system experience a complete malfunction. However, A1 Solar Power will alert residential customers if there is a decline in the system's energy production that isn't attributed to the current weather conditions. The company will then help you troubleshoot your system over the phone and will send a contractor team if necessary. As you can see this information is a bit unclear as to exactly what is involved in monitoring your system.
Warranty Information Not Detailed
A1 Solar Power mentions a 10-year warranty on the installation of your system; however, they don't say what the manufacturer's warranty is or even a range of what they might be depending on the what particular manufacturers provide. Most solar companies proudly display all the warranties provided by their company and their manufacturers. But since A1 Solar Power does not, you will have to confirm with them exactly what warranties are being supplied for your particular system and then make sure that information is clearly stated in the contract before you sign it.
We also performed an extensive search of the online public forums and found an unbelievable number of complaints. Here are some of the complaints we found:
- Their checks bounce
- Salespeople seriously misleading potential customers to get a sale
- Not fixing leaking roofing issues
- Referrals not being paid as promised
- Many, many complaints about unwanted solicitation phone calls, robocalls, and abusive telemarketing practices
- Customers being charged for a system that was never installed
- Several reports of customer solar systems being installed incorrectly and no one from A1 bothering to follow up or returning the customers calls
- Insulting high-pressure salespeople
- Higher than quoted electric bills
The Bottom Line
Installing solar cells is a great option for people who want to save money on their electric bill, increase the value of their home and reduce their carbon footprint on the environment. However, installing a solar energy system on your home is a huge undertaking. Therefore, you really need to make sure you thoroughly understand the process and the payment or leasing options, before you make a 10- 15- or 25-year commitment. Most solar companies are more than happy to educate you and help you through the entire process and most of them also take care of everything for you from the consultation to the rebate paperwork to the installation, permitting and inspections. But knowing how everything is supposed to work will help prevent you from being taken advantage of from any given company.
Unfortunately, we are unable to give A1 Solar Power a recommendation good or bad due to the high number of complaints on the online public forums. If you decide to consider A1 as your solar provider, spend a little extra time gathering as many facts and details as possible (including reading verified A1 Solar Power reviews) to see if the company is a good fit for you and your particular solar situation.
View Best Solar Companies