Do Solar Companies Really Need to See Your Utility Bill Before Giving You a Quote?

The short answer is yes, reputable Solar Companies always require you to provide your utility bill before giving you an estimate. So why do some homeowners hesitate?

By Laureen Peck

We know there are a few homeowners who are interested in going solar, but do not want to provide certain types of information. This article will help explain how honest solar companies like ours use utility bills to help us estimate a homeowner’s potential return on investment and energy cost savings from going solar.

Top 3 Concerns We Hear from Homeowners Regarding Providing Their Utility Bill

1. “My utility account could be hacked.”

Some homeowners are afraid to give us their utility bill because they think it could cause a security breach and they could get hacked.  We can address this easily. First, this would be illegal, and no trustworthy solar company like ours would do this.  Nonetheless, even if we wanted to hack into your account, it is virtually impossible. Your utility account number is only one part of your utility account. Without your password and answers to other security questions that would be required to access your account, there is very little chance anyone from our company could access it.  Solar Energy World also has a strict privacy policy that does not allow us to share our customers’ information with anyone outside of our organization without first getting our customer’s permission.

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However, if you are truly worried about this, all you need to do is to black out your account number on the bill, prior to providing it to us and no one from our company will see it. 

2. “If you know which utility company I use, and my approximate spend a month, why isn’t that enough information?”

It helps, but it is not the whole picture. Utility companies have differing service agreements, electricity rates and processes for net metering. When we create your estimate and cost-benefit analysis, we do not expect you to know all the regulatory details, but we should. Your utility bill gives us additional information that you may not be aware of.  

3. “The other solar company I contacted gave me an accurate quote without seeing my utility bill.”

No, they didn’t. You may have received a ballpark estimate but chances are it is wildly inaccurate and most likely lower than it should be to draw you in. It is highly unlikely you have an accurate assessment of what your savings and return on investment will be without an electricity bill review.  Quotes on the fly are not a smart way to decide whether solar would be right for you.  That would be like calling a contractor to ask them how much it would cost to get your kitchen remodeled and they spit out a number without knowing anything about what you want or need from that remodel.

The correct way for a professional solar company like ours to begin to custom design a system that will provide the most savings and potential earnings for you is to review your historic electricity consumption. This ensures the system will be sized appropriately to meet your projected future demand so your home does not have a system installed that will be bigger or smaller than what you really need.

The first step is for us to view your home or land using a google satellite view to determine your solar eligibility based on shading and roof and property size. Reviewing your utility bill is the essential second step in the estimate creation. After that, during your estimate consultation, you will still need to decide what brand of panels you want, whether you will be installing solar battery backup with your panels, whether you will Lease solar panels, use a Power Purchase Agreement, or Purchase them. However, nothing further can be properly analyzed without seeing your utility bill first.

To summarize, accurately calculating your potential energy cost savings and ROI from solar is basically impossible without seeing your utility bill and historical usage. If you are serious about learning if solar is right for you, rest assured this is standard operating procedure from the best solar companies.

If you should question anything about this information exchange, it should be the honesty of any solar company that gives you an estimate without reviewing your utility bill first.  

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