If you want to make an active, positive impact on the environment, there is no more natural way to start than installing solar panels on your home or business. While the conversion and installation may be a little costly, you will see monthly utility savings that quickly justify the cost. But, if you never installed solar panels or worked extensively with electronic systems, you will probably want to find some help.
Enter Semper Solar, the California-based solar power and roofing company. If you care about American-made products and supporting veteran businesses, then this company is without a doubt for you. But how is the company's overall service? In this review, we will examine what the company offers and how it compares to other services. Let us start with what Semper Solaris is.
What is Semper Solaris and How Does it Work?
Semper Solaris is a solar energy and roofing company based out of San Diego. Though the company is less than six years old, it has already made a name for itself in the state of California as a reliable and affordable solar energy installation option. In addition to excellent service, the company also employs ex-marines and military members which makes it a great cause to support.
What is more, the veteran led leadership incorporates its military service directly into its business plan. The company’s name comes from the Marines motto: Semper Fidelis. In Latin, this phrase means the always faithful. Semper Solaris seems to take this pledge seriously, seeing as they apply the same rigorous standards to the products and installation as the military does to its recruits.
The company also started a local charity organization called Semper Cares which takes care of the installation and electricity costs of Disabled American Veterans.
Currently, you can contact Semper Solaris if you live in the following areas of California:
So how does solar technology work? In simplest terms, solar technology takes the photons from particles of light and uses them to remove electrons from atoms. This process creates electric energy. There are four different types of solar panels that Semper Solaris offers customers: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, thin film and biohybrid panels. All of these panels provide their distinct advantages and disadvantages. Let us go over what some of them are.
Monocrystalline is the oldest type of solar technology, and as such, it is also the most well researched. You can usually distinguish this type by its uniform dark coloring. Since it runs on pure silicone cell, it is efficient but incredibly expensive. Polycrystalline is cheaper since it runs on raw silicone rather than pure silicone. Fortunately, there is not much of a difference in efficiency between the two of them, so it is generally wiser to go with the blue colored polycrystalline.
If monocrystalline panels are usually a few inches thick, then thin film cells are only nanometers. As such, they require a bit more solar energy to produce the same about as the silicone-based panels, but they are also a bit more affordable. While biohybrid technology is still in development, the future for it looks very promising. In theory, the technology would mimic the way plants create energy through photosynthesis. This new technology has the potential to be one thousand times as effective as traditional solar technology.
What Makes Semper Solaris Unique?
The main reason Semper Solaris is different from a lot of other solar companies is the fact that it is both a locally-based Los Angeles business and it is owned entirely by United States veterans. The company maintains an A-plus rating from the Better Business Bureau on the way they handle their operations. The company also only offers products made in the United States — so if you are interested in just purchasing products domestically, then Semper Solaris is a good option.
The company also demonstrates a sufficient level of customer service. The sales representative provide knowledge that makes solar installations easy to understand. The companies contractors are qualified veterans with a sound practical understanding of how to approach a solar plant. Semper Solaris also offers discounts for any active or retired member of the military, police force and fire department.
Semper Solaris offers SunPower products, which ranks as one of the top manufacturers of solar panels in the United States. What is more, the company boasts an impressive solar efficiency rating on most of their products. The average SunPower solar panel performs with roughly a twenty-one percent efficiency rating. When compared to most solar panels, which generally only exhibit a sixteen percent efficiency, this figure is impressive and saves users a considerable amount of money.
How Much Does Semper Solaris Usually Cost?
Price can be hard to determine without a proper estimate because there are a variety of factors that determine how much Semper Solaris panels cost. Most six kilowatt systems require between ten and fifteen thousand dollars to make in the state of California, while ten kilowatt systems cost between twenty and twenty-five thousand. While this might seem like an expensive cost keep in mind that the with tax benefits, utility subsidies, and energy savings, the values in savings can quickly make up for the initial investment.
Some of these factors include the square footage of your house, the size of the energy system you install, the amount of sunlight your roof receives, the number of tax credits you earn and more. While the panels themselves cost additional money charges usually come in the form of framing systems, solar inverters, permits, and contracted installation charges.
As such, it is essential to give a call for an estimate if you are interested in finding out more about solar panels. Luckily, Semper Solaris typically provides excellent installation advice. In some cases, they saved satisfied customers up to six thousand dollars in unneeded solar panels. Not to mention the fact that estimates for installations cost nothing.
What Do Customers Think of Semper Solaris?
Most of the reviews for Semper Solaris speak of excellent service and kind and attentive employees. Sales representatives are knowledgeable of the product and the pricing systems. What is more, they usually give you an estimate that is significantly less than many other local customers.
Installation crews are generally professional, coordinated and hardworking. The installation time is usually pretty quick — usually under six weeks — and includes a walkthrough of the system, so you know how to operate and maintain it. Not to mention the fact that they often check back in with you to make sure your system performs optimally.
Unfortunately, not everyone’s experience has been a pleasant one. Some customers report that through their systems initially worked excellently; they degraded after three years. The electric systems will crash more and more frequently. Sadly, it seems that customer service for Semper Solaris also degrades with time since it took them six service calls in this particular case to direct the customer to the manufacturer.
Some customers also reported incidents like inappropriate vandalism and damage to air duct systems during installations. While these negative reviews were not very frequent, it is a bit discouraging to think that unprofessional attitudes permeate the company. Hopefully, they are merely random occurrences that do not reflect the overall quality of the company.
How Does Semper Solaris Compare to Other Solar Panels?
To see how some of the other installers of solar product in the California area compare to Semper Solaris, we took a look at three of the top companies: NRG Clean Power, West Coast Solar, and Sun First Solar. By doing this, we hope to highlight the areas in which Semper Solaris excels in and also the areas they where they need improvement.
NRG Clean Power
While NRG Clean Power may not have the same all American products as Semper Solaris, they are a bit more established than the new company. The company has been around since 1987 and seems to offer a similar level of expertise in their products and particular customer service — not to mention low prices and more flexible brand options.
Compared to Semper Solaris, NRG Clean Power seems a bit more dedicated after the installation process. Some buyers have working relationships with the company that is going on twenty-five years. Most customers report rave reviews and a functional level of customer service. For example, one customer had troubles with pigeons after their installation. NGR Clean Power personally came out, removed the nests and installed anti-bird devices to keep them away in the future.
West Coast Solar
West Coast Solar deals more with the Northern California area instead of the southern portion. Like NGR Clean Power and Semper Solaris, the installers have an excellent track record with their customers. Many customers pay electric bills as small as nine dollars per month. Most of the complaints against the company come from customers that were not able to pass inspections for their houses. Unfortunately, the company cannot do anything against this since it is up to the corresponding city which passes inspection
Sun First Solar
Sun First Solar is a company that serves the Bay area of California. While they certainly have a lot of positive reviews, they also have some concerning issues that they should address. For example, a lot of reviewers report that damages that occurred, either to their property or the solar panels themselves. Faulty equipment caused some homes damages in the six thousand dollar price range. The company also charges quite a bit for their solar panels. You would be better off going with a company like Semper Solaris or West Coast Solar.
What We Think: Our Final Opinion
This reviewer believes that Semper Solaris is an all around great company to work with if you are interested in installing solar panels on your home — especially if you care about supporting veterans and veteran-led aid programs. The company is knowledgeable and seems genuinely concerned with getting you the best priced solar panel system out there.
Unlike some companies which claim the savings from environmental tax breaks, Semper Solaris gives all the savings back to you. This fact, combined with the cheap SunPower paneling, makes it one of the most affordable options.
The optimal sunny weather in California has attracted a prospering solar industry. But keep in mind that while this increase means more quality solar companies, it also means more green, cheap businesses. Beware whenever making a substantial purchase like solar roofing that you choose a qualified company. Otherwise, the entire undertaking could blow up in your face. Companies like West Coast Solar and NRG Clean Power are some excellent alternative you should consider.
Deal and Coupons
If you refer a friend to Semper Solaris’s solar installation, then you get five hundred and fifty dollars off your purchase. If you apply a friend to Semper Solaris’s roofing installation, then you get two hundred dollars off your purchase. You can also get a thirty percent federal solar tax credit and zero down credits until 2020.
We hope this review was helpful during your shopping experience. With the boom in the solar industry, you can, unfortunately, meet some less than qualified sellers and installers of solar panels. Luckily, we do not think you need to worry about that with this company. If you want a great American company for honest solar installations, then we cannot think of a better candidate in the state of California than Semper Solaris.