Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Tired of the Solar Run-around

Twice now we have committed fully to buying a solar system and twice it has not ended up on our roof. This last time, we actually had the panels in our basement, waiting to go up. Both times, we've been stymied by the lack of professionalism in the solar industry. Why is it that when we wanted to look into getting a new heat pump, we call the heat pump specialists in town, they set up an appointment, the guy shows up precisely at the time he says he will, takes a look at our system, gives us a run-down on what we need, and a bid with a solid date we can have the new system in place; yet when you start delving into the world of "alternative" energy, when you commit many thousands of dollars to a solar system, the guys from the solar company don't give you a straightforward bid, can't commit to a date, and never return your phone calls (the first time, six months went by without a phone call).

If you ask me, alternative energy will never gain credibility until the people working in the field stop running on rainbow time and start acting like professionals. Now I'm all for stopping to smell the roses and carpe diem and getting all Thich Nhat Han in the moment, but for heaven's sake not when someone is trying to depend on you to be reliable, straightforward, honest, and hardworking.

Right now, I'm just very very frustrated, and I still have no solar panels on my roof. We are researching the whole do-it-yourself angle, but then of course you don't get many of the monetary kickbacks from the utility (conveniently, their "approved" people have to put it in and certify it in order to get the monetary credits). We can definitely get a solar hot water gizmo on the roof by ourselves for cheap enough that it doesn't matter, but the solar PV is another story. My next research project will be looking into wind power.


Christy said...

That's really frustrating! I hope it isn't that bad everywhere. We may be looking at solar after we move.

harvestmoon said...

Look into the RV Solar industry. IT should be pretty much the same idea just on a larger scale.

But stay away from MExico. Your experience with your solar people is SOP down here. :)