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Solar for your home or business

Original post made by Thomas Blake, Highland Oaks, on Aug 14, 2010

I am interested in getting solar on my home in Pleasanton. Can anyone suggest a small company, not the Big cookie cutter kind that don't have electricians doing the installations. Any in the tri-valley towns would be best. I don't want to waste out-of-towners time because of course I will only be picking one company. Any help with your knowlege of reputable companies would be great. The $$ incintives given by California are running out so I need to jump on this now. Name and phone number or address would be great.

Comments (8)

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Posted by Jerry
a resident of Avignon
on Aug 14, 2010 at 10:40 pm

I'm looking for one also so let me know what you find.


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Posted by Lisa
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 15, 2010 at 8:56 am

We just had solar panels installed for our home a month ago. We received several quotes but decided to go with Clean Solar. They are located in San Jose. They were professional and courteous. Very pleased with their work.


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Posted by Martin
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 15, 2010 at 9:13 am

Mares & Dow specializes in solar construction - 925-228-9882


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Posted by Blaker
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 15, 2010 at 12:55 pm

"The $$ incintives given by California are running out so I need to jump on this now."

***

I'm honestly curious, are there any good sites that can show if going solar makes financial sense(with/without incentives)? I haven't looked into it in quite a few years. Back then it didn't.


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Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 15, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Before you invest the money into solar (~$20k+) I strongly encourage you to invest in energy efficiency projects to reduce your usage first. These projects have a much lower project cost and shorter ROI, additionally they will reduce the size (and cost) of a solar installation (while also accelerating the payback on the solar installation cost)

Things to begin with:
- Lighting (replace incadecent with Compact Flourecent or LED
- Insulation (attic, walls)
- Doors and Windows (dual pane)
- AC / Furnace / duct work
- TV (Plasma/tube to LED)
- Attic/ceiling fans
- Roof vents
- Energy efficient appliances
- Pumps/Heaters (if you have a pool)

For about the same price of a solar installation (before rebates) you can accomplish all of these and actually reduce your energy usage instead of just supplimenting it with an alternative source (solar). Additionally, there are rebates for almost all of the items listed above as well.

After completing these projects you can add a much smaller (and less costly) solar array and further reduce your energy bill. This is a much more economical and environmentally friendly approach in the long run.



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Posted by Solar-Happy
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 16, 2010 at 12:07 am

We installed a solar panel system and turned it on 1/1/2009 and it was the best thing we have done. We used REC solar company 408-746-3062 after considering a few companies and it was one of the three that the City of Livermore had help sponsor in their solar city program. The company has an electrician who comes out and writes up the plan and worked with my husband who had specific requests about where to put the panels. At the end of our "true-up" period last year our family of four's electrical usage owed to PG&E was ~$15.00 for the entire year.
One thing we liked about this company was how clean the installation was and how they took precautions as the walked on our roof. Each day we were told what would happen the next day and the team was always prompt and courteous.
However, I agree with "Pleasanton Parent" in that we had done all of those recommendations first. Replaced all our windows to energy efficient dual pane, changed to CFL bulbs, we have a whole house fan and ceiling fans rather than A/C. We do not leave cell phone chargers plugged in unless they are in use, etc.


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Posted by Thomas Blake
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Aug 20, 2010 at 2:27 pm

REC that is exactly what I meant by cookie cutter. Too big for me I was looking for a small operation with a bit more of a long term relationship feeling. Any smaller electrical contractors that install solar as well in the area? Would love to call them and support their business in these tough times.


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Posted by Randy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 21, 2010 at 2:46 pm

I used N2Electric, Inc. Nick is awesome and very up to day on ALL the incentives and is an awesome highly educated electrician. This may be exactly what you are looking for. The company is in Livermore and they are indeed small. Won't you give them a try 925-518-2638 that is Nick's DIRECT Number. the company number is 925-5186202 and the webby is www.n2electric.com


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