Diamond Certified Company Report

Highlight Solar

Diamond Certified Company Report

Highlight Solar

Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i
Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
  • Legal & Finance
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 88 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i

Calvin T.

VERIFIED Highlight Solar CUSTOMER

1 of 88

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were diligent about getting back to us during the entire process. Also, they are prompt, communicative and responsive.

They worked with us to give us a solution that was succinct, reasonably priced, a good value and competitive with competitors.

Mete N.

VERIFIED Highlight Solar CUSTOMER

2 of 88

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were professional and knowledgeable.

In terms of technical details, they were very well versed in all aspects of their technology and were able to give me the most information when I had questions. I am an engineer, so for them to be able to give me clear, concise answers was very important.

Karl P.

VERIFIED Highlight Solar CUSTOMER

3 of 88

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were an excellent choice.

The customer service is great.

Read All 88 Survey Responses at Ratings View
Diamond certified VIDEO PROFILE
Diamond certified company PROFILE

Dean Alayleh, President

Highlight Solar designs and installs solar power systems for residential and commercial clients in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. The company provides a  complete range of services that are designed to streamline the solar process for its customers (including monitoring, maintenance and ongoing support), and it works directly with several industry-leading solar panel and inverter manufacturers so it can offer the best possible deals on its systems.

President Dean Alayleh says Highlight Solar’s customer-focused business approach has been a crucial element of its success. “Our customers are our main partners and the backbone of our business, so supporting them is always our number one goal. When we install a solar power system and the client actually sees their meter spinning backward, that’s a very special moment for everyone involved.”

Highlight Solar also installs SunStar solar pool heating systems that allow homeowners to swim comfortably all year-round—a service that Mr. Alayleh says is indicative of the company’s commitment to maximizing convenience for its clients. “Ultimately, everything we do is geared toward optimizing the efficiency of our customers’ energy consumption and reducing their overall carbon footprint, and our solar pool heating systems are just one more way we accomplish that.”

Highlight Solar was recently named one of the Top 500 North American Solar Contractors by Solar Power World.

Read moreShow less
COMPANY REPORT NAVIGATION

Diamond Certified Companies are Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

  • Why this rating is the most accurate.
  • Our editors gather deep company info.
  • Performance is Guaranteed.

DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED CAPABILITIES ON Highlight Solar

COMPANY CONTACT
Service AREA

Santa Clara County
San Mateo County
Menlo Park
Atherton
Palo Alto
San Carlos
San Mateo
Redwood City
Foster City

SERVICES PERFORMED

Solar Power System Installations
Solar Thermal Pool Heating
Solar Monitoring
Batteries for Energy Storage

BRANDS Supported
  • LG

  • Canadian Solar

  • SMA

  • Sunpower

  • Enphase

  • SolarWorld

  • ABB

  • SolarEdge

  • Power-One

  • SunStar

DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED ARTICLES ON Highlight Solar

Company Profile

Highlight Solar designs and installs solar power systems for residential and commercial clients in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. The company provides a  complete range of services that are designed to streamline the solar process for its customers (including monitoring, maintenance and ongoing support), and it works directly with several industry-leading solar panel and inverter manufacturers so it can offer the best possible deals on its systems.

President Dean Alayleh says Highlight Solar’s customer-focused business approach has been a crucial element of its success. “Our customers are our main partners and the backbone of our business, so supporting them is always our number one goal. When we install a solar power system and the client actually sees their meter spinning backward, that’s a very special moment for everyone involved.”

Highlight Solar also installs SunStar solar pool heating systems that allow homeowners to swim comfortably all year-round—a service that Mr. Alayleh says is indicative of the company’s commitment to maximizing convenience for its clients. “Ultimately, everything we do is geared toward optimizing the efficiency of our customers’ energy consumption and reducing their overall carbon footprint, and our solar pool heating systems are just one more way we accomplish that.”

Highlight Solar was recently named one of the Top 500 North American Solar Contractors by Solar Power World.

Read moreRead Less
Company Philosophy

"Our goal is simple: provide every client with clean, renewable energy at a fair market value. By taking the time to listen carefully to their needs, we're able to tailor a system that perfectly fits their lifestyle and complements their home."

Read moreRead Less
Comparative Summary

Maintaining customer satisfaction is a crucial aspect of any business, but it’s even more important for solar companies that have earned the prestigious Diamond Certified award. For Highlight Solar, the key to achieving and maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction is simple: provide timely, responsive, detail-oriented services throughout every step of every project. “We’re in this industry for the long haul, which means we’ll be here for our clients both now and in the future,” says President Dean Alayleh. “Our installation warranty is one of the longest in the business, and we’ve taken every measure to invest in our long-term stability so our customers can have confidence that we’ll be around when they need us.”

Highlight Solar has been designing and installing solar power systems for residential and commercial clients in Santa Clara, San Mateo, and Alameda Counties since 2011. The company’s services are designed to streamline the solar process for customers (including commissioning, monitoring, maintenance and ongoing support), and it works directly with numerous industry-leading solar panel and inverter manufacturers so it can offer its systems for the best possible deals.

Unlike less experienced solar companies that use subcontractors for certain phases of their clients’ projects, Highlight Solar has the training and equipment to handle every aspect of the job in-house. “All our technicians are on our payroll, so we’re not at the mercy of a third-party installer, which means we have greater control over our project timelines,” explains Mr. Alayleh. “We also stock our products in our own warehouse, which adds to the efficiency of each installation.”

Another distinguishing attribute of Highlight Solar is its highly experienced staff, all of whom are trained on industry-best installation techniques and products. “This company is run by engineers from top to bottom, so we know exactly what we’re doing,” says Mr. Alayleh. “Also, our installation team members have backgrounds in pertinent industries like roofing and electrical, which gives us a lot of depth in terms of knowledge and experience.”

Read moreRead Less
Industry Info

Before switching to solar, it’s important to ask financially-related questions. As solar power continues to gain popularity, more and more Bay Area homeowners are thinking about making the switch, but they often have questions regarding the various financial aspects involved. Dean Alayleh, president of Highlight Solar in San Jose, answers a few common questions:

Is solar energy a financially viable option for me? In most cases, yes. Frankly, I’m surprised that every homeowner who plans to stay in their home for more than five years isn’t installing solar. On average, a solar electric system will pay for itself within five to seven years, after which the homeowner literally receives free electricity. Also, most systems carry warranties of at least 25 years, so it’s easy to see why converting to solar energy is a sound financial investment.

Is it better to lease or own a system? There are a lot of options when it comes to installing solar, but the best long-term choice is to buy a system outright. Leasing may be less expensive upfront, but you miss out on a lot of financial advantages, like owning the excess electricity you produce. If you’re intimidated by the upfront costs of ownership, there are affordable payment plans available.

Will switching to solar make my electricity bill disappear? Almost. Most solar energy systems are designed to account for 80 to 85 percent of your electricity usage, or 90 to 93 percent of your electricity bill. Even if your energy production exceeds your usage, keep in mind that your utility company will still charge transmission, distribution and surcharge fees.

Can I sell the excess electricity I produce to my utility company? Yes, but it’s not necessarily your best option. Utility companies buy back electricity at a very low fixed rate, which doesn’t make it very financially lucrative for you. A better option is to have the excess electricity credited to your account—that way, you can reduce your electricity bill even more.

Read moreRead Less
Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Will a solar power system increase the value of my home?

A: Absolutely. Research shows that on average, for every dollar saved on your electric utility bill, $20 is added to your home’s value.

Q: Can you perform warranty-related work?

A: Yes. We always stand behind our installations, so if there’s a problem like a faulty product or roof issue, we’ll take care of it for free.

Q: Are there rebates or tax incentives available?

A: As of November 2014, most of the local city rebates are gone. The only Bay Area city that still has rebates is Santa Clara, and even those will probably be gone in another year. However, the Federal Tax Credit is still available, which means you can receive a credit for 30 percent of the gross project cost.

Q: If I wait a while to make up my mind, will your initial estimate still be the same?

A: Our estimate will stay the same for at least 30 days, but sometimes there are factors that can cause it to change. For example, tariffs are now being implemented on solar panels that are imported from overseas, which can impact our estimate.

Q: Do you have to drill holes in my roof when you install my solar panels?

A: It depends on the type of roofing material you have. We never drill holes in a roof if it will compromise the roof’s integrity, such as with aluminum and non-composite shingle. Basically, the only time we’ll drill holes in a roof is if it’s composite shingle.

Q: Should I clean my solar panels?

A: Yes. Once a year, you should wash your panels with water. As an additional measure, you can use a soft brush to remove some of the more hardy dirt and grime. These annual cleanings will help keep your panels performing optimally.

Read moreRead Less

SELECTED PHOTOS FROM Highlight Solar

View Comments
Shares

DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR ADVICE & TIPS FROM Dean A.

Expert CONTRIBUTOR PROFILE
  • Dean A. is a 10-year veteran of the solar industry and president of Highlight Solar, a Diamond Certified company since 2014. He can be reached at (877) 312-4241 or by email.

Dean A.: Power Driven

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN JOSE — Considering that he has a master’s degree in electrical engineering, it wouldn’t be a stretch to describe Dean A. as “power driven.” “I’ve always been intrigued by power systems,” he affirms. “I used to be in engineering and did a lot of design, but when solar started to come into its own, I was intrigued and decided to get involved in the industry.” Dean began his solar career in 2008 by acquiring a franchise from a major solar company, but it wasn’t long before he decided to strike out on his own. “A couple of years after I started the franchise, the company announced it was going to cut its residential services and focus solely on the commercial market. However, I believed the residential market was going to be very lucrative, so I decided to break off and establish my own solar business.”

Today, as owner of Highlight Solar, Dean says his favorite part of his job (other than his ongoing fascination with the technical aspects) is making a positive impact. “Not only is solar power a great financial investment for consumers, it also has a significant ecological effect. We’re helping make the environment cleaner and better for the next generation, which is very rewarding.”

As a resident of San Jose (where he lives with wife and three children), Dean expresses his appreciation for life and work in the Bay Area. “We have amazing weather and amazing people,” he says. “The cultural diversity is fantastic, and I really like how open people are here. Plus, as far as running a business goes, there’s plenty of opportunity to strive and grow.”

Outside of work, Dean engages in a variety of personal hobbies and family activities. “I enjoy science, especially astronomy and technology, so I’m always reading about those subjects,” he says. “I also like to play volleyball, go hiking and camping, and relax on the beach.” In addition to enjoying the local surroundings, Dean likes traveling to foreign destinations. “Every year, we make it a point to visit a new country, which is a great way for us to expand the kids’ horizons.”

In regard to his professional career, Dean credits a good part of his success to an emphasis on customer satisfaction. “Our customers are the backbone of our business, which is why we do whatever it takes to make sure they’re satisfied,” he affirms. “We go to great lengths to bring them the latest products and technology, and we continue to educate customers and consumers in general about the entire concept behind solar.”

When asked what his life might look like if he were to retire tomorrow, Dean says he’d devote more of his time to volunteering. “I would probably get more involved in the local community. My wife and kids do a lot of volunteering for various community events and causes, so if I had more time, it’d be very rewarding to do more of that with them.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: Coffee or tea?
A: Coffee in the morning, tea at night.

Q: What’s your favorite style of music?
A: Jazz.

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Dishdash in Sunnyvale.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: Malaysia. The country has amazing tropical beauty, and I hear the people are very nice and down to earth.

Q: Have you ever read a book more than once?
A: “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson.

Read moreRead less
Expert articles
  • Solar Financing Options

    SAN JOSE — When it comes to financing a solar power system, there are numerous options to choose from, each with particular benefits for homeowners in varying financial situations. Gaining an understanding of each of these options will help you decide which is best for you.

    Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)
    With a PPA, you lease your solar energy system from a solar developer, who designs and installs a system for your home. Because of the low initial cost, PPAs enable homeowners to start saving money on their energy bills right away. However, there are a couple of drawbacks. For one, since you don’t technically own the system, you forfeit any government incentives, like the 30 percent federal tax credit. Additionally, when you sign a PPA, you’re typically locked in to 20 to 25 years of monthly payments. For these reasons, it’s a good idea to weigh this option against others before making your final decision.

    Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)
    PACE is a great program for homeowners who want to own their solar power systems but need loan assistance to cover the costs. One of the biggest benefits of this statewide program is that it lumps your system cost into your property tax payment, which makes sense, since the presence of a solar energy system tends to increase property value. Add to this the fact that installing solar makes you eligible for a property tax break and it’s a clear win-win situation.

    Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)
    Many homeowners are choosing to finance their solar energy systems by taking out a home equity line of credit. It’s easy to get a low-rate loan (after all, you already own the house), and the investment return from a solar power system is much higher than any interest rate you’re likely to pay, so you’re sure to come out in the positive.

    Cash
    If you have the means, the best option is to buy your solar power system outright with cash. This provides the highest return on your investment and has the shortest payback time (about six years, on average). Considering that your system will be under warranty for 25 years and potentially perform for up to 50 years, you stand to recoup a substantial value for your investment.

    Read moreRead less
Expert video tip
  • Video: Solar Financing Options

    Complete Video Transcription:

    SAN JOSE — Host, Sarah Rutan: When planning to install a solar power system, one of the first things you’ll need to decide is how you’re going to finance it. Today we’re in San Jose with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Dean from Highlight Solar to learn about a few options.

    Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Dean A.: There are several options for solar financing. I will cover four of them. Each one of them has benefits to the customer. Each customer needs to decide which one is best for him or her.

    I will start with PPA, power purchase agreement. With PPA, the customer does not get the 30-percent tax credit. Also, you are tied into 20 or 25 years monthly payments into the program. It’s great, but I don’t like the fact that the customer doesn’t get the 30-percent tax credit.

    The second one is PACE. PACE is an excellent program. Customer gets 30-percent federal tax credit. Also, the payment will be lumped with the property tax. So, when you’re making property taxes, you will be paying for your solar as well. And then you get credit for solar to add to your property tax as well. So, it’s nice because you get 30-percent federal tax credit and some property tax break added to the solar.

    The third option is home equity line of credit, HELOC, where a customer does get the 30-percent federal tax credit. Also, the customer can shop for their own rates and get a really low rate for taking a loan on their home and then paying for their solar electric system. The return on investment for the solar electric system is much higher than any interest rate paid on the home, so you’re definitely coming positive.

    The fourth option is buying the system, cash upfront. This would be the best option, in my perspective, because it provides the highest return on investment and the shortest payback time. On average, the payback time is about six years. This is fantastic. After six years, the entire system is a cash cow for 25 years under warranties, and then the system can give production up to 50 years.

    In my perspective, they’re all great. I prefer either PACE, basically HELOC, or cash payout. If needed, PPA is not bad. It offers solutions for other customers as well.

    Host, Sarah Rutan: To learn more from local top rated companies, visit our Diamond Certified Expert Reports at experts.diamondcertified.org.

    Read moreRead less
Highlight Solar WEBSITE AND EXTERNAL FEED
  • Highlight Solar SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS
Diamond Certified RATINGS ON Highlight Solar
Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i

Each surveyed customer was asked, “If you needed any helpful expertise, did this company provide that expertise?” To calculate this score, total “Yes” responses were divided by total responses (excluding those that stated they hadn’t needed any expertise).

Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
  • Legal & Finance
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 88 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i
Highlight Solar : Average 9.5 out of 10 based on 88 unique customer surveys of customer satisfaction.

Calvin T.

VERIFIED Highlight Solar CUSTOMER

1 of 88

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were diligent about getting back to us during the entire process. Also, they are prompt, communicative and responsive.

They worked with us to give us a solution that was succinct, reasonably priced, a good value and competitive with competitors.

Mete N.

VERIFIED Highlight Solar CUSTOMER

2 of 88

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were professional and knowledgeable.

In terms of technical details, they were very well versed in all aspects of their technology and were able to give me the most information when I had questions. I am an engineer, so for them to be able to give me clear, concise answers was very important.

Karl P.

VERIFIED Highlight Solar CUSTOMER

3 of 88

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were an excellent choice.

The customer service is great.

Laszlo V.

VERIFIED Highlight Solar CUSTOMER

4 of 88

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would say to order their services and products.

The salesman was not pushy and very informative.

Elena Z.

VERIFIED Highlight Solar CUSTOMER

5 of 88

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would definitely recommend them.

The one thing that stands out with them were the tech guys that came out were really technically savvy and had all the answers.

Dwayne L.

VERIFIED Highlight Solar CUSTOMER

6 of 88

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I know that when the salesperson came out, they were very professional and articulate.

They were punctual, neat in their work and finished the job on time.

George M.

VERIFIED Highlight Solar CUSTOMER

7 of 88

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

The key thing is that they offer diversity in the types of panels offered. They are very knowledgeable in all of their products and were very clear with any and all questions.

I can say that they gave me time frame to complete the work and finished ahead of schedule.

Rachel W.

VERIFIED Highlight Solar CUSTOMER

8 of 88

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would recommend them.

They were just there with the process from the beginning to the end.

Christophe T.

VERIFIED Highlight Solar CUSTOMER

9 of 88

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would tell them to work with a local company. They were personable with me.

The sales rep was willing to work with a smaller system for me and they offered a variety of panels instead of trying to sell me a more expensive system.

Aiste N.

VERIFIED Highlight Solar CUSTOMER

10 of 88

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would recommend Highlight Solar. I'd say everything went as I had expected it to go.

They were timely and professional. If I had questions, I was answered promptly and I felt what they were telling me was truthful.

Ansar A.

VERIFIED Highlight Solar CUSTOMER

11 of 88

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They have been a great company to work with. They are very professional. They did solid work and they were on time as promised.

They were professional and on time. They did good work.

Brian B.

VERIFIED Highlight Solar CUSTOMER

12 of 88

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I recommend them strongly to others. They are the best company with the most competitive bids. They had a high level of communication and high quality service. They did a fantastic job with the installation. The pride of workmanship showed through. Their bid was among the lowest.

The quality of the finished job

Dan M.

VERIFIED Highlight Solar CUSTOMER

13 of 88

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They weren't pushy.

They were really clear about what they were doing. They came to me with multiple options and were pretty easy going.

David J.

VERIFIED Highlight Solar CUSTOMER

14 of 88

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They provide a first class service.

They have speed of light service. They got back to my questions and needs promptly. I had unusual requests due to how my house was built, so I needed Dean and Quan to listen to what my needs were and help accomplish them. I also needed a charging station installed for my EV car and they took care of that as well. They sold reputable products.

Hien P.

VERIFIED Highlight Solar CUSTOMER

15 of 88

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I think that they have a very good price and they did a very good job on my project, so I would recommend them.

They were willing to do whatever I asked.

Jacklyn L.

VERIFIED Highlight Solar CUSTOMER

16 of 88

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

The owner of the company was very upfront and worked well with the client. He was very informative,

The selling was great and the savings were great. The owner was pretty informative. If I had questions or concerns, I would call him and ask him then he would tell me everything I needed to know. He accommodated my wishes.

John W.

VERIFIED Highlight Solar CUSTOMER

17 of 88

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They have very high integrity. The people that I worked with did excellent, clean work. They had great, competitive pricing. They did what they said they would do in less time and under budget.

Their customer service overall was very impressive. They worked with me on what specifically I was looking for and did exactly what I needed.

Kris B.

VERIFIED Highlight Solar CUSTOMER

18 of 88

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were efficient and did what they said they were going to do. They did clean work and made it understandable.

The way they took care of the job from start to finish

Lawrence H.

VERIFIED Highlight Solar CUSTOMER

19 of 88

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They have great service.

They have good customer service and are affordable. They were responsive to my questions and my needs. They were helpful.

Lillian C.

VERIFIED Highlight Solar CUSTOMER

20 of 88

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They care about the customer and the quality of their work is good. They tried to work with me and my specifications. My roofer had specific requests and the owner of Highlight Solar worked it out directly with them to make sure they were in compliance.

They have good service and they are very responsible.

Read All 88 Survey Responses at Ratings View