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Granite State Solar, Bow, New Hampshire

Rooftop solar system. (Image: Granite State Solar.)

George Harvey

There have been a number of stories in Green Energy Times about Granite State Solar (GSS). In June of 2014 we ran an article “Solar Is Inexpensive” (). It began with a quote from Alan Gauntt, the founder of the company: “If you can afford your electric bill, you CAN afford to go solar.” For those who don’t know, the price of solar power has gone down since then, even as the cost of electricity has risen.

That was not the first article we had about GSS, and there have been several since it came out. A number of them show how much people appreciate the company. “Bradford Soccer Field Named after Granite State Solar” appeared in 2018 (). That article is about a solar installer that had a playing field named after it by a school, showing appreciation for the work it had done.

We asked Julia Westbrook, the marketing manager at GSS, what makes the company stand out. She told us that the thing she hears comments about the most is the company’s customer service.

GSS is divided into teams. Potential customers initially meet with a GSS solar advisor. The job of solar advisors is educational. It makes certain that customers are fully informed about everything, so they can make the best decisions. Customer feedback is important. One thing GSS likes to hear is “Granite State Solar answered all our questions.”

When the decision is made to go ahead with an installation, a second team does that work. GSS likes to know that its installation workers are professional, courteous, and thorough. Westbrook told us one piece of feedback she has heard many times is, “The crew is really professional, and they leave the site cleaned up.”

There is another team that takes care of service. Like the first two, it is made up of people who respect and value the customers. And as with those two, customer feedback is important.

Westbrook made one comment that summarized all of this. She said, “At the end of the day, the thing that makes Granite State Solar great is our people.”

She also made some points that may be very much worth thinking about. After saying, “Demand for solar in New Hampshire is huge,” she went on to explain further. “One great thing about solar is that it crosses the political divide.” Some people want to have a low carbon footprint and be environmentally friendly, and others want the independence and security that solar power offers. That divide is not all that big, because some people want both.

Part of solar power in New Hampshire is driven by the fact that people like to have a say in where their electricity comes from. When you electrify things with solar power, that gives you so much more control over the prices you pay. And people in NH, regardless of their political leanings, like to be independent. Solar makes sense to just about anyone who really looks at it.

Ground-mounted solar system by Granite State Solar. (Courtesy image)

GSS installs batteries for customers who want backup power. It does not, however, do off-grid installations. It explains the reasons for this in a blog post at its website, “Off Grid vs Grid Tied Solar: What to Know” (). One issue here is that off-grid solar installations really require a different approach to living, and while many people are prepared for that, many are not. Again, a goal of the company is to make certain that people are well informed.

One thing that GSS tends to do differently is to use Enphase micro-inverters instead of a string inverter for a system. There are good reasons for this. While it is true that micro-inverters cost more, including them in a system has some important implications. One is that when micro-inverters are used, the entire array does not stop producing electricity, just because a small part of it is in shade. This improved production can offset the slightly higher up-front cost so customers come out ahead in the long run. Another reason is that service is often much easier if anything goes wrong in the array.

As for other equipment, the solar panels GSS installs are from Hanwha Q Cells, Canadian Solar, and REC. For customers who want batteries, GSS supplies Tesla Powerwalls.

GSS can help customers with unsecured, low fixed-rate financing for up to 12 years for the systems they install. The rate is currently 3.99%. Financing can be done through VSECU, which may surprise some people who think of that as a Vermont institution, but GSS can do this by partnering with NESEA.

Attention to customers pays off, and this shows in some ways that are sometimes newsworthy. Granite State Solar has won awards for its efforts. This year, it won the NH Business Review’s 2022 Best of Business award as the state’s Best Solar Energy Company.

Granite State Solar’s website is

2 comments to Granite State Solar, Bow, New Hampshire

  • Richard R Covill

    Granite State Solar, I am on the Energy Committee in Grantham, NH and we are investigating a town solar energy project.
    Any information on where we should start would be appreciated. Thank you, Richard R Covill. email
    call or text 6034431251

  • Michelle Harrison

    Hello Richard,
    Thank you for your comment. The G.E.T. will pass along your inquiry to Granite State Solar.

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