Palmetto Solar Overview: A Sturdy Selection for Going Solar – CNET

People trying to do proper by the local weather and avoid wasting cash on electrical energy are turning to rooftop solar in document numbers. While the federal tax credit score continues to be at 26%, adopting solar is a serious buy that requires analysis and cautious thought. And, navigating the extremely aggressive solar business requires avoiding the less-than-honest firms on the market.

One of an important issues you are able to do is get a number of quotes from firms in your space, together with native ones. It’s price figuring out the nationwide gamers who conduct a lot of the residential solar enterprise within the United States. 


  • Options for after-installation help
  • Top of line tools
  • Financing market

Don’t Like

  • Some warranties could possibly be stronger
  • No worth match coverage

Palmetto Solar is among the 10 largest solar firms within the nation. It stakes a declare to transparency and gives a selection of high quality tools, making it one of many extra enticing selections available on the market. Palmetto gives the preferred panels for residential makes use of and robust battery selections. While a few of its warranties will not be fairly prime of the road, they compete with many others. Palmetto does supply extra upfront data than any solar firm I’ve reviewed to date.

No evaluation ought to take the place of getting a number of quotes (together with native installers) particular to your property. This evaluation is as properly researched as doable, nevertheless it would not depend on any hands-on testing. I did not undergo the ordering course of with Palmetto Solar or another solar firm, so your expertise could also be completely different from what’s written right here.

Read extra: Best Solar Companies of 2022

What do I get from Palmetto?

Palmetto solar prospects should purchase solar panels or enter right into a lease or power buy settlement (PPA), although the overwhelming majority of its prospects buy their panels. While buying solar panels outright will typically prevent probably the most cash in the long term, third-party possession fashions like leases and PPAs have helped spur residential solar development by eradicating a lot of the upfront value.

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Regardless of the way you get solar panels in your roof, Palmetto is more likely to supply high quality ones. While the corporate is “equipment agnostic,” as Jason Conrad, Palmetto’s vice chairman of product advertising and marketing stated, Palmetto’s important choices for solar panels and inverters are high quality ones.

Palmetto at present installs Q Cells panels and REC Alpha Pure Black panels, in keeping with its web site. It solely installs all black panels which have low profile mounting methods, 25-year warranties and sure provide chain ethics assurances. Q Cells solar panels are probably the most broadly put in in residential functions. The Q Cells panels Palmetto highlights on-line have a most effectivity score of 21.4%, a prime tier mark, and the REC panels have a most effectivity score of 21.6%. Both panels are assured by the producer to provide at 86% of their rated capability after 25 years. These manufacturing warranties are close to the highest of the sector for each size and the extent of degradation they defend towards. 

Palmetto installs Enphase microinverters and SolarEdge inverters with power optimizers, each of which permit for monitoring the system on the panel degree. The two firms present nearly all of inverters utilized in residential solar installations. SolarEdge inverters include a 12-year guarantee, whereas Enphase inverters include a 25-year guarantee.

Palmetto gives batteries from one producer, with extra to return later this yr. The present choices are the sonnenCore and Eco batteries from Sonnen. A sonnenCore battery has 10 kilowatt-hours of capability and might discharge at a peak of 8.6 kilowatts or constantly at 4.8 kilowatts. Sonnen’s Eco has 20 kWh of capability and might push out electrical energy at a peak of 17 kilowatts or at a steady price of 8 kilowatts. Both batteries include a guaranty that claims they will maintain 70% of their capability at 10 years or 10,000 cycles.

Solar installations from Palmetto are coated by a 10-year workmanship guarantee and ensures roof penetrations for 5 years, Conrad stated. Those warranties are a bit shorter than another firms.

The Palmetto app for monitoring, upkeep requests and customer support has a 4.2 star score on Google Play and a 4.5 score on Apple’s App Store.

Palmetto additionally gives Palmetto Protect, a tiered service for monitoring, upkeep and help. All Palmetto prospects get fundamental monitoring of their system by way of the app without cost. For an extra eight {dollars} a month, prospects can get proactive monitoring by Palmetto, “prioritized support” and personalised energy financial savings suggestions.

For $25 a month, prospects get extra advantages, highlighted by a yearly, in-person inspection and extra reductions. For $49 a month, extra advantages embody a yearly panel cleansing and repair appointments inside 24 hours. You can learn extra in regards to the plans at Palmetto’s web site. The firm is open to individuals who bought solar panels from someplace else, too.

It’s price noting that solar panels are sometimes low upkeep and cleansing may not even be essential, although mud buildup can hamper manufacturing. I might suppose twice earlier than signing up for the pricier tiers.

Are Palmetto solar panels a superb deal?

Palmetto, like many solar firms, would not make its common costs per set up public, however the firm does provide you with an upfront value estimate for just a few array choices for your home. In some places, with simply your tackle and common month-to-month electrical energy invoice, Palmetto will spit again a quote together with a solar irradiance map of your home, which supplies you an thought of how a lot solar your roof will get. 

A person installing solar panels on a shingle roof.

Palmetto gives extra financing choices than most.

Palmetto Solar

While Palmetto installs solar panels in 25 states, it would not set up within the entirety of these states, so on-line estimates aren’t obtainable for all areas. For my tackle, I bought 4 completely different system sizes with the identical worth per watt: $3.92. This worth seems to be a financed worth, and so will probably be greater than what you’ll pay with out financing or relying on the financing you select.

Palmetto additionally hosts and operates a financing market, the place completely different lenders supply competing loans. This drives down the lending value, Conrad stated, although could not say how a lot it saves folks. To date, Palmetto gives 40 completely different mortgage merchandise, together with loans that assist you to lump in different energy effectivity or solar-related home enhancements like new home windows, roofing, panel upgrades, battery storage, and extra.

Again, it is essential to discover your choices for paying for solar. Avoiding a mortgage can prevent some huge cash since you will not pay lending charges or curiosity.

The common value of put in solar methods range state to state. Nationally, the common residential solar array runs $3.28 per watt, consulting agency Wood Mackenzie says. Others report decrease numbers: EnergySage says the median value is $2.33 per watt in Arizona and $3.41 in Washington, DC.

Does Palmetto Solar function in my state? How do I order?

Palmetto at present operates in 25 states and connects prospects with solar installers. While prospects will work together with Palmetto by way of the method, Palmetto is “one hundred percent driven by vendors in our network,” Conrad stated.

To order, you may contact the corporate by way of Palmetto’s web site to get quotes and join with a solar advisor. That course of contains an introductory assembly, a website survey, contract signing and system design, principally on-line. From there, the corporate lays out a timeline to working solar panels that may take two to 4 months. 

Two people in safety harnesses installing solar on a roof.

Palmetto gives prime of the road panels and inverters.

Palmetto Solar

Is Palmetto Solar my most suitable option?

The brief reply, because it all the time is for a purchase order this massive, is “it depends.” Before you buy solar panels, you need to collect a number of quotes and thoroughly contemplate what’s finest in your home and energy use.

Palmetto does supply high quality tools that is broadly used throughout the business. Its said requirements for solar panels imply the panels the corporate sells you can be prime tier and below sturdy warranties. The inverter and batteries on supply are sturdy candidates too. Palmetto’s choices will get stronger when it begins providing extra selections for backup batteries sooner or later.

The warranties Palmetto gives varies from sturdy to decrease than common. Because it gives high quality tools, the tools warranties are sturdy. Its workmanship warranties match lots of the others within the discipline, however the five-year guarantee for roof penetrations could possibly be longer. 

Palmetto’s promise to proactively monitor and supply fast servicing (for a price) is a pleasant addition that may supply peace of thoughts for shoppers who really feel intimidated by the expertise they’re shopping for. I’ve a tough time making the higher tiers of Palmetto Protect make monetary sense in all however a only a few circumstances.

Palmetto does have an A+ score from the Better Business Bureau. (Companies should pay the Better Business Bureau if they need a rating.)

While this evaluation is researched to the most effective of my skill, it can’t be overstated that every solar scenario is completely different. Roof development, native local weather and your energy use all influence how solar panels finest suit your wants. Getting a number of quotes and negotiating with solar firms is one of the simplest ways to make sure you’re getting a superb deal. This evaluation cannot substitute that.

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