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Robert Crimmins
27 days ago • Seattle

Exploring solar electric install

We're considering making the move to solar electric. It's been one of those "oh yeah... we should do that" things for like a decade. Ok, enough already. Let's figure this out.

I regret that we missed out on the big WA state incentives that just ended. But I have also read that the tech has advancement and the cost has decreased considerable in that time as well. C'est la vie.

Just started the research and getting a first quote from Solgen Power. Nothing special about them... just the first Facebook Ad for solar installs that popped up.

Would love to get thoughts advice from others who have gone through an install. There are SO many vendors doing installs. What makes a good one? Are the important choices on the hardware side? Any surprises or tradeoffs you've noticed since the install?


16 replies
14 days ago
Hi Robert, great questions. Do consider choosing a solar contractor from These are companies that have been around a long time, have signed an ethics pledge, and all chip in to advance the state's solar legislation. Get three bids and consider value/reputation/service/consultation over cost. Check Yelp, Google, Facebook and SolarReviews. Ask for the contractor safety rating. Use a shopping guide:

Happy to help,
Michael @ A&R Solar
see - A&R Solar
27 days ago has links to two articles I wrote.
26 days ago
We've had a 26 panel solar array for four years and it's repaid over 60% of the cost. Of course, a significant part of that was the 30% federal tax rebate (which is now 26%). We used Sunergy Systems which is the best in my opinion. When the electrical inspector came out, he took one look at the installation and said, "This is obviously a Sunergy installation. We use their installation to train our new guys on what it should look like." If you want to come and see it or discuss it, let me know.
23 days ago
Michael O'Brien , Omar Shahine , and Sandy Graham : Thank you all for the great info and recommendations. I'm pretty much decided not to follow up with the sales guys who's been trying to get me to sign up for their sales process. I haven't decided which to use yet but between A&R, Puget Sound Solar and Sunergy, I think those are the three I'm going to ask for quotes from. Michael, let me know what you need from me. Sandy and Omar, I would be grateful for intros to your contacts.
23 days ago
Good to hear! Please get started here:
23 days ago
Robert Crimmins I would just email Puget Sound or call them. They are very responsive and have installed Solar for a number of people I know. If you need any help or want to ask any more questions let me know. Happy you are doing this. It's total magic to realize the sun is powering your home.
23 days ago
You can reach me at
22 days ago
Thanks all. I will reach out shortly.

As a bit of intel on my experience with another installer (a national outfit and one not listed in the directory.) I was definitely in the sales 'system'. After a couple of phone calls and emails I told them that I felt like they were not interested in providing me with a quote unless is was delivered through their closing process. It felt a little bit like a timeshare sale. When I told him that I didn't want to be in a process and that I just wanted to get a quote, he said, "we don't do it that way." He would not even give me a quote unless it was though a zoom presentation that included contract and financing review and, I presume, an electronic signature request at the end. We said our goodbyes.
22 days ago
Good move.
22 days ago
Yep. Puget Sound solar emailed me a quote the next day after I contacted them, then came out and we met and discussed options and then they did a site survey to dial on their estimates and then gave me an updated quote.
22 days ago
That's the more standard practice. Sunergy did the site survey too and in addition to giving the data, provided a performance guarantee based on it.
22 days ago
Yes. What amazes me is that my solar has produced within 5% of their estimates. It’s uncanny. Also I had two micro inverters fail. They told me about it and then scheduled a visit to replace them.
22 days ago
Omar I am enjoying re-reading your posts. Still flirting with the idea myself... This house is a power guzzler and it drives me nuts. Plus Magnolia has relatively frequent outages because the power lines run along discovery park. Trees seem to fall on those lines every single year! Away from discovery, most of the power lines are buried. That's wonderful for aesthetics but problematic for maintenance and repairs.
17 days ago
@Robert Crimmins Did we miss a call or email from you at A&R Solar? Let us know if we can still be of help! 206-707-9937, x1
Adam Doppelt I wasn't aware of the Discovery Park vulnerability! Thanks for that. Happy to walk you through solar + battery storage. Same number.
17 days ago
We also have an all-electric house including a heat pump for heating and A/C. Our 26 panel array is rated at 9.4 Kw and at the outset it banked enough in the summer to cover the winter months. Then I bought a Tesla and later added a plug-in hybrid. The added consumption has wiped out the banking so I'm pricing out an additional 10 panels. We used to be pretty remote and a frequent victim of power outages . Tired of portable units and installed a Kohler natural gas powered generator. We also have a small backup gas furnace paired with the heat pump so when the power goes out we have heat plus 11 circuits. I mention this because it's much more cost effective than installing two powerwall units and there's no risk of draining the batteries.
17 days ago
Had a very good experience with Puget sound solar. Would highly recommend them.
14 days ago

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