I have been checking the solar permit status several times a day. Yesterday afternoon the status finally changed from “Under Review” to “Ready for Issuance”. I immediately sent an email to the construction manager making him aware of the change. An hour or two later I got an email that was exciting at first and then aggravating as I read deeper. The guy said they would be able to break ground on the project next Monday, a great turnaround time. However he then continued on saying the solar panels that I was quoted were not available but my install would include one of two other brands which he sent me the spec sheets for. Woah, let’s slow down chief….
So when I got home I pulled up the spec sheets of the two proposed replacement panels and compared them to the Silfab panels I was quoted. I could feel the anger swelling up when I saw both of the replacements had less than half of the product warranty that the Silfab panels do. They offered 10 year product and 25 year performance guarantees, the Silfab are 25 year product and 30 year performance, a HUGE difference. My immediate reflex reaction was this was a bait and switch. The Silfab panels also appear to cost more so I theorized this was a way to pad the bottom line if the customer was asleep at the wheel.
Before responding to the email I got on the Silfab website to verify they were still producing panels, which they are, albeit the model numbers have changed. I then crafted a measured but firm email to the construction manager telling him I was not agreeable to swapping out the hardware for something with a far inferior warranty. I also said I didn’t appreciate the timing, dropping this at the last minute after the permit was approved. If this was truly an issue it could have been brought to my attention weeks ago. I summarized that my preference was to still go with the Silfab panels and said if the other panels were the only option then I would need to renegotiate the price downward.
This morning I received a follow up email apologizing for the problem. Supposedly they just found this out yesterday when they went to order the panels from their normal supplier. The manager again pushed to use one of the alternatives with a third option of getting a different model of the Silfab panels although the timeline for doing that would be unknown. As I was in the middle of responding to the email, saying again basically “Silfab or I pay less” I got ANOTHER email from the construction manager. He said his boss did some legwork and was able to get the panels ordered from an alternative supplier. I deleted my draft email and instead sent a short and sweet reply, confirming we were once again on for Monday.
I plan to take the day off from work so I can document the process and answer/address any questions or problems that may arise. To be honest it’s been so long since I agreed to the solar install that it almost feels not real at this point. I guess once shovels start hitting the dirt that perspective will change pretty quickly.
Last night I stayed up after midnight watching Ironman 3 on Disney +. Of course I saw this movie in the the theater but evidently I forgot huge chunks of detail about the story. It almost felt like I was seeing it for the first time. Cindy and I both enjoyed it. That’s the great thing about being old, even old things seem new again, because you forget them.
I have seen some of the impeachment hearings and they are in a word, maddening. The same thing gets asked 20 times, looking for the slightest crack to try to redirect the narrative to something that looks less dirty. The entire event is truly a circus and if it had a chance of actually ending in the outcome of throwing Donald out onto the lawn of the Whitehouse, it would be worth the effort. However we all know the partisan Iron Curtain is awaiting in the Senate so no matter how much dirt is thrown on the floor during the inquiry, Republicans will happily sweep it all under a very large rug. Nothing to see here folks, our extremely stable genius leader has all the answers.