Upstate Alternative Energy Overview
Upstate Alternative Energy is a micro-enterprise with less than ten employees in Baldwinsville, New York. As such, they provide their services from Rome, Buffalo, Alexandria Bay, and Cortland to the entire state of New York. The company was founded in 2008, led by Bob Bryant (President and Sales Manager), Larry Andrews (Vice President and Designer, and Neal Turo (Lead Installer).
As a growing company in Central New York, Upstate Alternative Energy began its business to bring high-quality, affordable solar systems to clients. As such, they do everything possible to guarantee customer satisfaction with custom-designed products that balance affordability with superior quality. Their installations have ranged from 5,000-watt to 170,000-watt systems. In 2015, they installed a total of 0.14 megawatts, with a primary market of residential customers.
Services offered by Unicity Solar Energy
Upstate Alternative Energy installs custom-designed residential and commercial systems for clients to fit their needs. Their standard installation uses top-rated American-made products from BP Solar and Sunmaxx, emphasizing attention to detail. While their current focus is on residential solar systems, they also install solar thermal and geothermal systems.
Solar Electric Systems: Upstate Alternative Energy offers customers solar electric systems, which are currently the most common and in trend. For a solar electric system to be viable, customers need only a usable roof space or property to generate their own electricity on-site.
They offer a roof mount solar system, which uses the roof of a house to support the solar system. This is best for houses with roofs that face south, but this isn’t the sole requirement. Upstate Alternative Energy will visit a customer’s site and evaluate shading from trees and orientation from the roof to determine if a roof-mounted solar system is the best option. They also offer a ground-mount solar system, where the solar array is installed on piers in the ground. A metal rack is constructed to support this array, and a series of wiring is run to a customer’s main panel board.
Solar Hot Water: Upstate Alternative Energy offers customers solar hot water systems, as using the sun to heat water is one of the oldest known solar power applications. They offer several options, each with its pros and cons.
They offer and install systems that heat both hot water and pools. Their combination systems will heat a present amount of water and redirect the remaining heat into a pool or space heater. Each of the systems uses evacuated tubes to heat water for both domestic use and the pools. Their systems use different types of heat transfer systems, each providing customers with free hot water for more than half of the year.
Geothermal Systems: Upstate Alternative Energy offers customers geothermal systems, another type of renewable energy. Theirs come in three main categories. They offer an open loop, where water is drawn from one well, heat is extracted or added, and water is returned to another well at least one hundred feet away.
System Monitoring: Upstate Alternative Energy offers customers free system monitoring for those purchasing Enphase microinverters. The system notifies its staff of errors and logs once it occurs and sends them alerts that a customer’s system isn’t performing correctly.
Installation Cost and Process
When it comes to offered prices, Upstate Alternative Energy does not make theirs publicly available. However, customers can submit a financial inquiry through their website, email address, and phone number. Customers report being satisfied with the costs of Upstate Alternative Energy’s products and services. According to reviews, they are rated highly in terms of sales process and pricing as quoted. In regards to financing, Upstate Alternative Energy has no options for customers. However, they are fully insured according to NYSERDA requirements.
Upstate Alternative Energy’s licenses in the state they operate in are not publicly available. The only verification available for them is an affiliation with well-known customer review sites, which is seen on their website.
Upstate Alternative Energy has industry certifications from NABCEP and the American Solar Energy Society. Its leaders, however, each have their own individual achievements that add to the legitimacy of the company. Bob Bryant, the president, and sales manager graduated from the University of Maryland with certifications in PV and wind. He also has certifications in solar, thermal, and geothermal energy system installation.
Larry Andrews, the vice president, and designer is certified in PV, wind, solar, and thermal system design. Furthermore, he is also a full NYSERDA installer with a national NABCEP certification. Neal Turo, the lead installer, has been part of the home repair business for almost 30 years. He is trained in solar installations. Additionally, Upstate Alternative Energy also sells from and has partnerships with the following brands: Enphase, Fronius, Suniva, LG, CanadianSolar, SMA, Sonnen, Solaria, and Panasonic.
They were also awarded as one of the Top 500 Solar Contractors in 2015 by Solar Power World. Despite all of this, Upstate Alternative Energy’s website is severely lacking when it comes to content.
Customers rate Upstate Alternative Energy highly when it comes to their scheduling, support, and installation quality. They are described as accomplishing projects on time and within budget. Their installations are described to be great, and their staff is highly professional.
Products are said to be installed well and in a neatly organized way. Customers also praise the process of Upstate Alternative Energy, which involves keeping the customer informed of options, as well as what happens in every step of installation.
Upstate Alternative Energy also offers customers a ten-year craftsmanship warranty and a 20 to 25-year warranty on most of their products. A 3rd party insurer may back up the warranty, but this depends on the product.
The SolarEmpower view
Upstate Alternative Energy, despite being a very small business, is able to provide solar services throughout New York. They only sell products from American companies, as well as design and install systems that satisfy customers. Their reviews are great, and customers rate them highly in many aspects. However, Upstate Alternative Energy doesn’t offer free quotes and financing options. Improvements need to be made to their legitimacy and their website’s content. With that, the SolarEmpower view is still a good one.
|💲 Products: 10/10
|✅ Legitimacy: 7/10
|⭐️ Maintenance: 10/10
|📞 Customer Service: 10/10