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Recommendations: Sorts listings by the number of recommendations our advisors have made over the past 30 days. Our advisors assess buyers’ needs for free and only recommend products that meet buyers’ needs. Vendors pay Software Advice for these referrals.
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Showing 1 - 20 of 86 products
Showing 1 - 20 of 86 products

Procore

Procore manages your projects, resources, and financials from project planning to closeout. The platform connects every project contributor with the owner and general or specialty contractor. The centralized dashboard allows manag...Read more

4.48 (2492 reviews)

84 recommendations

Knowify

Knowify is a cloud-based construction management solution that is designed for residential contractors and small to midsize commercial subcontractors. It is suitable for trades, including Landscaping, roofing and masonry. Kno...Read more

4.51 (78 reviews)

62 recommendations

Jobber

Jobber is a cloud-based field service management software solution that allows small and midsize service businesses to manage field staff, provide customer support, and expand business operations either through a mobile app or a d...Read more

4.53 (601 reviews)

52 recommendations

ConstructionOnline

UDA Technologies’ ConstructionOnline offers a web-based, integrated approach to project management, project scheduling, and customer management. Designed for emerging construction businesses in the homebuilding and remodeling indu...Read more

4.43 (402 reviews)

49 recommendations

JobNimbus

JobNimbus is a CRM and project management software wrapped up in one application. The platform is an end-to-end solution designed to help contractors (roofing and construction professionals) streamline their communication and bett...Read more

4.62 (449 reviews)

41 recommendations

WinEst Essentials

Wherever you are in the estimating process – from initial conceptual budgeting to specialty execution – WinEst Essentials provides the tools you need to confidently make profitable decisions based on real-world data, all in one va...Read more

4.31 (13 reviews)

35 recommendations

Trimble Accubid Anywhere

Flexible estimating tool to quickly and accurately create estimates, Trimble’s Accubid Estimating is a full-featured estimating solution. Available in multiple configurations, Accubid provides a flexible solution for contractors o...Read more

3.70 (68 reviews)

24 recommendations

Electric Ease

Accurately prepare and update estimates to reduce costly errors. Efficiently manage projects, contracts, orders, and overruns to ensure optimum productivity and profitability. Provide multiple employees access to powerful cloud-b...Read more

5.00 (10 reviews)

20 recommendations

Viewpoint Spectrum

Realize the power of connected construction management functionality with a single-source of data truth. As part of the connected Trimble Construction One suite of solutions, Spectrum’s connected workflows allow you to effectively...Read more

3.98 (208 reviews)

15 recommendations

JOBPROGRESS

JOBPROGRESS is a cloud-based construction management solution for residential remodeling contractors. The solution works with small businesses and can be customized as per the needs of an organization. It offers estimating, projec...Read more

4.38 (352 reviews)

13 recommendations

Software pricing tips

Read our Solar Software Buyers Guide

Subscription models

  • Per employee/per month: This model allows you to pay a monthly fee for each of your employees.
  • Per user/per month: Users pay a monthly fee for users—normally administrative users—rather than all employees.

Perpetual license

  • This involves paying an upfront sum for the license to own the software and use it indefinitely.
  • This is the more traditional model and is most common with on-premise applications and with larger businesses.

Rated best value for money

Acumatica Cloud ERP

Acumatica Cloud ERP provides the best business management solution for transforming your company to thrive in the new digital economy. Through leading-edge technology, best-in-class business functionality, and customer-friendly ...Read more

4.44 (55 reviews)

13 recommendations

CMiC

For over 30 years, CMiC has delivered state-of-the-art software solutions, purpose-built for the construction industry. Since its inception, CMiC has maintained a laser focus on automating essential back-office functions – such as...Read more

4.16 (167 reviews)

5 recommendations

e-Builder Enterprise

e-Builder is a cloud-based construction program management solution for capital projects that provides performance data across the project lifecycle. Facility owners can track business processes with centralized project informatio...Read more

4.35 (340 reviews)

4 recommendations

B2W Schedule

B2W Schedule software for heavy civil construction scheduling and dispatching is a centralized, online solution for managing employees, crews, equipment, materials, and trucking across job locations and over time. Employees throug...Read more

4.25 (8 reviews)

4 recommendations

IFS Applications

IFS Applications is an extensive software system that serves the needs of large and medium-sized manufacturers with order-driven and mixed-mode management tools and full integration capabilities....Read more

3.76 (25 reviews)

3 recommendations

monday.com

monday.com, an award-winning collaboration and project management platform, helps teams plan together efficiently and execute complex projects to deliver results on time. monday.com team management and task management tool allows ...Read more

4.58 (2531 reviews)

2 recommendations

plexxis

Plexxis offers comprehensive solutions created specifically for the most demanding specialty sub-contractors. With on premise, subscription, cloud-based and mobile options, Plexxis delivers office and field efficiencies for accoun...Read more

4.44 (78 reviews)

1 recommendations

Ventus

Ventus is a service and construction ERP solution that incorporates CRM, takeoff estimating, job costing, project management, service management, service dispatch, product distribution, inventory control, payroll and accounting in...Read more

4.35 (42 reviews)

1 recommendations

B2W Track

B2W Track software for heavy civil construction field tracking and analysis enables contractors to manage projects and costs based on accurate, immediate information from the field on productivity, labor, materials, and equipment ...Read more

4.30 (40 reviews)

1 recommendations

Visual Planning

Visual Planning is a hybrid resource management and scheduling platform that helps businesses to manage their assets and day-to-day operations. The solution can be deployed on-premise or hosted in the cloud. Visual Planning o...Read more

4.83 (20 reviews)

1 recommendations

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: June 29, 2022

Designing the layout for rooftop photovoltaic (PV) solar panels is a complicated process that many energy construction contractors need to manage while overseeing material costs and customer requirements.

Not only do contractors need to calculate the exact cost of raw materials required to install the solar panels, inverters, or power optimizers, they often also need to provide detailed return on investment (ROI) reports calculating annual energy savings for both commercial and residential customers.

All these administrative tasks can result in contractors having less time to spend on designing solar panel layouts. Enter solar design tools, which reduce administrative clutter by automating the design process and manage costs and customer requirements in a centralized dashboard.

In this buyers guide, we'll take a look at how solar design software helps automate key processes.

Here's what we'll cover:

What is Solar Software?
Common features of solar software
What type of buyer are you?
Benefits of solar software
Key considerations when purchasing solar software

 

What is Solar Software?

Solar software (aka solar design software) helps residential and commercial solar construction businesses plan and design layouts for installing PV panels on rooftops or other locations to optimize energy efficiency. These systems also help business manage solar sales proposals by showing customers PV panel design layouts, track material costs for PV system installations, manage energy storage, and generate energy usage reports and estimates.

HelioScope solar software

View of photovoltaic solar system design in HelioScope (Source)

 

Common features of solar software

Solar software often comes loaded with features, many of which may not be specific to your business needs.

When making your software purchase, focus on the core or common features offered by your shortlisted solutions to ensure you invest in the right tool. Here are the common features you should look for when evaluating solar software:

2D and 3D drawing

Create 2D and 3D drawings of area layouts for PV panel installation.

Animation

Create 3D animations of PV panel layouts to gain a holistic view of PV electrical fittings.

Electrical schematic design

Create blueprints of the electrical schematics required to connect PV panels to main electrical units.

Bill of materials

Create a list of every part or component that makes up a product, including product numbers and quantities.

Data import/export

Users can import/export images, files, and PDFs as needed.

Reporting dashboard

View information related to solar power consumption, financial analysis, and energy savings in a single dashboard.

What type of buyer are you?

Choosing the right solar software depends on the size and requirements of your solar industry business.

Here are three common types of solar software buyers and their unique considerations:

  • Small and midsize businesses. In this segment, buyers have a limited software budget, and their primary concern is often tool pricing. As small and midsize energy construction contractors typically offer solar energy solutions to residential units or smaller businesses, they can use cloud-based solar software instead of on-premise tools to stay within their budget.
  • Large enterprises. Businesses in this segment require software with advanced functionalities, and often have a larger budget to work with. Larger energy construction contractors cater to a wider audience, often installing solar panels on a bigger scale (e.g., warehouse rooftops, industrial buildings). Cloud-based solar software allows larger construction enterprises to choose from a suite of features such as 2D PV layout design, proposal generation, and sales management.
  • Best-of-breed buyers. This segment of buyers has mixed business requirements, similar to those listed above. Since they offer solar energy solutions to residences as well as bigger industrial units, these contractors often need solar software with a complete suite of features.

Benefits of solar software

No matter which of the above three buyer segments you belong in, solar software can help your business. Let's take a look at three key benefits:

  • Reduces raw materials waste. By creating the exact layout for each panel's installation, solar software helps business gauge the amount of raw materials required for electrical fittings to avoid waste.
  • Aids proposal and sales management. For customers who aren't sure how much they'll save by using solar power, solar software helps business generate proposals to highlight overall ROI post-installation.
  • Estimates total energy consumption for prospective systems. Once a PV layout is created, solar software reporting dashboards can estimate overall annual energy savings and assess the cost benefits of solar panel installation.

Key considerations when purchasing solar software

Your final step when purchasing solar software is evaluating these key areas to ensure your business makes the ideal purchase:

  • Integration with third-party software. Are you already using imaging software such as AutoCAD to design solar panel layouts in 2D and 3D? Ensure that the solar software you purchase integrates with this and any other design software you use.
  • Customer support. Does the solar software vendor offer 24/7 customer support? Are there any training modules or FAQs that can help you troubleshoot encountered issues? Make sure the vendor offers any and all support your business needs before purchasing.
  • Mobile application. Determine whether the solar software vendor you're considering offers a mobile app so employees can use the solution while working off-site.

Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.