To encourage solar adoption and combat the Wild West mentality of the chaotic solar industry, cities throughout California have stepped in to help guide their residents in making the right solar decision. Santa Monica’s Solar Program found something special in Pick My Solar’s novel approach.
In California, solar panels dot aerial views of most neighborhoods, as the state now owns 55 percent of the national solar market. This rapid growth in a relatively short period (about 6 years) has been marred by sales practices that make the process of going solar overwhelming and complex, leaving many homeowners confused. To bolster job growth, improve the environment and provide homeowners with more affordable electricity, cities like Santa Monica are encouraging their residents to go solar.
“The Solar Santa Monica program has a long history of promoting renewable energy, providing expert advice, and referring homeowners to quality local contractors. Pick My Solar is a welcome addition to our website,” states Solar Santa Monica’s Drew Lowell-Britt. He adds “We welcome homeowners to try Pick My Solar because they will receive guidance every step of the way and likely end up with a solar system costing less than if they were to get bids on their own. So far, Santa Monica residents have given us only positive feedback about Pick My Solar; they especially appreciate the website and the confidentiality of the process.”
Over the past decade, Solar Santa Monica has provided free technical assistance to residents and businesses by providing energy efficiency recommendations, rooftop and financial analysis and comparing bids. The program, funded and hosted by the City of Santa Monica, also provides a list of verified contractors. The City saw value in being able to enhance the resources available to the community at no cost with Pick My Solar.
Pick My Solar allows customers to shop around for their solar contractor through a quick bidding process. The only people who ever see the homeowner’s contact information and home details are Pick My Solar staff members and the installer the homeowner selects. Pick My Solar vets each contractor and provides hassle-free buying, one-on-one consultation, and confidentiality. The competition created through receiving 8-12 bids per project, eliminating home visits (their process is completely online), and cutting out sales commissions, results in prices averaging 20 percent below market rates.
“With Pick My Solar positioned as the homeowner advocate, we’ve been a popular choice for cities requesting help for their residents,” explains Pick My Solar’s CEO Max Aram. “This year dozens of SoCal cities have partnered with Pick My Solar to bring Solar Workshops into their communities; some of these seeing attendance of over 200 residents. We are proud to help homeowners make a confident and informed decision when it comes to going solar.”