Founded 1978 Phoenix Energy Products
We’re Phoenix Energy Products™, LLC, doing business as PEP Solar. In business since 1978, we are a privately owned, Arizona-based company dedicated to providing our customers and neighbors with advanced solar energy product solutions to meet your energy requirements. In this article, we will review the top criteria for selecting a solar energy provider and explain how PEP Solar meets or exceeds these requirements. We’ll provide fun facts that will illustrate our depth of knowledge and vast experience in the home solar industry. And, we’ll explain why now is the ideal time to go solar, to become a prosumer, a homeowner that both produces and consumes energy.
Solar a Savvy Investment
A solar PV system represents a significant and savvy investment. A significant investment because, after your house, auto, and perhaps a pool, going solar is one of your more substantial cash outlays. The average home in Arizona costs about $300,00, a new car $36,800, and a new inground pool upwards of $25,000, while installing an average-sized solar system is roughly $23,000 after incentives and tax credits. A savvy investment because your solar system pays you every month in reduced energy costs and pays a handsome dividend when you sell your home.
Regardless of your motivation, be it financial – reducing or eliminating energy expenditures and protection from future rising energy costs; or environmental – reducing your carbon footprint and consuming sustainable energy; purchasing a solar energy system is expensive and a long-term commitment. If you choose well, you will be working with your solar provider throughout your system’s lifetime.
Selecting a Solar Provider
In preparation for this article, we scoured the internet, searching for industry experts’ inputs as to the most relevant considerations in selecting a solar provider. We reviewed comments from our thousands of home solar customers about those attributes that most influenced their
decisions to go green with PEP Solar. In the sections below, we address those considerations and how PEP Solar performs in each area.
Experience – Time in the Solar Industry
The number one attribute people seek when selecting their provider is time and experience in the industry. Experts will tell you that experience is even more important than company size.
PEP Solar is the oldest residential solar company in the U.S. Our family-owned company dates to 1978. We have a proud and rich history including working alongside Senator Barry Goldwater, and in concert with Shell Oil’s solar division, to help install remote solar electric off-grid systems for the Navajo nation back in 1981.
The growth of solar in Arizona brought a plethora of new solar installation companies to the state, increasing competition. As a result of this highly competitive set, many solar contractors go out of business in less than ten years. You want a solar contractor, like PEP Solar, with exhibited staying power, one that will succeed and be there for you for the full twenty-five years of your system’s warranty.
Bonnie our founder installing solar on Navajo Code Talker roof-top in 1981. Code Talkers are military veterans who helped America win World War II because of their unknown language. PEP is decades ahead of all other companies. Even her son who runs operations today won in the 80’s Arizona State University Special Science Fair Purple Award for his ideas around solar energy now being used around the world.
Local Versus National Solar Companies
Many industry experts extoll the virtues of selecting a local solar provider. Local companies are more familiar and more experienced in dealing with local issues such as:
- State rebate programs
- County permitting requirements
- Local building and electrical codes
- They have relationships with local permitting officers and inspectors
- They understand the local climate – an important consideration in Arizona
- Knowledge of the local utilities’ programs
Pep Solar excels in each area. They have the required knowledge and relationships in the local solar industry. Pep Solar can guide you to the appropriate solar system, and utilities’ rate plans to optimize your investment. They are experts in dealing with APS (Arizona Public Service Electric), SRP (Salt River Project), and TEP (Tucson Electric and Power) and understand their rate schedules and excess energy credit policies.
A local provider such as PEP services fewer locations and customers, improving the speed of the process. One satisfied PEP customer noted, “Our process took twelve days from sales presentation to system installation.” Obviously, not all PEP projects move at this speed.
Another little-noted advantage of a local provider is their relationships with experienced residential real estate agents. PEP has fostered these strategic relationships with agents who understand that more than eighty percent of new home buyers consider energy-efficiency crucial in their purchasing decision.
Phoenix Energy Products demonstrating the Motorola and Shell Oil Sola-Volt PV off-grid solar systems and how the solar panels are pumping water, and providing solar lighting. PEP had already completed over 191 off-grid solar battery system installs by 1982 for the Navajo Code Talker (US Military Veteran) community.
Custom Solar Installation Capabilities
You will want to select an installer who is an expert in custom system installations. A sophisticated solar system has a myriad of variables you need to consider:
- Analyzing your energy needs
- Sizing the system
- System design
- Licenses and permits
- Professional installation team
- System inspections; post-installation and ongoing
- Optimizing rate plans
- Maintenance and repairs
At PEP Solar, we specialize in customized solar installations. We consider your energy needs and keep your house and surroundings in mind, addressing any physical variables. A primary consideration is the available roof area for PV panels. This helps to determine the potential array size. Other physical issues might be the roof’s orientation, slope, and shading from trees, air conditioners, or other parts of the roof. Building codes may require setbacks from roof ridges. Depending on the available roof area and orientation, you may need to consider higher efficiency PV panels.
We understand that curb appeal is important and design a system with your aesthetics in mind. Our most attractive solar panels will not have visible parts and wiring. All these variables impact the equipment to be deployed.
Don’t believe an installer who tells you that one brand of solar panel is more or less as good as the next. Not all solar is alike. At PEP, we understand that factors such as durability, particularly in extreme weather conditions, degradation rates, and solar panel efficiency matter.
Broad Selection of Products and Materials – Helping You to Become an Educated Consumer
At PEP Solar, we partner with only the best solar equipment providers to deliver your best solar solution. We are a certified installer for each of the components we propose for your system.
To quote another PEP Solar customer, “PEP provided a wealth of knowledge; they were honest, upfront, and educating.” We believe that an informed consumer will make the best decision in selecting a solar provider, so we teach you the key attributes to consider in equipment decisions.
For example, when choosing solar panels, your selection criteria should include efficiency, cost, life span, warranty, and if you live in an area with extreme temperatures – high-temperature performance. Our solar experts will walk you through solar panel evolution, from first-generation mono and polycrystalline through the thin-film generation, PERC, and into the newest technology hetero-junction solar panels, explaining the performance and cost variable of each.
Another critical component in your system is the battery. Again, our experts will explain the various types of batteries; flooded lead-acid (FLA), sealed lead-acid (SLA), and lithium-ion batteries. They will discuss the most important considerations in your choice of a battery; battery type, capacity and power ratings, depth of discharge (DoD), efficiency, and warranty.
Here are a few of the battery types offered by PEP Solar:
- Tesla Powerwall (stackable – meaning: can add multiple batteries to increase load shaving) (expandable)
- Enphase Ensemble (stackable) (exandable)
- Generac – Pika (non-stackable) (limited)
- LG Chem Primary Lithium-ion Battery (non-stackable) (limited)
- Shell Oil – Sonnen eco (currently non-stackable)
- Fortress – eVault Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery (stackable) (expandable)
PEP Solar uses only best-in-class components and offers industry-leading warranties on all parts and the installation. Each of the above battery manufacturers certifies PEP Solar as authorized installers of their systems.
Solar Services Offered
Many solar companies specialize in segments of the industry, such as EV charging stations. PEP Solar offers a vast array of services from complete system design and installation, to solar system maintenance and home solar inspections. Other PEP services include:
- Solar PV Installation
- Solar mini-split air conditioning & extended warranty options
- Solar storage
- Micro-Grid Solar
- Solar attic fan
- Car charging system
- Solar water heater
- Solar lighting
- LED lighting
- Solar pool heating
- Solar for Business
- Remove and Reinstall Solar
- Original Solar Warranty Transfer from an old company
- Home Solar Inspection
- Solar Skin
Although most solar system components come with a twenty to thirty-year warranty, there’s no guarantee they will operate at sustained peak performance levels without maintenance. Regular residential solar inspections by a certified professional are the best way to protect your investment and keep your system functioning perfectly.
When a PEP Solar inspector visits your home or business, you can be assured; they have the knowledge and experience to inspect your solar system professionally and to diagnose any issues.
Solar System Financing Options
A good installation company will advise you of your solar financing options. Depending on location, those options may include cash purchases, loans, or leasing. Your solar company should be transparent about who is financing or underwriting your loan or lease.
At PEP Solar, we provide multiple financing options and consult with you to determine the best approach for your situation. We work with you to ensure that you optimize all rebates, tax credits, utility rate schedules, and excess energy credits. We offer the industry best warranties on components and installation.
Solar Installation Credentials
Your due diligence in selecting a solar installer should include a review of the companies’ credentials. You should seek an installer who goes beyond basic state-required licensing and bonding. We recommend that you only consider providers who have certification from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). The NABCEP is a nationally recognized certification program known as the “gold standard” for installation and sales. A PV Installation Professional credential from the NABCEP means the installers for that company have met high standards of qualifications and undergone extensive training.
PEP Solar is, of course certified by the NABCEP. PEP also enjoys an A+ BBB (Better Business Bureau) Rating, is a member in good standing of the North Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, and is a member of the American Solar Energy Society.
In June 2020, Solar America named PEP Solar a Top 5 Residential Solar Provider in Arizona. As a seasoned solar provider, we ensure that the highest standards are met, and only the best practices are deployed during your inspection.
Stellar Solar Customer Reviews
Solar experts recommend searching for customer reviews on websites like Yelp, the Better Business Bureau, and company websites.
With an A+ BBB rating, PEP Solar’s customer reviews on BBB are obviously stellar. We devote an entire page on our site to customer reviews. Each review receives a personalized response from a member of the PEP Solar executive management team.
Some of the more compelling reviews mention the following attributes of PEP Solar:
- “Very professional – made every commitment on time and always kept me informed”
- “Listened to our needs, brought us different options, and ensured that what we got exactly what we wanted”
- “Communication between myself and the company was exceptional. You can really tell the difference with a family-owned company”
- “No high-pressure sales tactics, truly knows the product, and only sells the BEST panels and smartest system on the market”
- “Professional, helpful, courteous – pricing for my project was the most competitive”
- “Thorough explanation of the science and logic – financial savings, to the financing”
Why Go Solar Now – There Has Never Been a Better Time to Go Solar
You Live in an Ideal Location for Solar
The desert Southwest enjoys the absolute best solar resources anywhere in the United States. We enjoy 211 sunny days each year, with an additional 85 days of partial sun. That equates to an annual average of 3700 hours of sunlight, allowing us to maximize solar technology.
Financial Considerations in Going Solar Now
The time to go solar is now as installations have become significantly more affordable, Federal Tax Credits continue to decline, and utilities prepare to revise rate plans.
- The cost of a solar installation has declined by more than 70% in the less decade.
- Federal tax credits for residential solar will go from 26% in 2020 to 22% in 2021.
- Utilities, such as APS (Arizona Public Service), prepare to revise solar rate plans.
PEP Solar – In Summary
We hope this article has been helpful, informative, and at least a bit persuasive in your consideration of a solar energy provider. We are a full-service solar company and have been installing, servicing, inspecting, and repairing solar for homeowners and businesses in Arizona since 1981. Our mission is to provide complete solar power solutions that perform beyond your expectations for the life of your system. We would love to help you design and install your solar PV system using the best products in the solar energy market.