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LAST UPDATED: September 29th, 2022

Source Solar is a residential solar installation company that provides start-to-finish solar services to those looking to reduce their carbon footprint and save on monthly utility bills. The leadership at Source Solar wants to take a traditionally expensive service and bring it to the masses at an affordable rate that will save thousands in the long run. 

Source Solar was founded by Peter Sarelas, a University of Iowa graduate. Sarelas was heavily recruited by the solar industry directly out of college, particularly by SolarCity. From his experience at SolarCity, Sarelas was able to work with some of the largest players in the solar industry in consulting, managing, and even the installing side of operations. He took this combined experience and formed Source Solar to bring solar to residential clients in Iowa. 

To date, Source Solar has completed 194 residential solar projects. In these installation projects, over 1.9 MW have been installed. This has resulted in over $1.4 million in customer electric savings to date. 

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The Good

  • High Level Equipment Partnerships
  • Contractor Program
  • Financing Partnerships

High Level Equipment Partnerships

Source Solar only works with tier-1 solar manufacturers that it can trust to provide the high level of quality that clients expect. Clients that utilize Source Solar will have access to products manufactured by the following brands:

  • GAF Energy
  • SolarEdge
  • SMA
  • Enphase
  • Axitec

By having access to equipment partnerships with a number of solar manufacturers, Source Solar clients can get a truly customized solar system. This differs from competitors, as many are dealers for one specific manufacturer and can offer only one solution. 

Contractor Program

The Source Solar team is diligent in helping licensed contractors break into the solar industry and providing an effective and successful outlet to do so. Even contractors that do not have any solar experience can turn to Source Solar for proper training in order to prepare for their first project.

Source Solar provides an EPC service, which covers engineering, procurement, and construction, for general contractors within the Midwest region. Additionally, Source Solar can help solar sales organizations within this region of the country as well successfully break into the market. Not many companies that offer installation themselves look to help others trying to also offer services within the same area, but Source Solar does. 

Financing Partnerships 

Paying for the initial installation and equipment is a general concern for many prospective solar customers. While the savings will pay off in the long run throughout the span of the system’s life production, it does not diminish the fact that purchasing a system upfront and outright will cost thousands of dollars.

This initial cost is enough to turn away many looking into a renewable energy source. Source Solar recognizes that financing is necessary for many property owners in order to get a system installed. As a result, Source Solar has partnered with one of the largest solar financiers in the country to offer a number of $0 down options. This financing partnership allows Source Solar clients the flexibility they need to ensure that solar will work for their property and their budget. 

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The Bad

  • No Battery Solutions
  • Undisclosed Warranty Information
  • Limited Service Area

No Battery Solutions

Despite having tier-1 equipment partnerships for panels and inverters, Source Solar does not have a partnership with any battery or storage provider. Many people turn to solar to decrease their independence on the utility grid, allowing for completely uninterrupted service even in inclement weather situations.

To provide this additional independence, many solar installation companies will also install a battery or storage system that is compatible with the panels and inverters to store unused energy. Unfortunately, Source Solar does not install these types of systems, so clients looking for battery or storage solutions will need to go elsewhere. 

Undisclosed Warranty Information 

Within the solar industry, warranties come as a relatively standard offering. Typically, a solar installation company will offer either an equipment or production warranty in addition to a workmanship warranty. The equipment partner, or actual equipment manufacturer, will back the equipment warranty.

On average, this warranty covers repairs and replacements to an extent for 25 years. The solar installation company itself will then back the workmanship warranty which covers any issues relating to actual installation work. Any issues that can be attributed to how the system was connected would be covered by the workmanship warranty. These are usually 10 years or more in coverage length. Warranties are generally publicly disclosed as researching customers are interested in accompanying protections.

However, Source Solar makes no mention of any warranties, making it difficult to determine if the company offers this service to its clients or not. 

Limited Service Area

Installation companies typically service one state or the more populated cities or counties within a particular state. However, the companies that provide contractor programs typically expand in multiple states or cover a region of the country.

While Source Solar offers this type of contractor program, the company only services Iowa. In addition to only serving one specific state, Source Solar only services one specific client: the residential property owner. Commercial or agricultural clients looking for solar solutions will need to seek out an alternative provider. 

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The Bottom Line

Source Solar provides solar installation services to clients looking to access high quality solar panels and inverters. The company has partnerships with a number of tier-1 solar manufacturers and provides that technology to its clients. Contractors in Iowa looking to break into the solar industry can also turn to Source Solar for help as the company offers a contractor program for installation work. Lastly, Source Solar has partnered with reputable financing organizations to offer zero down loan options. 

Despite offering quality services and features, there are drawbacks to using Source Solar for residential solar installation. For instance, there are no battery or storage solutions available through Source Solar. There is also no mention of any warranties on either the equipment or the workmanship aspect of the project. Finally, Source Solar only services property owners residing in Iowa. 

Residential property owners looking for a local service to conduct their solar installation will likely benefit from what Source Solar offers. However, those looking for more solar independence through battery or storage solutions will have to find an alternative company to work with. 

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