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Big Dog Solar

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LAST UPDATED: April 28th, 2021

Since 2008, Big Dog Solar Energy has been designing and installing quality solar panel systems in residential, commercial, and industrial markets across the country. Big Dog Solar is currently licensed and insured in 13 states, employs NABCEP-certified installers, and offers a suite of high-quality solar power products designed to reduce homeowners’ utility bill and carbon footprint.

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The Good

  • Broad Service Area
  • High-Efficiency Solar Panels
  • NABCEP Certification

Broad Service Area

For a solar company that’s only been in business since 2008, Big Dog Solar has rapidly expanded its service area from local jobs in and around its Pocatello, Idaho headquarters to 13 states across the country:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

Considering the majority of the nation’s solar providers only conduct solar installation services in one, possibly two states, Big Dog Solar Energy’s expansive coverage is certainly impressive. And while the company may be behind some industry leaders in terms of state coverage, the fact that Big Dog has been in business for well over a decade and has maintained operations across such a broad service area indicates that customer satisfaction is generally good.

High-Efficiency Solar Panels

In addition to solar inverters from SolarEdge, which are considered industry-leading, Big Dog Solar Energy also installs solar panels from REC Solar into its solar system. REC Solar panels are widely regarded as a top five solar module in terms of energy efficiency (up to 21.7 percent), temperature coefficient (-0.37 to -0.26), and equipment warranty (20 years).

The company installs two main types of systems for its residential solar customers: grid-tied and off-grid. These systems can be installed via ground mount or roof mount depending on available space. Big Dog Solar has chosen SnapNRack Solar Mounting Solutions as its partner for both roof- and ground-mounted systems.

Big Dog Solar Energy doesn’t just install solar panels; the company also installs the LG Chem backup battery, which allows homeowners to store excess solar energy harnessed during the day, and apply it — rather than switch back to a traditional utility supplier — at night. The LG Chem battery also provides emergency power in the event of a grid outage. This addition allows homeowners to save even more on their electricity bill.

NABCEP Certification

Installers employed by Big Dog Solar Energy have been certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), a solar industry–recognized organization that sponsors some of the more rigorous certification programs in solar. This certification sets companies like Big Dog Solar Energy apart from the competition because it tells customers that technicians are installing their photovoltaic systems according to top standards and best industry practices.

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The Bad

  • Undisclosed Financing Options
  • Undisclosed Workmanship Warranty

Undisclosed Financing Options

While the company website does mention that Big Dog Solar Energy has partnered with certain third parties to provide affordable financing solutions to its customers, the company does not appear to disclose either the identity of these partners or the various financing options and terms they might provide. For a company with such an expansive service area, the partnerships could be many, each coming with its own terms for solar loans, solar leases, or power purchase agreements (PPAs).

Potential customers interested in learning what financing options are available to them will need to fill out a contact form to obtain a free quote first.

Undisclosed Workmanship Warranty

Big Dog Solar also mentions that certain components of its solar energy systems come with a 25-year manufacturer’s warranty; however, this does not account for the workmanship warranty (if any exists) from Big Dog itself. Unlike the equipment warranty, which covers defective parts, the workmanship warranty protects the homeowner from costs associated with labor and installation errors. Often, companies will attach a workmanship warranty between 10 and 25 years, or the life of the system; but whether Big Dog Solar Energy offers either of these terms (or none of them) is unknown.

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The Bottom Line

Big Dog Solar Energy brings much to the table for customers looking for a competent, experienced solar energy provider. The company builds solar arrays that meet industry standards and state permitting requirements. However, more information, specifically concerning its financing options and partnerships, as well as the terms of its workmanship warranty, needs to come to light before we can recommend this company fully to potential customers. 

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David Yager Kuna, ID

I requested Big Dog to install 12.5KW of solar on our house. It has worked flawlessly. It has reduced my power to the meter charge only.

7 months ago

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