Update: they handled all the permits very smoothly and my HOA. System was installed right on time and is working great! I'll get negative bills until summer! Sunbright delivered and has been super responsive to all questions. Super happy I chose them! All the stars.
I just signed the contract with Sunbright Solar. I will update this as the install occurs and if there's any good or bad after. I am an electrical engineer myself.
I ended up talking to half a dozen solar salesfolk the last 3 weeks, and of them, Soroosh of Sunbright is the only one that was able to answer questions promptly with thorough, in depth answers and who demonstrated clear knowledge of both the equipment and what the company would actually do in terms of installation and warranty. Half of the others could not answer a direct question at all or took days to respond with incomplete or vague information. Soroosh meanwhile not only knew the pertinent specs of the equipment but in the presentation was able to point them out to me quickly in prepared materials or materials from the manufacturer. He was also able to talk about the installation process, the tax incentives, and answer questions about dealing with HOAs and permits. I can definitely say that not all of the others were able to do those things.
All except sunbright presented a single option without first asking about my intended use and did not offer to upsize until I asked.
Everyone got a picture of my electrical panel and meter. One company said they’d have to send someone out and check as they thought it might need work but they didn't know for sure, everyone else just deferred and made it sound like it was a minor detail we’d worry about later. Soroosh asked an electrician and got an answer that I’d need an upgrade and then worked to let me know what the actual cost of that would be. Confirmed with a trusted friend, this was correct.
GOOD EQUIPMENT AND RELATIONSHIPS WITH MANUFACTURERS
I researched the equipment options the different solar companies offered me. Only Sunbright offered the Panasonic as the initial/default option. As far as I can tell when comparing all of them side by side Panasonic’s current technology does indeed look like the highest value, particularly for Tucson due to their overall efficiency, degradation over time, and, in particular, their heat tolerance. Only Sunbright offered these as default, though they were willing to give me options. As for inverters, that they provide replacement and warranty with in stock parts sold me on the idea that it was safe to rely on their suggestion.
Other companies offered me panels as the default option that just did not look to be as good technology. Some did not offer options on inverters and only worked with one or the other (that’s not a downside necessarily if they know the equipment well, but still a point). But none of them seemed to have as good of relationships with the manufacturers and offer as much in house support. If any other company in Tucson does have such relationships, they weren’t one I was able to find. That’s a huge selling point.
I also appreciate 25 year warranties on all of it. Other companies limited the service warranty to as little as 5 years for some parts.
Talking with that who picked other companies, they seemed annoyed to be dealing with three separate companies that weren’t very good at communicating with each other. The sales company, the finance company, and the installers were all separate entities. Sunbright has own its own installation crews, electricians etc. Plus Sunbright is all local.
Everything about this company tells me they know their stuff and can handle my needs and any issues. They are recognized by manufacturers and know the product.
They weren't the cheapest, but after talking to all the other companies I think they will give me the best quality product with the easiest install that I won't regret.