Commercial and industrial solar system buyers typically evaluate multiple bids when choosing the ideal solar EPC (engineering procurement and construction) company for an on-site project. The bids are often simply ranked against each other by a financial metric, such as highest cost savings or best net present value for solar EPC; or lowest cost for solar operations and maintenance (O&M). However, it’s of the utmost importance that commercial buyers ask the right questions to hone in on the underlying assumptions baked into any proposal.
Even better is when buyers create a baseline of assumptions provided to bidders in advance — ensuring that the proposals submitted don’t vary due to incorrect or inconsistent assumptions. Setting solar project assumptions and digging into the assumptions baked into bidders proposals may take more time or resources than originally anticipated, but are essential to finding a bidder that is actually offering the best value (and won’t increase the price later through change orders from misaligned desires and expectations). It sets the entire project on a successful path and lays the right foundation for maximizing value and achieving a company’s energy goals.
As a follow up to our blog on what to ask when issuing a Solar RFP, we’ve pulled together our best advice on evaluating solar EPC and O&M proposals to help solar energy buyers understand and set the important baseline assumptions impacting their proposals. We cover the most common assumptions that may vary between bidders and how they can drastically change the solar project value and O&M service offering. These include the factors to consider in the project design, construction scope, and scheduling, as well as the five most important aspects of an O&M proposal.