Big Dog Solar Services and Installation
When you choose Big Dog Solar to tackle your home solar project, the installation process will be fairly straightforward and require little work on your part. The company tackles everything from permitting and design to installation and commissioning of your photovoltaic equipment.
Below is a brief breakdown of the steps you can expect when choosing Big Dog Solar to convert your home to solar power.
Solar Installation Experience
The process of installing solar panels on your home with Big Dog Energy is as follows:
Step 1: Get a Quote
Your process of converting to renewable energy begins by getting a quote. You can fill out the contact form on Big Dog Solar’s website, and a representative will get in touch with you to get some additional details. Your tech might ask for a copy of your most recent energy bill (which should include your monthly electricity consumption for the previous year), pictures of your home, information about appliances and your heating system and more.
Step 2: Home Assessment
In most cases, a technician and electrician from Big Dog Solar will come out to assess your property in person and take roof measurements. During this inspection, they might require access to your electrical panel, water meter (where many homes are grounded), your attic if you have one and the area where you’ll have solar batteries installed, if applicable.
The home assessment often includes a look at your roof for age and size, as well as an assessment of shading from trees or buildings during peak production hours.
The home assessment is a good time to ask any questions specific to your home. Big Dog Solar’s representatives are quite friendly and professional, so you should get an answer to any questions you might have.
Step 3: Design, Permitting and Installation
Next, Big Dog Solar will begin designing the system that suits your home best. The decisions made during this step will depend on the equipment you want to be installed — like solar panels and solar batteries — and your energy needs and expectations.
The permitting process can take quite a long time — sometimes adding weeks to your installation timeline — and in many cases this is out of your installer’s hands. Once everything is permitted, your Big Dog Solar rep will reach out to schedule an installation date.
Step 4: Commissioning Your System
Once everything is installed, your rep will commission your system. Your panels will begin producing energy, which is when your savings begin!
Big Dog Solar Customer Service
Big Dog Solar’s customer service is generally quite good, with the company getting good ratings in terms of communication before, during and after installation. However, while most customers report feeling cared for during the process, others report months-long stints of no communication and unanswered emails. There have also been some issues reported with warranty coverage, although most reports are positive on the warranty front.
Big Dog Solar Costs and Financing
The price of solar panels in Idaho will vary quite a lot from customer to customer. Some factors that can affect solar panel pricing from Big Dog Solar include the size of the system you need, your home’s energy efficiency, whether you choose high-durability or more affordable solar panels, your home’s energy needs and more.
The average price of solar panels in Idaho is around $2.60 per watt, and the prices you’ll see from Big Dog Solar are typically around average. Depending on how many panels you need, you could pay anywhere between $13,468 and $25,012 for your solar power system. Keep in mind that this price range is after the federal tax credit (ITC) is considered. Additionally, your price will be higher if you plan to add solar batteries to your solar energy system to provide electricity through power outages.
Financing Options Through Big Dog Solar
Big Dog Solar provides access to solar financing to help bring down the up-front costs of going solar and make this clean energy source more accessible. Below is a brief breakdown of how Big Dog Solar’s financing options compare.
Cash Purchase Solar Loan System Ownership ✓ ✓ Upfront Cost ✓ ✓ Added Property Value ✓ ✓ Eligible for Tax Credit ✓ ✓ Payment Due to Solar Installer Loan Provider
If you’re looking for a more in-depth explanation of how these financing and purchase options work and the benefits of each, you can check out our financing guide.
Big Dog Solar Solar Panel Warranty
Solar panel systems can have two types of warranties: those on the equipment to cover power production and damage and those on labor. Big Dog Solar provides the manufacturer’s warranty for all equipment installed, which is typically 25-year coverage for efficiency and damages. This is a great warranty that matches the industry standard.
The company also provides a 25-year warranty on workmanship, although it does not cover roof leaks, which is one of the primary issues that solar customers experience if they do have a problem, so the lack of roof leak coverage does put off some customers.
Big Dog Solar Reviews
As is the case with most home services, it’s useful to look at reviews from other customers to get a sense of the service you can expect when going solar. Customer reviews offer unbiased insight into how likely a solar panel installation company is to meet or exceed your expectations. We scoured several sites for Big Dog Solar reviews to provide you with a quick look at the general consensus when it comes to this company.
Positive Big Dog Solar Reviews
There are quite a lot of satisfied Big Dog Solar customers whose reviews state how happy they are that they went with this company. Most state that the installation timeline was longer than expected but that the end result was worth the wait. Below are some of the most telling positive reviews we found online.
“This company is absolutely amazing. They have so many options to choose from when it comes to panels and equipment. Their warranties are absolutely sensational. All around really good company. They even offer off-grid systems, which is really cool.” — Charles via BBB
“I first inquired online about solar energy through Big Dog Solar, and they were quick to get back to me. Then we met our salesperson, Adrian, at my home. Adrian was awesome, and very knowledgeable! The whole process from sales visit to completion took about 3 weeks and that was only because my electric company had to change out the meter to adjust for me making my own energy.” — Alex via Google Reviews
Negative Big Dog Solar Reviews
Unfortunately, Big Dog Solar has garnered some negative reviews as well. Most of the negative comments about this company stem from a lack of communication — particularly regarding unreturned phone calls after payment is made. Some customers mention that the company doesn’t honor warranties, and some have had issues with the company failing to get permits. The negative Big Dog Solar Energy review below gives a snapshot of the potential for poor service.
“Big Dog Solar (BDS) is the most ineptly run, least efficient company we have encountered here… It took five months to sort out the paperwork — the county kept rejecting it for simple errors — and two more months to do work we were assured would take a week… On multiple occasions, crews arrived without requisite tools and/or components, which is easy to understand because they regularly leave tools and parts strewn around our property (not to mention cigarette butts) and then disappear for days.” — John P via BBB
Solar Energy Provider Comparison
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Idaho is home to 20 solar installers, so many customers wonder how Big Dog Solar stacks up against other top providers in the Gem State.1 The table below provides a side-by-side look at Big Dog and two of the best solar companies in Idaho.
Big Dog Solar Blue Raven Solar Intermountain Wind & Solar EcoWatch Rating 3.0 4.5 4.5 Year Started 2008 2014 2008 Services Offered Solar panel installations; solar battery installations; off-grid solar systems Solar panel installations Solar panel, batteries; energy monitoring; roof repair and general contracting Service Areas Idaho and Colorado Regional Utah, Idaho and Nevada BBB Rating A+ A+ A+ Payment Options Cash payments, solar loans Cash payments, solar loans Cash payments, solar loans