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West Coast Solar

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9 User Reviews
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LAST UPDATED: June 21st, 2022

West Coast Solar was founded in 2007. They provide their solar services to property owners throughout Northern California and pride themselves on helping each one save on their utility expenses.  

West Coast Solar only works with the solar industry's top manufacturers, solar equipment suppliers, financing partners and they have their own highly skilled installers. This allows them to provide their customers with only the highest quality products, exceptional customer service and the most comprehensive pricing package for each individual need.  

West Coast Solar serves a wide variety of solar applications, such as residential, commercial and agricultural and they are a HERO registered contractor; therefore, you can rest assured they are well-able to handle just about any solar requirement.

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The Good

  • Fully Integrated Services
  • Installation Partners and Equipment
  • Financing and Payment Options
  • Registered HERO Contractor
  • Flawless Reputation

Fully Integrated Services

If you are interested in going solar, West Coast Solar will take care of the entire spectrum of your solar installation.  They will perform a free consultation to see if your home is a good fit for solar. 

Once you have decided that going solar is right for you, they will take care of the entire process, everything from the engineering to the permitting to the installation.  You never have to worry about dealing with contractors, your municipality or even the utility company as West Coast Solar does it all for you.

Installation Partners and Equipment

West Coast Solar has been selected as an installation partner by some of the largest solar sales services in the world.  Therefore, you will know that you have chosen a contractor you can trust and one who will be there for you when you need them, now and for years to come.

West Coast Solar doesn't specifically state what types of equipment they use, which is not uncommon as there is such a wide variety available and each individual solar situation is different.  However, there are only two to three pieces of solar equipment that are commonly attached to the average grid system, the panels, the inverter and a monitoring system, if your particular system comes with one.

When considering the solar panels, you need to rate them on their production, how durable they are and the quality of the manufacturing. 

The inverters are usually either a string inverter or Module-Level Power Electronics or MLPEs.  The string inverters are the least expensive, but they work just fine in locations where there is plenty of sun for solar production.  The MLPEs are the more expensive option; however, they are also better producers, especially if your location is slightly shaded, has obstructions or isn't at the optimal angle for solar production. 

The solar monitoring system is important also as that is what will give you real-time information about how much energy your solar system is producing and how much energy your are using.  This will help you make the necessary lifestyle adjustments that will help save you even more money on your electric bill.  Additionally, the monitoring system will notify the solar company any time there is a problem with your system.  This will allow them to contact you immediately to schedule any necessary repairs and to keep your system operating efficiently.

Financing and Payment Options

Unfortunately, there isn't much detailed information about West Coast Solar's financing and payment options; however, they do state that they offer leases, loans, purchase power agreements and outright purchases.  They also state that they have multiple financing options to meet a wide variety of needs. 

However, if you contact them, they will go over your financial situation and make some recommendations about which options might be best suited for you.  But we will briefly go over what each option means so you will, at least, have a general idea about what they are, before going into that conversation with the contractor.

Of course, an outright purchase is just that, which means you have the money in some form to buy a complete solar system for cash. 

Financing is similar to any other purchase; however, you should find a lender who is familiar with solar if you want to get the best possible loan at the best possible rate.  You might consider applying for a home equity loan for these options.

Next, most leases are just like any other lease to own program; however, there is also what's known as purchase power agreements or PPAs, which are also a type of lease, but they are slightly different than the lease to own option.  We strongly recommend that, if you decide to go with the PPA option, that you read over the contract and that you fully understand everything involved before you sign anything.

If you can afford it, the best option for most people is an outright purchase or a finance option.  The leases are still good, but they don't provide as many of the benefits, such as the rebates and incentives that a purchase or finance option would. 

However, with that being said, a lease is perfect for those who don't have the upfront money to put down on a solar system, but a lease will allow them to have a solar system installed on their home and they will still be able to benefit from the monthly electric savings.  But again, just make sure you thoroughly understand exactly how it works, before you sign the contract.

Registered HERO Contractor

The West Coast Solar website shows they are a registered HERO contractor, but it doesn't explain anywhere on the site what that is or what it could mean for their customers.  Therefore, we are going to briefly go over what a registered HERO contractor is for those who don't know.

The HERO program is based on home equity and not on a homeowner's credit score.  This program is government approved and is only offered in certain cities and counties; therefore, you will have to contact West Coast Solar to see if your location is eligible for this option. 

With the HERO program, you will not be required to put any money down and you will receive low, fixed rates with flexible terms that range anywhere from 5-20 years.  The repayment of this type of loan is done through special assessments on your property taxes and will stay with the property should you decide to sell.  Additionally, the HERO program has over five categories of energy and water saving products from which you can choose.

Flawless Reputation

We performed an extensive search of the online public forums and found that West Coast Solar has a flawless reputation and their customers can't say enough good things about their services and the experiences they have had dealing with them, which is rather rare and quite refreshing to be able to review a company that everyone overwhelmingly seems to love!

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The Bad

  • Website is Extremely Lacking in Information
  • No Information About System Monitoring, If Any

Website is Extremely Lacking in Information

Unfortunately, the West Coast Solar website is extremely lacking in any helpful information.  Most solar companies provide at least enough details to educate their customers about going solar and what they have to offer that will help them do just that. 

However, West Coast Solar doesn't provide any information whatsoever to help their customers decide whether or not to contact them for more information.  This is very inconvenient as it forces their customers to contact the company just to get even the most basic information.  Because of this, some people might just skip to another website that does provide enough information to help them determine whether or not they want to take the time to contact the solar company for more details.

No Information About System Monitoring, If Any

The West Coast Solar website does not state whether or not they offer any type of system monitoring.  Therefore, you will need to contact them to find out if they offer this service, and if so is it included in the cost of the contract.  And if not, how much it costs. 

As mentioned above, system monitoring is an extremely important feature of your system as it provides you with real-time data about what your system is doing at all times.

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The Bottom Line

West Coast Solar offers fully-integrated solar services and a wide variety of payment options. However, the company does not provide much helpful information for potential customers on its website.

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Star Rating

4.6

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9 Reviews

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Michael B Holland Oakland, CA

One of my major concerns was having the roof done by a separate contractor. Mike took care of this by using a related roofing company. If anything went wrong I would have only one company to call. Had the system for 3 years now, absolutely no problems. The city of Oakland wanted $10,000 in electrical work done on the house, moving my panel to the other side of the house. West Coast found an alternative solution that cost me nothing. We also had issues with the structure of our vaulted ceilings. The engineer resolved the problem by mounting the panels sideways, meeting all the requirements of the city. Great company! Responsive and creative in problem solving. They planned everything for 8 days and got it done on time even with the problems with PG&E, the city, and a change order where a skylight was installed.

4 years ago

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Henry V Allen Fremont, CA

We had West Coast install over 30 panels in a complex roof pattern. They did the job efficiently and the system was immediately up and running. We have had it on line for almost 2 years and have had no problems. Good company, good installers.

4 years ago

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Chester Hayes

West Coast Solar did a great job for my home solar project. Although there were some minor hiccups along the way they promptly and professionally rectified the situation. The personnel were always responsive, polite and professional. I would not hesitate to recommend them for any solar panel project design and installation.

4 years ago

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Mary Concord, CA

Excellent service from the sales man to the installation team. I appreciate the fact that, the installers went over the installation. The installation was clean. There is a simple monitoring system. They took care of the permit.

5 years ago

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Review Source

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Laura Mccall Yreka, CA

Nice customer service and good prices. Definitely glad I chose them.

1 month ago

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John Zatezalo Hercules, CA

Excellent service. Sales rep was accommodating and patient. No scary sales tactics or pressure. Huge discounts when you pay for the system in full. Can't complain about anything.

3 years ago

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mary Antioch, CA

Excellent service in all area. Mike was great from beginning to end. 5.7 system. Very clean work. I would highly recommend West Coast Solar. Even did the permit and I can monitor my own system with my android app. Paid cash

4 years ago

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Jeff Antioch, CA

I had 10 companies bid on my 12.5KW system. When all was said and done it came in cheaper than the bid and was done in two weeks including the permits! I paid cash for the system so financing didn't apply to me.

5 years ago

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Evan Oakley, CA

I purchased a solar system from them and was very specific about the installation. There was to be no conduit on the outside of the roof. I had to leave work because they put conduit, left nails all over roof, tore my brand new roof and then used silicone to "glue" it back down. Plugged a hole they drilled in the roof with mastic.... panel racking cross braces all cut at different lengths, my thirteen year old could have done a better install. System is supposed to produce 6.57Kwh at its prorate factor and has only been able to produce 5.56Kwh

5 years ago