NREL Study Shows Smaller Solar Installation Companies Offer Better Prices


The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is tasked with helping both the federal government and individual American consumers understand and benefit from renewable energy options. Since solar power is rapidly on the rise as the preferred energy source of people across the country, NREL recently looked into solar power options that the average consumer or business might have when shopping around. Specifically, it wanted to know if solar panels were a viable and economic source of power, and which companies were providing the best rates and deals.

Through a thorough price quote distribution comparison, the NREL study found that large solar panel corporations tend to charge a noticeable amount more for system installation and maintenance than smaller competitors. The study was mainly interested in final system sales, not necessarily system leases. This finding is contrary to many peoples’ assumption that savings come from shopping at large corporate storefronts, akin to finding low prices when walking into Walmart.

It has been speculated that large corporations have higher backend costs due to needing to market against other large solar panel installers. This could drive up the prices that consumers experience. On the other hand, a smaller solar panel installation company usually gets all its marketing done through word-of-mouth or online traffic from locals.

SunPower Poised for Success

The NREL study did not directly name any of the businesses it used for its research; this is likely due to some sort of legislative agreement that would bar the agency from potentially interfering with private market sales. Due to their national prevalence, it might be safely assumed thatTesla,Vivint Solar, and Sunrun were included as “large solar panel installation companies” in the data. It would be difficult to ascertain exactly which “smaller” competitors were used.

SunPower, however, is unique when compared to both sides of the solar panel installation business spectrum. It has a presence all across the United States, but has done so by teaming up with local solar panel installation companies. This franchise-like business model has enabled it to keep its costs low while also extending its brand outreach and allowing it to develop better and better technology.

To learn more about the NREL study results, you can view an article recently published by The Motley Fool by clicking here. You can also review the entire NREL study in PDF form, as it was first published by the agency, by clicking here. If you are interested in getting a solar panel system for your home or business in California, New Jersey, or New York, you can contact SunPower by Sea Bright Solar today for additional information, options, and pricing estimates.

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