Solar Energy Systems in California
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Mark with RA-Tech was careful to keep the panel layout within the confines of our patio cover and installed all hardware and equipment in a professional and aesthetically pleasing manner. He ran conduit and mounted equipment per our planning discussions. Additionally, he installed an entirely new electrical service mast, meter box, and replaced our unsafe 1960`s era Federal Pacific load center. Mark removed and replaced the drywall around the load center, and taped and mudded the wall joints. Even though work spaces were limited, the new mast passes through our roof and deck tight to the side of the house and the penetrations, like it was original construction. He even painted all the new conduits, disconnect box and meter panel, with our house paint, as well as the siding where the old meter box was! If you need a structure built to mount your new solar panels on, you would do well to consider having RA-Tech build that for you as well, if they can fit it into their schedule.[show/hide photo gallery]
Mark & Lidia Thompson of RaTech Solar have walked us through the entire process step by step. They are very hard workers and take pride in their work. There were no hidden cost and no surprises. I am very pleased that they installed our solar system. I would recommend them to anyone. RaTech Solar was the best for us. Great people to work with, great emails and phones calls after all was completed. They are highly recommended.[show/hide photo gallery]
The work that Ra Tech did for us was amazing. The professional manner in which the ground mount was installed and the precision is top rated! Exceptional in all ways! Even if we sold this home we would still use this contractor to install another pv system. We believe that it is a responsibility to be as green as possible! RA TECH solar is the BEST![show/hide photo gallery]
Part of any delay was City of Albany`s insistance on more attic bracing, which Mark did. He put up 42 2x4 panels which were sold to us by Sunlit Systems which are no longer in business. He was their installation contractor. Did a nice, clean, quick job, (3/4 days) Came out once when a converter stopped working when a wire got pulled loose on roof. I suspect racoons. Would certainly use him again. Have recommended him to others. Wish they would offer the same incentives we got. Between state and Fed we paid about 50%. Will be waiting for new `film` types to come on the market.>[show/hide photo gallery]
When I bid this job with several of the larger companies in the area, I learned that grid-tied solar will not deliver house power when the grid goes down. No larger company would attempt to go outside their "standard grid-tied install." Mark Thompson, owner, designer, licensed electrician and primary installer was willing to work closely with me to create a custom design and then complete the installation. He worked diligently to ensure I could get solar panels which were in short supply, dealt with a complicated roof install, and did an excellent job of the electrical wiring. System works as designed, roof doesn't leak, and the pricing was in line with the other two bids for the basic work. I added extra features which ended up costing more, but pricing was fair. Mark is flexible, diligent and a pleasure to work with. Watch out for his puns! Only complaint is that it took months to get started, many jobs ahead of me!
Description of Work: Ra Tech designed and installed a 3.2 kilowatt grid-tied renewable energy solar array with battery and generator back up. The system consists of roof mounted solar panels, an Outback grid-tied inverter, solar charging controllers and a large battery bank. In addition to the solar system, additional re-wiring was necessary to move most of the house loads to the battery back-up and an additional panel was added for the generator transfer. Photos of the job are at: davs2rt.com[show/hide photo gallery]
Contractor did a professional job and made changes on the fly to improve problems encountered in the mounting system, which was provided by another company. I found problem solving abilities and work skills excellent.[show/hide photo gallery]
The City of San Jose Electrical Inspector commented that this is one of the cleanest installation jobs that he has seen. He was very impressed. Ra Tech Solar was the only company I could find that would install customer provided material, that is why they were not involved regarding permits, rebates or inspections. This is a great company and I recomend them highly.[show/hide photo gallery]
The contractor, Ra Tech Solar, proprietor Mark Thompson, dealt with unanticipated problems, including that the warehouse sent defective parts. Mark fixed the problems at his own expense. He also did add-on work (installed a generator and changed wiring) at very reasonable, I thought extremely low add-on cost. I am extremely pleased with the job Mark Thompson and RaTech Solar did. You may call me at 650-856-2850. I am CEO of a nonprofit that works on other forms of renewable energy so I am aware of the benefits and issues.[show/hide photo gallery]
We felt very comfortable with the whole process of the installation of our system. Mark was always on top of any problems that arose. It also helped that he was a certified electrician as well as very knowledgeable of the products and services provided by the energy commission. There were never any questions left unanswered. We would highly recommend his company to anybody.
MARK THOMPSON DOES QUALITY WORK ! Having carefully researched the pros and cons of installing solar panels on my home I have heard and read both sides of the argument. The prevailing reason 90% of people had not pursued installing solar panels was the impression that it was not affordable. I am here to tell you, that is not what the facts are. 1 year after installing solar panels on my home I have come to the conclusion that putting solar panels on my roof was a very profitable move on my part. Here are the reasons why... The value of my home has gone up by at least $20,000 probably more. Why? Because the next owner of my home won't be paying for electricity...ever.. They will never be concerned about the rising cost of utility bills. I have offset my natural gas bill by $660 per year because now I use electric heat. Not having an electric bill saves me an additional $120.00 every month. My yearly savings on natural gas & electricity total $2,100. That's this year, next year and every year for the rest of my life. Will monthly energy cost continue to go up over time? Of course they will.. Remember Enron, rolling black outs, price gouging? Not for me. My cost is set. Did I mention State and Federal tax deductions? I don't pay as much taxes either. Did I mention I borrowed $ 22,000 against my home equity line to finance the purchase of my solar system? The money I used to pay PG&E now pays my debt off and yes my home equity line has given me another tax write off. Did I mention the State of California chipped in $ 16,000 to help me purchase my solar system? Even if you only install solar for financial reasons, this is a no-brainer. But wait there is an even a better reason to install solar. Your life, your children's life's and future generations are facing a global climate catastrophe. The scientists are ringing the alarm bells everyday. The real question is. Can you really afford not to do this?
Ra Tech workers were friendly and did a good job attempting to keep the work-site as clean and organized as one can expect with construction work. Ra Tech installed a PV system designed by another company (which took care of our paper work for permits,incentives,etc) and made some necessary adjustments to the layout design as well as perform structural work and be willing to deal with our metal roof. They coordinated with the other company well. WE ARE SO HAPPY WITH RA TECH`S WORK THAT WE HAVE CONTACTED THEM ABOUT FUTURE WORK ON OUR HOUSE.
Ra was interactive and really dedicated to doing a clean install. The system looks very professional and appears to be operating well. My wife reminded me that it was beyond money- it was a matter of national security! I could not talk to people about global warming and do noting, so we went solar and a Prius! beside the small day to day considerations.
Mark and Lidia did a great job all the way through. Although I researched the equipment, costs, process, etc., quite a bit upfront, there`s always a lot you don`t know about the first time through. I was impressed that at every juncture even after the contract was signed, Mark and Lidia went the extra step and always opted for top quality service and equipment rather than cost savings to their bottom line. I highly recommend them. It would help to know what the average, and if possible expected, rise in the cost of electricity is projected to be. Up front this looks like at least a 10-year payback, but it wasn`t until I analyzed my electric bills over the last two years that I realized my cost for electricity had actually gone up 20% from 2005 to 2006 on exactly the same total usage (total bills for the 12 months each year). I had no idea that had happenned. Anything like that over the next 5 years, and the payback time is cut in half - making the whole decision to install a whole lot more attractive financially.[show/hide photo gallery]
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