Solar contractors have many options when it comes to business software specific to the industry. The most comprehensive platforms try to integrate every step of the solar sales-to-installation process in one. Here are the popular choices on the market that cover most or all of the needs of solar contractors.
Aurora Solar’s bread and butter is system design, but it also handles many other steps of the solar sales process. Installers will find robust site and electricity modeling, shading analysis and system design functions on this platform. Designers can drag and drop modules and BOS components into the software, or choose the automatic system designer.
Aurora conducts comprehensive checks to ensure systems are NEC compliant, including string sizing, inverter power, fire code setbacks and more. The platform also allows users to simulate energy production and generate loss diagrams to ensure the best system design.
After a design is done, teams can generate customizable sales proposals including multiple financing options. Users can then submit shade reports for rebates and export the diagrams needed for permitting approval.
What sets it apart: “One platform for all your needs from lead capture to sales proposal, use of AI-driven automation, accuracy and world-class customer support team.”
Cost: Aurora is a monthly or annual subscription-based software with multiple plans. The most popular is the annual premium subscription $220/user/month.
Enact Systems brings two different apps to the table — one for the solar business owner and one for the solar customer. The Envision platform is the back-end database for companies. Teams use Envision to upload leads and view a live project dashboard. Project managers can then use high-resolution satellite images to create residential or commercial layouts, and analyze energy output for solar or storage projects.
Envision features a 3D shading mode to help visualize project designs before tying it all together in a custom proposal or contract. This step includes detailed bill-of-materials with line-item pricing and can integrate different financing structures like loans, leases or PPAs. The platform also allows owners to generate forms and collect electronic signatures.
After the sale, the team can view analytics within the Envision app and onboard customers to the Engage app for their personal monitoring.
What sets it apart: “Our ENVISION proposal software generates complete 3D layouts of solar with shading (with storage option), electric rate analysis, pricing and BOM details for a full proposal, which is highly customizable. We have an integrated workflow module for project management and documents, crucial for scale-up of the operations team.”
Cost: Three levels of subscriptions, the lowest option costing $239/month for up to three users.
ETB can quickly model time-of-use rates and energy storage. The software can also precisely calculate utility costs, energy savings and project economics thanks to its in-house utility rate team. Once the calculations are complete, contractors can choose from a library of customizable templates or create their own from scratch.
What sets it apart: “ETB Developer is the solar and energy storage industry’s most intelligent project modeling tool and the only tool with an in-house utility rates team to ensure the utmost accuracy in your financial analysis of projects. The software includes robust cashflow capabilities within transactions and incentives for your projects and can model projects in any state or market.”
Cost: $150/month for one user, with the monthly price decreasing as number of users increases.
Shape is a general sales CRM service that now offers a solar-specific sales platform. The solution’s lead database includes functions like automatic follow-up and other custom triggers. E-signatures can be collected directly from the app. Unique to other solutions, Shape allows teams to handle marketing projects like automated drip campaigns and e-newsletters.
Installers can also schedule appointments like site surveys or client meetings from the app.
What sets it apart: “All-in-one solar sales software solution without the need to purchase or integrate any other software. Proposal tool, dialer, e-signature, texting, lead management, advertising, client portal and over 100 other features all in one system.“
Cost: $99/month per user.
Sighten’s CRM system allows contractors to create lead profiles with easy address lookup that pulls data from utilities, incentives, local weather and typical energy usage. Contractors can then make quotes for cash or any supported financing option, along with a side-by-side savings comparison. Next, they can generate a customizable solar proposal featuring tax credits, rebates, feed-in tariffs and more.
When the homeowner is ready to sign, contractors can email documents directly to the customer for e-signature. All sales and install documents are centralized in the program.
When it’s time for installation, Sighten helps teams track all project tasks, approvals and operations until completion.
What sets it apart: “Sighten is the only truly comprehensive solar software platform — one login for your solar business from lead to design to installation. In addition to solar, we support modeling of non-solar products including storage, energy efficiency, and electric vehicles. Sighten also integrates leading financing programs to make it easy to qualify and close deals from within the Sighten platform.”
Cost: Base subscription is $199 per month for unlimited users.
Solargraf features a simple interface that’s reminiscent of other team management platforms like Google. Company owners can create roles and permissions for the whole staff, import leads and view active projects on a dashboard.
The software can generate customizable quotes using shading analysis data as well as mounting type, roof pitch and panel angle information from the company’s proprietary algorithm. In the proposal, contractors can also offer multiple product and pricing options.
Once the project is sold, contractors can offer financing through Solargraf’s partners, order permits directly through their account and more.
What sets it apart: “Solargraf is extremely easy to learn and use, no designer needed. Solargraf uses the latest in HD imagery to generate slick and comprehensive quotes in a few simple clicks, while offering full remote sales capabilities and a robust list of features including shading analysis and shade reports, proposals with “good, better, best” options, simple financing and permit orders making it a one-stop shop for installers looking to speed up their sales and quoting workflow, while also taking care of the post-sale process.”
Cost: Featherweight plan starts at $229/month paid yearly. Welterweight starts at $345/month paid yearly and Heavyweight plan starts at $459/month paid yearly. Custom/enterprise solutions are also available.
SolarSuccess is a single database that integrates many steps in the solar business cycle and allows third-party application integration for anything that might be missing. Installers can manage accounting, inventory and project progress from the dashboard.
Team members can view instant updates on projects, view costs, sales, project timelines, status updates and more from the platform. Project milestones can automatically trigger accounting functions within the software. Users can forecast supply chain costs and view real-time equipment availability and pricing information for selected suppliers.
SolarSuccess also offers solar-specific project templates for interacting with financiers and storing documents.
What sets it apart: “SolarSuccess is the most complete business management software for solar installers. The largest number of supportive integrations are supported, including drone, solar proposal, real estate data, HOA data, AHJ data and more.”
Cost: Volume pricing applies with module nuances, but a blended price is $70 to $140/user per month.
Investing in solar business software can be daunting, but it will likely pay off quickly with streamlined operations and saved costs.
Updated to reflect Energy Toolbase’s expanded offerings on Oct. 27.