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How to Make a Solar Guy Squirm

The usual misnomers
Solar panel.
Solar panel.
Published Sep. 20

If you have been able to get out and around town, I’ll bet you have noticed solar company vehicles driving by and signs that scream, ‘GO SOLAR’! on the street corner. There is ABC-Solar-this and XYZ-Solar-that, and maybe you are getting your door knocked on by obnoxious sales guys that you know are just going to tell you, “You qualify!” It is a little laughable for us here at May Electric Solar; we have never been a door-knocking company. Our goal is only to raise the standard of solar in the Tampa Bay-Central Florida area. When you finally have that “solar guy” at your dining room table, here are a few things to ask and maybe make them squirm a bit in their seat.

The following are typical sales guy misnomers we often encounter and should be addressed, if not put in writing.

Q: What happens if I need to take my panels down for a re-roof?

MISNOMER: We can take them down and put them back up – no problem. If you sign today, we will do it for free.

OUR TAKE: Come on, that is too good to be true. Nothing is for free. That is like getting free tires on your car down the road. To take panels down one day, store them at your home, and return a month or so later to reinstall them is going to require a pre-quoted and reasonable fee. We outline this in writing and it is good for 10 years. Keep in mind what a company must consider to make two trips with several technicians to uninstall and then re-install a sizable system.

Q: What if I want to add more panels when I purchase an electric car in a couple of years? Do you need to permit again?

MISNOMER: We can come and throw a few more panels up and no need to pull a new permit – it will already have been in effect.

OUR TAKE: This is entirely possible, technically speaking; but illegal in the agreement with your power company known as NET metering. We will permit and go through the proper channels, so you don’t come home to your power being off due to producing more power than the power company was aware of when you signed that agreement.

Q: How long have you been licensed in Florida and can I visit your company location?

MISNOMER: We have been installing for years; our founder has been doing it since 2009. We have a small office but you can come by the warehouse.

OUR TAKE: There are so many out-of-state companies coming to Florida that most of their own reps don’t know where their headquarters are located. It is best to look up the business’ actual license and go to Sunbiz.org for the best information relating to when the business was established, and where the business is located, as well as who actually owns that business. Here at May Electric Solar, you will find that William May is your trusted Electrical Contractor (EC13005353). William May is proud to be local to your residence and honor the warranties promised by the contract. We operate within three hours of our location in Hudson and we welcome you to come by for a visit.

A few other take-aways: You should never sign anything including a measurement or credit app. Avoid solar leases and timeshare-like schemes that weigh favorably with an outside solar company. Be sure there are no subcontractors, since they limit a company’s liability and responsibility. Take your time and your sales rep should be willing to come back or send additional information. There should be no rush to a decision. And of course, ask for those references.

If you would like to talk with May Electric Solar, please reach out to them at (727) 819-2862 or mayelectricsolar.com.