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Founded in Sarasota, Florida in 1986, solar installer Solar Direct has been installing premier solar PV systems throughout the state of Florida for more than 30 years. The company provides both residential and commercial solar services, and makes its products available either a la carte, or in packages.

Since its founding, the solar company has installed nearly 9,000 kilowatts of clean, renewable energy in the state, and has made Solar Power World magazine’s list of “Top 500 Solar Contractors” every year from 2015 to 2020. Solar Direct has been certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, and installs solar water heaters, solar-heated pools, and solar backup batteries in addition to its solar panel system packages.

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The Good

  • Local Expertise
  • NABCEP Certified
  • High-Quality Solar Equipment

Local Expertise

As a locally owned and operated solar energy provider, Solar Direct boasts a comprehensive knowledge of the unique energy needs of Florida communities and neighborhoods. As a result, the company is well-versed in helping solar customers take full advantage of all available tax credits and state-level solar incentives (like Florida’s net metering policy and the Solar and CHP Sales Tax Exemption) that come with every solar energy system.

Solar Direct also provides a number of services to its Florida-based clientele: repair and replacement, removal and reinstall, inspection and diagnostics, and upgrades for existing solar panel systems.

NABCEP Certified

Solar Direct has been certified by the NABCEP, a solar industry–recognized organization responsible for promoting high installation standards and best practices among solar contractors and rooftop solar installers. A certification from the NABCEP indicates that Solar Direct’s technicians have undergone additional, rigorous training to ensure they’re up to speed on the latest in solar technology as well as regulations surrounding proper solar panel installation.

High-Quality Solar Equipment

Solar Direct lists more than 400 solar products to help Florida homeowners save on their energy bill. In terms of solar array modules, Solar Direct carries panels from the following manufacturers:

  • SolarWorld USA
  • Hyundai
  • Ameresco
  • PowerUp
  • BP Solar by Ameresco
  • SolarTech

All of these panels can be adapted to both grid-tied and off-grid systems, and are compatible with the following solar inverter models also carried by Solar Direct:

  • SMA America
  • SolarEdge
  • Enphase
  • OutBack Power
  • Xantrex Technology
  • PV Powered
  • Power-One
  • MorningStar
  • Samlex Inverters

And the company’s expertise spans beyond solar PV systems. Solar Direct also provides parts and assembly services for the following:

  • Solar water heaters
  • Solar-powered pool heaters
  • Energy-efficient lighting
  • Wind power equipment
  • Pool and spa accessories
  • And more
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The Bad

  • Florida Only
  • Undisclosed Workmanship Warranty
  • Limited Payment Options

Florida Only

While Solar Direct’s local expertise to the Florida solar market is almost second to none, the company’s operations cease at the Florida border. And given that Solar Direct is just one of the more than 450 unique solar contractors, installers, and manufacturers operating in the state, the company is based in an increasingly competitive market.

Promoting verified Solar Direct reviews from actual customers can be an effective method for standing out in the crowd and showcasing its excellent, decades-long service record.

Undisclosed Workmanship Warranty

Solar Direct has not disclosed any kind of workmanship or service warranty that accompany its solar installation projects. Different from the equipment/materials warranty, which is applied by the manufacturer in the event of a defective system component, the workmanship (aka labor or service) warranty comes directly from the installer (i.e. Solar Direct), and protects the system against installation errors. Leading solar companies in the industry provide a workmanship warranty of up to 25 years or more.

Limited Payment Options

Solar Direct does not appear to provide solar lease or power purchase agreement options as part of its financing suite, though the company has mentioned explicitly all the advantages of buying a solar panel system outright or financing with a zero-money-down, low-interest solar loan.

Solar leases and PPAs are cost-effective financing options that avoid the substantial upfront investment required by direct purchase or loan financing, and place all installation and maintenance costs on the installing company.

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The Bottom Line

For Florida homeowners looking for a local solar expert with a proven track record, few companies can match Solar Direct. The company has demonstrated both consistent service and its ability to adapt to rapidly advancing solar technology, plummeting manufacturing costs, and increased competition.

Florida customers are encouraged to obtain a free quote from this full-service solar installation company, compare costs and equipment offering to other leading solar companies in the area, as well as inquire as to the company’s workmanship warranty. 

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