The number of solar installations in the U.S. exceeds two million and are expected to double before 2023. But before you jump on the bandwagon, you need to find a trustworthy solar installer. As solar energy gains popularity on businesses and homes, the prevalence of installation companies is increasing to cater for the increasing demand.
Not every solar installer can provide reliable customer service, high-quality workmanship, and expertise to make sure that your system performs optimally and that you get the highest return on investment.
Are you looking to install solar on your house? Here are a few things to consider when looking for solar installers.
1. Reviews and Recommendations
When in search of a reputable solar installer, begin your search by asking for recommendations from co-workers, neighbors, friends, and family members. Company reviews by customers can help you determine the companies that have generated complaints from those that provide satisfactory experiences.
While high ratings indicate that a company can provide an exceptional experience, an occasional bad review is something you shouldn’t overlook.
Your installer should have technical expertise in installing solar systems. This means that they should have the solar PV installation professional certification (NABCEP). Companies with this certification provide quality assurance for the system that they install.
If the installer has been working in the solar industry before NABCEP was formed in 2002, they may not be certified. If you’re thinking of hiring such individuals, they have to demonstrate that they’ve got significant expertise. Check solar reviews for companies that may not have such certification.
3. Source for More Than One Quote
Request free quotes from different installers within your area. You can opt for online quote request forms as they take into account your energy usage (based on utility bill). This can help you decide the energy you wish to offset. Apart from comparing prices, a quote shows that a company is responsive, and foreshadows how the solar project will progress.
Don’t settle for a cheap solar panel because you want to save money. Also, going for an expensive installer doesn’t guarantee higher quality.
4. Solar Equipment Options
Solar panel installation companies have different approaches to how they conduct business. Some companies can customize your installation based on your needs, while others take a one-size-fits-all approach to solar system design.
If your installation is complicated, it’ll be helpful to find an installer that can customize your design by choosing the right installation approach and the best equipment.
5. Be Wary of Review Sites
If you’re to research review sites independently, be selective on the ones you use. Some websites specialize in reviewing websites that allow other companies to feature on their pages at a fee. This is a practice that sometimes misleads customers.
The best place to begin your search is websites that feature reviews and a platform for clients to file complaints with the better business bureau.
6. Meet Your Solar Contractor in Person
Before you commit to any contract, have face to face conversation with your potential installer. Sometimes, the person you meet can’t answer all your questions on the spot and may need to consult with people on the team. This is okay.
However, make sure that all your questions are answered before signing a contract.
7. Consider Locally Owned and Operated Installers
When seeking the services of a locally operated solar company, you’re assured that the experts will be there when needed. Many local companies are inspired by bettering the community they’re in. They’re also experts in electrical and local building codes and will work with you on all aspects of the installation to provide customized designs based on your energy needs.
Local municipalities have different building and permitting codes, which change frequently. If your installer has a good relationship with the inspectors and local permitting officers, your installation can go smoothly, avoiding the hold-ups caused by utility requirements or local codes.
8. Check on Warranties
Most solar panels can last years without any issues, and it’s best to have a solid warranty in case something goes wrong. A strong warranty means that your installation company will be there with you in the long-term. This is important in ensuring that you get a return on investment. Warranty policy includes equipment, labor, and performance guarantees.
The installer you choose should have at least a 25-year warranty on things such as installation and shipment of new replacement panels, and the removal of faulty panels. Take note of newly stabled companies that offer extended warranty. They may not be around too long to follow through.
Any solar installer that offers such a warranty should have a track record of doing business in the solar industry. You also want to be assured that they’ll stick around for the next ten years to honor the warranty.
9. The Solar Panel Design and Brand
Reputable Solar panel installers should explain the type of solar panel they stock, along with the downfall and benefits. They should listen to your individual needs before giving recommendations on the solar panel that best suits your desired electric output, aesthetic requirements, budget, and lifestyle.
10. Turnaround Time
Given the popularity of solar energy in recent years, many installers have jammed installation schedules for months. If you want your solar panel installed soon, ask what their schedule looks like before committing to a contract.
Take note that the timing of your installation can significantly impact the availability of your federal tax credit. For instance, if you install your panel in February, you’ll need to wait longer to use your tax credit than if your panel was installed in November.
The Basics of Finding Reputable Solar Installers
If your roof can accommodate a solar array, the solar’s efficiency doesn’t have to bother you. Many solar power companies have a 25-year production performance which guarantees 90% power production. This is a promise between the customer and solar installers that the quality of the system won’t diminish over time.
Check out our website for more engaging content in the real estate, health and fitness, home repairs, and other interesting topics.