Sell-Out Solar Workshops Highlight Top 5 Insights Before Going Solar

By Chris Blevins
January 19, 2015

With over 6,100 solar companies, 5 major financing methods, thousands of panel models and dozens of inverter manufacturers, homeowners can't find straight answers. Pick My Solar has stepped in to sort through the chaos and help homeowners save an average of $6,000 on the cost of their solar systems.

Sold out workshops are not something typically found in community education centers, but Pick My Solar is addressing a void in an industry begging for answers. Pick My Solar has been hosting Solar Workshops throughout Southern California, saving attendees an average of 30% on their solar systems. The key insights, plus the free solar consulting service and online marketplace offered at, have helped hundreds of Southern California homeowners with the decision to go solar. Pick My Solar plans on turning that number into thousands as the company expands its geographic region and brings Solar Workshops to over 100 cities in 2015. Here are the 5 most important considerations before making the decision to go solar:

Can you afford it? – The perception that solar is only affordable to the wealthy is a myth. “If you can afford your electric bill, you can afford solar,” explains Dr. Helen Cox, Director of CalState University Northridge Institute for Sustainability and a co-host of the Workshops. “There are solar loans and leases available that allow homeowners to pay nothing out of pocket and make monthly payments at a lower rate than their current electric bill.”

Lease or Purchase? – Each solar company will pitch this differently depending on its interests. Currently, there is a 30% Federal Tax Credit available for the purchaser of a solar system. If a homeowner’s annual Federal Taxes are equal to or greater than 30% of the system cost, a purchase will save almost double what a lease would over the life of the system.

Is price or quality more important? – Everyone’s situation is unique. If you’re looking to stay in the same house for years to come, paying slightly more for better quality and warrantied panels is the way to go. If you’re looking to maximize your immediate monthly savings, then compromising on quality in return for a lower price is the best option.

String-inverters vs. Micro-inverters? – Every solar system needs one or the other. Inverters come with different warranties and offer different monitoring options. The bottom line is if your roof has significant shade, you want micro-inverters or optimizers, if not, the less expensive string-inverters will perform just as well. For more details on Micro and String Inverters, check the video below.

Which installer is the best? – This all depends on the circumstances. Some installers specialize in different roof types while other installers offer better pricing on high quality equipment. Geographic area will alter installer prices as well as their current project demand. To find the best installer for a unique project, you’ll need to get as many bids as you can. Reach out to installers individually, or have Pick My Solar do all the work for you – and find a price 30% below market.

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Chris Blevins

Written By

Chris Blevins

Chris is a founder of Pick My Solar, an online marketplace based in Los Angeles aimed at bringing transparency to the solar market. After creating several online consumer connection services, he journeyed through the Southern Hemisphere, and came back with a passion for renewable energy. He re-settled in Los Angeles, met his business partner, and launched a start-up fixated on changing the dynamic of the residential solar industry by educating consumers and developing a solar bidding platform. His expertise in the solar industry and his passion for bringing solar knowledge to the consumer, has lead him to be a featured speaker at Solar Workshops held throughout the country. Chris holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

More articles by Chris Blevins

What's Pick My Solar? We empower our customers to adopt clean energy through transparency and choice. Our free, no-obligation platform provides competing solutions from top providers.

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