The internet has radically changed the way we shop for most products and services. In general, it’s easy to research features and benefits, compare prices, and ultimately purchase whatever product or service is just right for you. Imagine trying to book a vacation without websites like Expedia or Kayak. Now imagine trying to book one without even a travel agent. That’s what consumers shopping for solar power systems have had to endure. Shopping for solar photovoltaic systems has remained a complex and cumbersome process that leaves many consumers frustrated and confused. More often than not, consumers drop out before taking action.
Recently, EnergySage.com announced the launched of its EnergySage Solar Marketplace, a free-to-the-consumer platform that is essentially the “Expedia of solar.” The comprehensive online platform for researching and shopping for solar PV systems aims to make shopping for solar significantly easier for the consumer. Funded in part through a U.S. Department of Energy Sunshot Initiative investment, the easy-to-use, comparison shopping platform automates the entire process from learning about the technology to requesting, receiving and evaluating quotes from multiple installers as well as appropriate financing solutions from banks and other financing sources. Because the EnergySage Solar Marketplace solicits several quotes from its network of pre-screened, high-quality installers, these providers actually compete for each consumer’s business. Additionally, the automated system standardizes the quotes consumers receive, presents them in a clear, apples-to-apples format, and calculates key evaluation metrics for purchasing and leasing options, making comparisons simple. By introducing both competition and transparency into the process of shopping for solar power, EnergySage allows property owners to quickly and easily choose the option or options that provide the best value for the consumer at no cost to them.
The site also includes robust educational content; decision-making tools; real-life case studies with pictures and financial details; and installer profiles that include consumer ratings and reviews. The Solar Marketplace offers consumers more choices for purchasing, leasing or financing solar PV systems, while providing unprecedented levels of transparency into prices and product and installer quality. The EnergySage platform helps users to solicit multiple competitive bids from several different providers, giving consumers tremendous choice of providers and financing options – thus allowing them to select the best option that best suits their individual financial goals. Consumers are able to quickly and easily determine which options will provide them with the most value. As a result, shopping for solar PV becomes as easy as booking a flight or hotel room for your next vacation.
“We want to make shopping for solar PV easy and painless,” explains EnergySage CEO Vikram Aggarwal. “By simplifying this process, the EnergySage Marketplace helps consumers to make decisions that are right for them, empowers them take control of rising energy bills, and allows them to get the best deals.”