The most common question people ask about rooftop solar is: “What solar panels should I buy.” Unlike buying a car — which people do every 5 or 10 years — people buy solar panels only a few times in their life. But unlike cars, the “best” solar panel on the market at any given time typically changes every 5 or 10 years.
When we recommend solar panels the most important criteria are cost-effectiveness, efficiency aesthetics and reliability. There is not a solar panel manufacturer on the planet that does not say they have high quality manufacturing and a 25 year warranty. Unfortunately, reliability is hard to determine objectively, so the best gauge is the advice of an experienced solar installer. Or an industry expert like Paula Mints with SPV Market Research.
“Top Ten Solar Panel” lists are typically more of a popularity contest — more influenced by advertising than objective criteria. When I recently reviewed a popular Top Ten Solar Panel list I noticed that the top manufacturer no longer manufactured their own panels, and the second manufacturer recently stopped manufacturing. Panels from both of these companies are highly efficient, but in my opinion do not belong at the top of the list.
Please tune in to this week’s Energy Show as we delve into the criteria that we believe are most important for long-term customer satisfaction.