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Going Solar With Monalee: Here’s Why I Bought My Own Product

Monalee Co-Founder and CEO shares his experience as a customer of his own company.

Walid Halty
CEO at Monalee
Going Solar With Monalee: Here’s Why I Bought My Own Product
Jun 26, 2024
5 min read

Last October, Walid started the Monalee process like any homeowner would—by getting a free quote on our website. He entered his Houston, TX home address and his monthly utility bill. In less than ten seconds, he had a personalized system design with accompanying pricing.

Walid chose to add a few batteries to his solar project because he lives in an area that is vulnerable to blackouts. All in all, the total cost of his system was roughly half that of other providers in his area.

Reflecting back, Walid feels that he was supported throughout the process and desppite all the moving parts, he had his system installed in just 60 days.

I'm the Founder of Monalee and I Bought My Own Product: Here's How it Went

Here’s what was great about his experience:

For context, our Monalee process consists of 5 steps: Kickoff, Design, Permitting, Installation, and Activation. After a homeowner signs their Monalee contract, we schedule their site survey. Site surveys are important because they give us a comprehensive overview of their electrical setup and the condition of their roof. 

1. The equipment

Performance was very important for me. Having bankable equipment providers that will uphold their equipment warranties, and looks too. I wanted it to look good, too We used Mitrex 405w Black on Black solar panels, Tesla inverters, and Tesla Powerwall 3 batteries – along with an attic run and solar skirts to give it a nice finished look.

Mitrex solar panels feature advanced cell technology, high performing modules, and are able to withstand high snow and wind conditions. Monalee homeowners also benefit from Mitrex’s 25-year product and performance warranty. This means that your system is guaranteed to have 92% output power for the first 12 years, and at least 85% power up to 25 years.

2. In-app, SMS & email updates

Admittedly, running a high-growth company means that I’m often on the go and attention-span can be limited. The SMS messages from Monalee were succinct and easy to scan from my lock screen. I think I had over 30 updates along the way.

We’ve found that many Monalee homeowners appreciate the short SMS updates Walid describes. We also make sure to send email updates, many of which link out to more in-depth blog articles related to where they are in the process.

3. The install crew

They arrived on time, I knew who they were ahead of time, they walked me through the plan before installing (we did make a few minor on-site tweaks so i’m glad we did), and we all celebrated at the end with pizza and beer on me! 

Install crews typically arrive in the morning and spend about eight hours installing the solar equipment. In the case of Walid’s installation, it was broken up into two days. This is most common for customers that order solar batteries, as Walid did. 

Monalee CEO shares the highs and lows of his experience going solar

Here’s where we could have done better:

Walid outlined three key areas where we could improve. We’re already implementing these changes. 

1. More proactive communication 

Despite there already being 30+ updates, more proactive communication ahead of installation would’ve helped. There are so many logistics involved and there were moments when I wasn’t sure if/what I needed to do on my end. 

Every customer is different and what feels like ‘too much’ information is ‘not enough’ for others. We choose to send updates via email and SMS. Phone calls are reserved for more urgent situations.

2. One point of contact throughout

There were multiple points of contact throughout the process (permitting, interconnection, HOA approvals). I would’ve preferred one easy go-to point of contact the whole way.

As a digital-first company, we do automate what we can. That said, we make sure to personalize our correspondence as much as possible. We use a software tool to help organize our notes on every single product; this means that even if a customer speaks with a different Monalee representative, they will still be up-to-date about their specific case.

3. Info on what happens after installation 

If you’ve switched to solar energy or battery storage, you know that you can’t activate your system right away. I knew this, but wasn’t sure if all our customers would. Also, a simpler Do-It-Yourself video or instructions on how to turn on the system myself when we receive PTO instead of having to wait for the team to reach out to walk me through this.

This is definitely something we’re working to improve. Many homeowners don’t know that they aren’t able to energize their systems right away. They first have to get Permission to Operate (PTO) from their utility company, as well as pass final inspections. 

Solar panels installed on Houston, TX home

In Conclusion

Overall, Walid was really happy with his experience as a Monalee customer. He appreciate the consistent cadence of communications and found the installation crew to be highly progressional and expert at their craft. He could have used more information on what happens after his solar panels were installed, and so our team is actually building out a resource center to better educate current and future customers.  

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