Solar Consumer Advisor, LLC
28041 Eagle Peak Avenue
Santa Clarita , CA 91387
Phone: (661) 673-5957
Contact via Email
Visit our Website
Going Green Commitments
- 1. Promote residential solar PV systems.
- 2. Help SCE homeowner-customers go solar.
- 3. Promote electric vehicles.
- 4. Maximize benefits of solar & EVs.
- 5. Calculate solar savings to California.
- 6. Make these savings more widely known.
Hours of Operation9:00am to 5:00pm every day
Our aim is to help SCE customers shop for solar efficiently and get the best results. This is not easy. NREL has described the challenges and problems facing solar shoppers. SolarConsumerAdvisor.com is the only website where SCE homeowners can get accurate solar calculations, estimates, and solar-shopping guidance tailored specifically to them.
We also now offer a Solar Evaluation Service for realtors, buyers, and sellers of homes with existing solar. It's like a regular home inspection, except just for the solar.
Solar Consumer Advisor's shopping steps begin with checking carefully to see whether solar would really make sense for you. Our Buying Guide #1 helps you find out whether solar panels would be worth the cost or investment to you. It allows you to check whether your house is suitable for solar. It introduces you simply to the wide variety of solar loans and financing options available. It ends with startling information about the environmental benefits of residential solar to your locale and the state.
We differ from most (if not all) other solar websites in that we do not sell, rent, or otherwise intentionally provide your personal information to third parties for marketing purposes, except when and if you specifically request our Installer-Referral Service. In that case, we forward whatever personal information you've asked us to pass on to the sole installer we refer you to. That installer should contact you.
Our work in the past two years has included consulting for the solar industry, which gave us an insider's perspective. We also followed our own four-step solar-shopping process when acquiring two solar, photo-voltaic (PV) systems, giving us the experience of what it is like to shop for solar. Living with and monitoring them carefully has yielded a good deal of real-world data not otherwise publicly available.
Our Buying Guide - Step 2 gives you the true information needed to select the right equipment for you: the system that will save you the most money short-term, medium-term, and long-term. It explains everything you need to know about panels as a shopper, including major differences in efficiency, output, and prices. It helps you pick the right solar inverter, solar panel monitor, and mounting system. It explains the trickiness hidden in most solar warranties and guarantees.
Our Buying Guide - Step 3 explains all about solar dealers and installers, how they are organized, and how they work. It helps you find and qualify a solar dealer or installer to get your system from and have it installed by. It also shows you how you can use NREL's PV Watts tool to estimate your annual energy produced by your system.
We have also advocated before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on behalf of present and future owners of PV systems. This work included many discussions with most of the main solar advocacy groups and Southern California Edison (SCE), leading to an in-depth understanding of rates, rate-making, and Net Energy Metering. It resulted in CPUC decisions that lowered future costs for solar owners.
Our Focus & Specialization
We decided to specialize in solar for customers of SCE. This is partly because their costs and potential electricity savings from solar are so different from customers of other utilities, even in California. It allows us to be very specific and accurate when doing calculations for them, providing examples, and giving figures throughout the steps of the shopping process. We could not possibly do this for every utility in California, let alone the nation.
The result is a website and Buying Guides that are exactly what SCE customers who are interested in solar need. Unfortunately, it cannot simultaneously be what the customers of other utilities need. Much of our information will be helpful to everyone, but the Solar Panel Cost Calculator and all the figures apply only to SCE customers.
Our in-depth research over the past two years has involved a thorough study of solar manufacturers, dealers, and all sources of financing. Other data resources we drew on include a wide range of independent solar studies by testing labs, nonprofits, and federal and state governments, all cited with full references on the web pages and in the Solar Buying Guides. The complete database of California solar installations maintained by the California Solar Initiative was analyzed in depth.
In the course of this research, many fallacies, myths, errors, out-of-date information, and misleading advice were uncovered. Unfortunately, much of this has become "conventional wisdom" in this field. It is spread quickly from its source (soon forgotten) and taken up by solar websites, so-called "solar experts," and salespeople as gospel. Few seem to do the surprisingly hard work of digging to the bottom of these issues. The solar industry, being in its infancy, doesn't make this easy.
Part of our aim in offering this website and Buying Guides to solar shoppers has been to point out these fallacies, show why they are in error, back our statements up with solid evidence, and give the real facts instead. We have gone to extraordinary lengths to make sure our information is accurate and fully up to date.
We drew on our expertise in accounting, tax, and finance (although we are not CPAs or attorneys) to give a thorough explanation of solar financial issues. This includes comparing the pros and cons of ways of acquiring solar (buy, lease, or PPA), forecasts of SCE's electricity-rate increases and inflation, as well as clear discussions of what solar shoppers need to know about solar rebates, income-tax credits and deductions, the effects of solar on home values, and potential costs of solar risks and repairs.
We also drew on a background in mathematics to develop unique, sophisticated mathematical models and algorithms to estimate costs, savings, and the right system sizes to ensure eliminating utility bills. No other software that we're aware of analyzes and projects actual solar production and consumption of electricity by the hour throughout the year and optimizes system size to produce an exactly $0 SCE bill.
We have investigated a great many solar websites and other solar information available to the public (please see our reviews and classifications of Solar Websites) and have tested their estimators and calculators thoroughly. None of them turned out to be accurate, and many were way off. We think this is partly because they do not take nearly all factors into account in their calculations, and probably can't, since they try to be applicable to everyone. As a result, we are confident that our Solar Panel Cost Calculator gives the most accurate estimates online of the true, bottom-line costs & savings of PV systems for SCE customers.
We receive financial support from a single source only: dealers/installers we recommend to the users of our websites. When, and only when, our users specifically ask us to put them in touch with the single best dealer/installer in their area, we connect them with one of the very few dealers we've thoroughly vetted and unhesitatingly recommend. That dealer pays us a small fee out of their marketing or advertising budget for the opportunity to have our user as their customer. However, we are free to recommend any installers and equipment we think is best, so have no allegiance to any of them and can change them at any time.
We think these dealers are lucky to get our users because they are well-informed consumers, and the dealers greatly appreciate it. This is very different from how most solar websites are paid. They either charge dealers a hefty sales commission (guess whose pocket that eventually comes out of) or charge multiple dealers a finder's fee, none of whom will leave you any peace for months to come.
Solar Consumer Advisor, LLC is not influenced in any way in its evaluations or choice of dealers to recommend, because all dealers offer fees to solar websites, usually just for an email address. Therefore, we could obtain a fee from any dealer. We are influenced only by the quality of the dealer, their products, and their services, because our success will naturally depend entirely on their satisfying the customers we refer to them. We remain free to change our dealer recommendations at any time, and will do so if a previously recommended dealer starts to fall short.
We'll Impress YouCompared to other online sources of solar information, guidance, and installer referrals for Southern California Edison (SCE) homeowners, we have these advantages:
1. Much more accurate calculator of your solar costs & savings.
2. Immediate cost & savings results right on the web page.
3. No contact information required to see results.
4. Complete, clear, unbiased solar-shopping advice & guidance.
5. Examples & figures applicable to SCE homeowners.
6. Free referral service to the very best solar installer near you.
7. No phone number or address required. You won't be pestered.
8. Independent, honest information about all aspects of solar.
9. Extensive research and analyses focused on SCE homeowners.
10.Not just more of the "conventional wisdom" about solar.
11.The real facts as known only to industry insiders.
Mission StatementTo help SCE homeowners shop efficiently for a solar system. If solar really makes sense for them at this time, to help them choose the optimal system for their house at a fair price and have it properly installed by a top-notch dealer.
Our GuaranteeIf you request our free Installer-Referral and Customer-Assistance Service, we will recommend the very best dealer near you that we have found via our exhaustive research, evaluation, and qualification of solar installers.
If you are at any point unhappy with that dealer, we will find you the second-best one and work with you and that dealer to satisfy you. We will be your advocate with the dealer and manufacturers and do our level best to make sure you get the right system at the right price and that it is installed properly.