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Direct Energy Solar Information (Formerly Astrum Solar)

The Basics

  • Founded in 2008
  • Headquarters: Columbia, MD
  • Vice President and General Manger: Cory Byzewski
  • In the news link: www.directenergysolar.com/in-the-news

More Information on Direct Energy Solar

Background: Direct Energy Solar began life as Astrum Solar, a full service solar provider, in 2008. Based in Maryland, it expanded into Washington, D.C. and eight states, most of them in the northeast. Astrum Solar twice made the Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing companies in the US. In July 2014, Astrum Solar was bought by the energy company Direct Energy and renamed Direct Energy Solar in April 2015.

Direct Energy Solar offers several different payment methods. A customer may buy the system outright. The cost varies, but installing a solar system typically costs between $15,000 and $30,000. The client will, however, be able to take advantage of various local, state and federal incentives that could greatly reduce that cost. The Federal Solar Tax Credit, for instance, lets the buyer claim a tax credit for 30% of the total cost of buying and installing a solar system.

Clients may also take advantage of no-money down options in which they pay monthly bills to both the company and their utility. The combined payments of both bills is usually less than the amount of the client’s old electric bill.

Direct Energy Solar uses panel-level optimization rather than the usual inverters that connect all of the solar panels and treat them as a single unit. In panel-level optimization, each panel operates independently which permits greater flexibility in placing the panels and makes it easier to expand the system.

Astrum Solar’s services are currently available in Maryland, Washington, D.C., California, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

The Process: The customer can request a free consultation by phone or through the company website, and they will get an answer within 48 hours. During the phone consultation, the representative will decide if the client is a good candidate for solar power, and a system designer will use mapping technology to determine the best way to install the system.

Afterwards, a consultant will visit the client to describe all of the options and their estimated costs and answer the client’s questions. Within 120 days of the client’s signing their contract, Astrum Solar will install the system. During this process, a representative will help the client with any and all paperwork. The installation process itself usually takes two or three days. The representative will then arrange all required inspections.

Warranties: All of the company’s solar systems come up with a 10-year workmanship warranty guaranteeing that the system’s components and materials don’t have defects. Any defective panels will be replaced for free. For a little extra, the warranty can be extended to 20 years.

Astrum Solar uses solar panels made by manufacturers who provide 25-year warranties for them. Depending on the manufacturer, Astrum Solar offers warranties for the solar panels that range from 12 to 25 years.

BBB Rating: A+

Contact: info@directenergysolar.com or (800) 903-6130

Updated: 7-29-15

Sources:
https://www.directenergy.com/about/direct-energy-solar
http://www.directenergysolar.com/company/our-company
http://www.directenergysolar.com/the-basics/frequently-asked-questions
http://www.bbb.org/greater-maryland/business-reviews/solar-energy-system-design-and-installation/direct-energy-solar-in-annapolis-junction-md-90168289