Competitor Comparison: Solar Works Energy
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Homeowners have plenty of reasons to shop for the best Albuquerque solar company. Choosing the best-qualified installers with the right products will deliver benefits for decades, including hefty savings on power bills, greater self-reliance, and the good feeling that comes with protecting the environment. To help Albuquerque residents choose the right company, here’s a comparison of two New Mexico installers — Go Solar Group and Solar Works Energy.
Biggest Isn’t Always Best with Albuquerque Solar
Both companies have enduring experience and positive customer reviews. Solar Works Energy boasts of its staff’s combined 30 years’ experience serving commercial, government, and residential clients. Go Solar Group has been installing solar arrays throughout the West and internationally since 2009, but has only targeted customers in the Albuquerque area for 2 years. Yet as a relatively small, family-owned provider in the New Mexico market, Go Solar Group can promise close attention to every customer’s needs. Often, small solar companies actually offer lower prices and more product choices than bigger competitors, an NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) study shows.
Paths to Solar Savings in New Mexico
Both companies give customers a chance to earn back part of the cost of a solar array by referring other customers. Solar Works Energy gives $250 to customers for referring a person who makes a purchase. Through its SunShare program, Go Solar Group pays $500 to any referrer, whether they’re a customer or not, for each referral that results in an installation, no matter how many referrals the person makes. Both companies show on their websites a commitment to principled management, and both help customers access zero-down financing. However, Solar Works Energy also offers to help arrange 20-to 25-year leases of solar arrays. Go Solar Group’s owners have decided on principle not to offer leasing. Leasing rather than owning a solar array can reduce homeowners’ solar savings, complicate any sale of the house, and prevent customers from taking advantage of solar tax credits. But there are many ways for New Mexico homeowners to save on solar outside of referral programs and ownership methods of the modules themselves.
If you’ve been exploring solar for your Albuquerque home long enough to know the brands, products, and solar hookups you want with your residence, this section is for you.
Battery Backup: Key to Emergency Preparedness
Many homeowners assume a home solar array will automatically keep the lights on when the grid goes down. Solar Works Energy dismisses this idea on its website FAQ page as a “solar myth,” advising homeowners to buy a generator. But Go Solar Group offers battery-backup options that assure homeowners of exactly that — the ability to keep the lights on during an outage and offer emergency preparedness in pandemics or grid failures.
Battery backup systems can collect surplus energy from a home solar array for use during the nighttime, grid outages, or other emergencies. Go Solar Group is a Certified Tesla Powerwall Installer: the Powerwall is a high-quality home battery that integrates with the breaker, taking over seamlessly during an outage. Customers who want this industry-leading home-energy storage product must work only through Certified Installers. Go Solar Group also offers two lower-cost, portable battery-backup options. Goal Zero’s portable Yeti 1500 can power an average fridge for about 28 hours, and the company’s Yeti 3000 can store about twice as much backup power. These batteries come equipped with several ports where devices can be plugged in. Solar Works Energy makes no mention of battery backup on its website.
Solar Modules for Flat New Mexico Rooftops
The choice of a solar panel brand from among the hundreds on the market is critical to the total cost, performance, and long-term ROI of a solar array over its 25- to 40-year lifespan. Go Solar Group uses Axitec, mono-crystalline solar panels for typical installations. These German-engineered panels hit the sweet spot for many customers between affordable pricing and high quality. Axitec modules stand out because of their production guarantee of 90% after 15 years, (compared with the industry standard of 85%) and 85% after 25 years (compared with the industry standard of 80%). Go Solar Group also offers three premium panel brands by LG, Silfab and Solaria, for homeowners who have less space available for a solar array, more complex architecture, or other special circumstances. These premium solar panels have high efficiency and wattage ratings, but they come at a higher price. Solar Works Energy makes no reference to panel brands on its website.
Extending Solar’s Benefits Overseas
Both companies aim to help customers reduce dependence on harmful fossil fuels. Go Solar Group gives customers an opportunity to extend the same benefits overseas. For each solar array Go Solar Group installs in the U.S., the company offers micro-financing via a nonprofit organization, 1heart1mind.org, for an equivalent solar array for a Ugandan family. This initiative sprang from the founders’ own volunteer experience on a service mission in Africa. With Go Solar Group’s support, 1heart1mind also has built a solar-powered boarding school for Ugandan children, including clean reading light, teachers, and a headmaster. Customers of Go Solar Group can enjoy knowing they aren’t just improving their own homes — they’re improving the quality of life for a Ugandan family as well.