Direct Energy Solar Review

Custom Experience of Solar Done Right

Direct Energy Solar provides a seamless all-in-one solution for solar energy. It provides you with a custom design and quote after a free consultation, and use solar irradiance mapping to create your own solar forecast. The company promises to pay the difference if it oversells your estimate, making your production guaranteed. Choose from a variety of financing options including leasing and buying upfront, and have one point of contact with your own dedicated Project Lead.

Best For:
Solar Beginners and Residential

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Direct Energy Solar Highlights

  • Solar Irradiance Mapping provides solar forecast

  • All-in-one worry free installation

  • Industry leading guarantees

Pros

  • Move your system within 10 years

  • Dedicated project lead as point of contact

  • New roof guarantee

  • Free solar consultation and quote

Cons

  • No 24/7 support on website

  • Only serves 6 states

Expert’s Score Breakdown

Overall rating: 3.5

  1. Equipment: 3.5

  2. Installation & Monitoring: 4.5

  3. Efficiency: 4

  4. Cost & Savings: 4

  5. Customer Support: 2.5

Equipment

Direct energy Solar uses crystalline silicon panels for reliable solar technology. They believe these panels will last for as much as 30 years with high efficiency levels. They provide their panels from industry leading manufacturers who ensure the hardware and technology is rigorously tested for excellence.

Direct Energy Solar was the first company to use panel optimizers in its inverter technology, which means the panels will work independently rather than all dependent on one another. This increases the ability for the panels to perform well, improving efficiency and saving you more money in the long run. This panel optimization also allows you to have greater design flexibility and an easily expandable system if you want to start small and see how you get on.

Installation & Monitoring

Your site inspection involves the latest, industry-leading processes to create a custom design for your energy system. Your home will be evaluated thoroughly to determine its potential for solar efficiency using solar irradiance mapping technology. Once you have been provided with a custom design and production estimate, you will have a lot more information about your costings and production than with other solar energy companies. Along with this comes forecasts of your solar payback timeline and how much energy you are likely to produce. A team of solar experts works on your design and planning, which includes all the measurements and inspecting, the paperwork and permissions and any requests for grants and rebates. This process can take up to 2 months.

Design and installation

Direct Energy Solar uses professionally trained electricians and supervisors who are NABCEP certified and passionate about solar power and provide a consistent experience throughout by providing you with your own Project Lead who will be your main point of contact throughout the process. Among the guarantees offered by Direct Energy Solar are an installation timeline guarantee, 10-year workmanship warranties (this can be extended to 20), a 10-year system production guarantee, moving guarantees and new roof guarantees. You will also benefit from a 25-year manufacturer warranty on your panels. Monitoring and support including replacements and repairs are taken care of for life.

Efficiency (Title Text)

Your solar efficiency is the amount of usable energy you produce from your panels. Direct Energy Solar uses micro electronics which attach to each solar panel, known as panel level optimization. As each panel operates independently rather than one inverter controlling the entire system, this has a great effect on efficiency, and has shown significant improvements in energy production.

Guaranteed system production means that you will have some peace of mind about how efficient your system is for 10 years after purchase. Solar irradiance mapping technology allows Direct Energy Solar to accurately predict your efficiency based on your home's potential for solar. When your system over performs and there is excess sun power, this energy will be saved for a later time and doesn’t get lost. Direct Energy Solar is so confident with its estimates that if your system falls short, the company will pay the difference.

Cost & Savings (Title Text)

Every home is different, so the exact costs and return on going solar will vary from household to household. However, there are two ways to pay for solar panels with Direct Energy Solar. No-money-down options are popular for those who don’t want an initial outlay of thousands of dollars. This way, you can start making money on your investment immediately. You pay a monthly fee for your solar panels over a fixed term of around 20-25 years, and then you pay a heavily reduced utility bill for electricity on top of that. Direct Energy Solar guarantees that these two bills together will come to less than your original utility bill.

Payback period

The other option is to buy your system outright. This is a heavy cost of between $15,000 to $30,000. Federal, state and local incentives can save you between 30%-40% of this, and financing can help offset the costs into monthly instalments as well. Typically, your payback period will be between 5-10 years, and depends on how much grid electricity is in your region, the total cost of your individual installation, the efficiency of your system and how you choose to pay.

SREC (solar renewable energy credits) can also be collected and sold back to the utility companies who accept this program.

Customer Support (Title Text)

Direct Energy Solar cares about its customers. The guarantees are a great way of showing that their first priority is peace of mind for their users. One great example is the new roof guarantee. If you need to replace your roof within the first 10 years (this can be extended to 20), Direct Energy Solar will store your panels cost free for 60 days while the roof is repaired or replaced.

If you need any help at any time, the customer care team have a direct email address which you can use at any time, or you can reach out by phone during working hours EST. However, it would be great to see a live chat option on their website. The Direct Energy Solar blog is an informative and interesting resource.

Conclusion

Direct Energy Solar is a great all-in-one solution, especially, since you have your own Project Lead as a point of contact, and that all the planning and permissions is taken care of for you. The website could have some more information about equipment, especially as customer service is not extensive, but the solar irradiance technology and production guarantee make them well worth booking a free quote and inspection. 

Visit Direct Energy Solar

 

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