Review for Upstate Alternative Energy
Working with Upstate Alternative Energy was both pleasant and surprisingly easy. First and foremost, the team traveled from Syracuse to Rochester multiple times from the initial meeting to planning to install to follow-up. They said right from the start they were good with the travel and truly showed it after working on the roof for three consecutive 90 degree days. Originally I contacted them for an option to install solar shingles but after going over the pros and cons and running the numbers, they helped show why going to panels over shingles was worth it with the guys explaining it both non-technically and a little into the technical side after I asked. It felt like having two long term friends at the table while they went through this, never rushing and never insisting I go one route over the other instead just giving me the information to let me make the best choice for my home. I also presented them with some challenges for scheduling so we could work with other contractors and they gladly re-arranged things to ensure they would be onsite at the same time so I could maximize the use of my time.
The install looks great. The results of the panel production have actually been better than originally expected (I also added spray foam to the roof deck reducing HVAC loads which were factored in on the original cost analysis). The updated Enphase model was new and their first install but they worked with the manufacturer and local suppliers to quickly get the correct parts once realizing the parts sent worked for the older model. As a bonus it was significantly smaller of a footprint for the inside components that I was able to place it out of the way giving me an extra corner back in my utility room. The extremely hot days did push the timing of the install a little longer as they worked to replace the roof in addition to installing the panels but they still managed to finish it right around expectations by going the extra mile and working late on multiple nights. They gladly did some custom work re-routing vent pipes and minimizing openings in the roof allowing maximum use of the roof for panels. After the install was finished, some extra work was needed to help resolve an issue with the monitoring problems due to manufacturer product issues. It took quite a few visits as they worked with the manufacturer but in the end I never heard a complaint on the driving to take care of it and each time the site was cleaned up as if they had never been there.
I waited a bit before writing the review to see how the system would work with the monitoring they provided and the results. Its been a little over a half a year since the system has been in and the results are going strong. Aside from the snow blocking the panels, they have performed as expected and I am still seeing credits on my bill from electricity generated in the summer and fall. I have no doubt that I'll recoup my investment in this and enjoy at least 20 years of free electricity just as they figured I would.
Given all the time they invested, getting to know them, and opening my bill from the power company and just having to pay the connection charge, the experience was well worth it. The whole team went above and beyond working sun up to after sun down during probably the hottest week of the year to bring the whole project together. If you're looking for a great team to install solar, these guys are definitely ones to give a call.
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