Residential Solar Software Reviews Roundup

Industry IssuesSoftware

In their software solar contractors want things like accessibility, simple but customizable formatting, affordability and the option to opt out per month. Owners I talked to shared quite a bit about these criteria for the ideal apps for their day-to-day operations.

They also had some opinions about existing software that is specific to the solar industry. Here’s some info and feedback about some of the major players out there:

Aurora

  • 3D design system, shading analysis, financial analysis and sales proposal generation
  • Feedback from business owners: “Doesn’t have customized quotes yet but does have versatility to customize” while another owner “found the remote evaluation valuable.”

Bright Harvest

  • Remote shading analysis and design
  • Review from one site of their service

HelioScope

  • DEMO
  • PV system design and evaluation
  • Business owner feedback: “High learning curve with a lot of steps, you need a draftsman to figure it out because a layperson would never be able to use it.”

EasySolar App

  • Design Platform and Mobile App

Clean Power Finance/Spruce

  • Bid building program
  • Business owner feedback: “Pretty much Excel with data mining features. Love it because it is simple to use and any employee can learn to use it easily. I’m able to manipulate it to meet the specific needs of my company.”

Periscope

  • CRM, sales proposal generation, system modeling, financial analysis

SketchUp

  • 3D modeling
  • Business owner feedback: Helioscope uses SketchUp

PV Watts Calculator

  • “Estimates the energy production and cost of energy of grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) energy systems throughout the world. It allows homeowners, small building owners, installers and manufacturers to easily develop estimates of the performance of potential PV installations.”
  • Feedback from business owner: “This is a well-respected tool and helps to populate proposals accurately.”

 JLM

  • Remotely controls appliances and monitors energy use
  • Feedback from business owner: “This kind of software is where the future of solar is headed.”

Energy Toolbase

  • Energy savings calculations, systems optimization and proposal generation
  • Feedback from business owner: “Solid and accurate way to get the analysis I need for proposals, helps consider issues around time of use. While I don’t see how they calculate their numbers, after two years of use, their analysis is consistently accurate.”

EnergySage and PickMySolar

  • Lead generation sites
  • Feedback from business owner: “Both have typical and fairly reasonable finder’s fee and fee structure. Customers like these two sites because it allows customer to shop online without being someone in front of them actively selling to them. Leads are not exclusive for either site, of course.”

 

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