Florida Solar Cooperative Information
Solar cooperatives, popularly known as co-ops, are organizations that are established for the sole purpose of providing the optimum rates and products while buying solar panels for home and businesses. The basic idea behind such establishments is to provide the benefits of lower price due to bulk buying, peace-of-mind in selecting a contractor, and pre-screened products.
Though such solar co-ops are advantageous in Florida, there are drawbacks. Let us have a look at some of the cons of these solar coops:
Cons of Solar Co-ops
Most of the advantages of these solar co-ops may actually turn out to be the disadvantages. In reality, they may turn out to be doing more harm than good. Thus, it is always advisable to consider both the pros and cons of an organized cooperative:
· A majority of the solar co-ops choose a single contractor which restricts from choosing more experienced or expert installers. Moreover, price is one of the prime factors in choosing a contractor. Contractors can make big promises and wild claims while bidding, just to win the contract. They quote less than the sustainable amount, only to grab the opportunity but at the end of day, quality is compromised.
· The rates that you are getting from solar co-op. might not be the best price. These organizations basically charge a considerable fee to the contractor amount of fee from the contractors to market their program and organizing potential co-op members. This eventually is paid by the consumer in the form of high prices.
· When it comes to the material, you may have fewer choices. For instance, if you are looking for a microinverter versus solar optimizer or string inverter, you may not get a program offering these options, and may even not get the best pricing option too. Only the methods offered by the selected contractor will be available, which may not at fit in your requirements.
· The contractor chosen for a co-op is generally not owned or managed locally. To complete the project, the laborers may come from a long distance to and may even be unfamiliar with your permitting jurisdiction. More importantly, the main problem comes at the time of any issue in services. You obviously can’t aspect a fast and efficient service from a contractor who is not local, even if he is around!
· Your installation time-frame may be too long. The contractors at the solar op-ops have to install hundreds of systems in a very short span of time, so scheduled installations may be months away.
· To comply with the low cost of the winning bid, the solar contractor may hamper the quality of your system, irrespective of the specific requirements of your home, energy usage, or circumstances. Thus, anyone considering solar energy should select them after complete consultation and careful consideration.
· The committee responsible for selection may focus on non-critical factors. Main preference is usually given to the lowest bid which poses an obvious risk to the quality. Another important aspect is warranty. Warranties only make sense when they are backed by a financially secure company, a factor that is often ignored while selecting the contractor.
· Things like upgrades, up-charges, and other fees are not included in the base price, but may end up hiking the prices of your finished project.
· These programs also often ignore other solar energy products and energy efficiency options, like solar pool heating, variable speed pool pumps, and heat pump water heaters. Though these products generally have better ROI for homeowners but since the winning solar contractors have no incentive, they don’t point out these options.
What You Should Know About Florida Solar Co-ops?
Well, first and foremost, you must opt for a second opinion! There is every possibility that at the same price, you can any other contractor, who is more qualified. This is because he will not have the same fee and restrictions levied by the administrator of the social co-ops. You can even get better value as well! The base bid is often the winning bid but may represent less in value due to expensive upgrades.
Theoretically, solar co-ops are a great idea with pooling resources coming at lower prices. However, due to the increasing completion, they are no more effective at reduced rates.
The cost of solar panels is a very small percentage of the cost of installing the entire solar energy system. You are paying for the experience and skills of the contractor and that’s what you should get.
What solar co-ops are aps are great at is creating awareness about the solar energy and sparking the interest of target audience in solar energy. However, they don’t guarantee you the best price, products, or the best value. So the best choice is to install your own residential solar system in Florida from a expert solar company like Mimeos Energy.