So I’m retired now, and I have decided it’s time to go solar. What does one thing have to do with the other, well, I wish I had something more noble to say but really I just want to save money on my electricity bill, I want to add value to my home, and I have enough time on my hands now to actually get it get it done. Fortunately in life I have learned how to maintain a position in which I can be a picky about what I want and usually get it (usually). When it comes to installing solar panels I had no idea what I was getting myself into, so i had to buckle down and do some research and pray that would find a solar company that could meet all of my demands. I wanted the very best technology installed on my house, I wanted it to be made by a deep pocketed reputable company in the U. S. A, and I wanted a long term warranty.
Originally from New york, I relocated to Tucson about 12 years ago to escape the cold weather. People complain, we get a yearly average 300 plus sunny days here, but no matter how hot it gets, I would take each and everyone of them over one bone chilling New york day. Not to mention that instead I sold a shoebox sized condo and had more than enough money to buy my 24, 000 square foot 4 bedroom house is located in a quiet suburban neighborhood. There are a lot of old people like me that live around here, I meet each week with a group of ladies at the neighborhood club house and play cards. Janet, one of the gals, has solar panels on her house. She said her electricity bill for the entire year was $16. 80. I wasn’t certain if i believed her, but she sparked my interest, so i decided to do some research.
I used Google to find information online about solar manufactures in the U. S., Kyocera, BP Solar, Evergreen Solar, Sunwize, and Solar World are some of the companies that claim to be U. S. companies, but not all of them are really American, and most of them don’t manufacture their parts in the U. S. Solar Companies they assemble them here. Evergreen was the only actual American owned company. They manufacture all their parts and the entire panel in the U. S. – but after making $84. 5 million in the second quarter of 2010, they are setting up shop in China in order to make more profits. (I wonder how much more money they need to make in order to keep creating green jobs in the U. S. and stop giving jobs to people who are forced to work in miserable conditions for peanuts).
The last company I called was Solar World. I spoke with a very bright and pleasant man named Pete DeNapoli for over 30 minutes. Pete has worked with solar world for over 25 years and he gave me the complete history of Solar technology, an update on the current state of the solar economy, and he told me more information about his product than I could ever remember in one sitting. I do remember Solar World has been making solar technology in the U. S. for 33 years and they grow all of their materials and manufacture the entire solar panel right here in the U. S.. Solar World boast about their 25 year linear warranty, Pete claims is the best in the industry because they guarantee that the actual power of a new module cannot deviate from the specified rated power by more than 3% during the first year; and afterward, the power will not decrease by more than 0. 7 percent of the rated power per year. So at year 10, capacity is guaranteed to be at least 90% of the nameplate as opposed to the industry standard guarantee of 80% (I took notes during our talk). According to an independent test conducted by the German company Photo International Module Test, Evergreen, Kyocera, BP Solar, and Solar World were compared for quality in a multi-year energy output test, and Solar World won. Although I was leaning towards Solar World I still had one concern, every company I researched claimed to have the best technology, and I knew that one of them had to be better than the other.