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How the Expedia of solar panels helps homeowners save money and avoid a common trap: 'Giving you confidence in the systems'

"You'll feel so much more confident in your clean-energy decisions."

"You’ll feel so much more confident in your clean-energy decisions."

Photo Credit: iStock

There are a thousand reasons for a homeowner to install solar panels, and just as many providers willing to do the work — but some are more reliable and cost-effective than others. The many options can be so confusing that some potential buyers give up before they find the right energy solution for their homes. That's where EnergySage comes in.

"Many other companies are always trying their best to get someone to buy something, at the highest price," President and COO Charlie Hadlow told The Cool Down. "We are dedicated to providing knowledge and transparency that empower people to make the best choices for themselves, their families, and their homes."

EnergySage's mission is to make energy efficiency simple. Instead of leaving you on your own to hunt for trustworthy providers for solar panels, heat pumps, and other money-saving energy solutions, the EnergySage website provides a list of fully vetted providers in your area with pricing information and tools for narrowing your options down. Think of it as something like Expedia or Booking.com for solar panels, or perhaps more like an auto insurance comparison platform like Progressive's. 

If you're worried about seeing pages of misleading ads, you won't find those here. "We make pricing transparent," Hadlow told TCD. "We don't use high-pressure sales tactics. And we maintain your privacy along the way. Our whole service is free for homeowners and renters."

The organization offers unique services to ensure you get exactly what you want from your solar installation. 

"We don't require a phone number, so you don't get bombarded with sales calls. Instead, you message with installers right on our platform," Hadlow said. "Our expert analysts and researchers developed a unique rating system that helps you understand the quality of solar panels and inverters, giving you confidence in the systems you are being quoted."

The company also provides a free yearly marketplace report covering pricing and equipment trends "for solar panels, inverters, batteries, and more from solar companies in 41 states and Washington, D.C."

That approach has had outstanding results for both the company and the customers. "I would encourage anyone to go read our Google reviews," Hadlow said. "We have over 1,000 reviews from homeowners who have benefited from our platform. It always puts me in a good mood to read them."

EnergySage isn't Hadlow's first rodeo, as he revealed in his recent interview: "I worked on renewable energy in my prior role, and that's how I learned about EnergySage," he said. "I was a huge fan of what they were doing with consumer protection in the industry and actually sought out the founder (Vikram Aggarwal). We had coffee, and I told him I thought I could help."

Hadlow and his team worked hard to keep their service running smoothly even in the most challenging circumstances. "Navigating through the pandemic was no small feat," Hadlow said. "The solar industry, in particular, is one of constant change; there's a reason it's called the 'solar coaster.' … Fortunately, we saw the organization really pull together in those dark moments of 2020."

Now the company is reaching a wide range of customers — and saving them money. According to Hadlow, "Over one in five people looking to go solar in the United States visit EnergySage.com at least once before their installation. We have saved homeowners over $100 million by helping them spend 20% less than the national average on home energy projects."

By helping homeowners install solar panels, EnergySage doesn't just save them money on the equipment. Solar continues to save owners money on energy bills throughout its lifespan, making it an incredibly cost-effective home investment.

Plus, the more solar energy generated in American homes, the less need for electricity from polluting sources such as coal. Hadlow estimated that EnergySage's projects prevented almost 440,000 tons of carbon air pollution each year.

Hadlow also shared that EnergySage has recently passed $1 billion in facilitated solar project sales, a milestone he said he's incredibly proud of. "That's a big number that reflects our commitment to a world-class consumer experience and the strength of the nationwide network of installer partners," he said.

Ultimately, Hadlow said he sees his company as "here to help." 

"You don't have to shop through EnergySage, but come get our free information and talk to our free Energy Advisors," he said. "You'll feel so much more confident in your clean-energy decisions."

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