Are you finally taking the plunge and going solar? Chances are, you’ll be happy with your investment due to all of the money you’ll save over the course of your homeownership. You can also feel good knowing you’re doing your part to help support a cleaner energy resource.
But before you can have the job done, you should make sure you understand everything you need to know about solar installation. Hiring the right installation service will have a huge impact on your overall solar experience. To choose the right company, you need to know what to ask.
Here are 7 questions to ask before settling on solar installation service that you can trust.
1. Is My Roof Suitable for Solar?
Many people just assume that their roof is set-up for solar panels when in fact, many of them aren’t. A trustworthy solar installation service will answer you honestly when you inquire.
Though most roofs can accommodate solar panels, there are some that are too steep to hold the panels well. Homeowners who live in the northern hemisphere will find that their solar panels are most effective if they face true south.
If you have a lot of shade surrounding your roof and your roof receives minimal sunlight as a result, then solar panels might not be a great option. Sometimes the trimming of nearby trees is all that needs to be done to remedy this situation.
Ask your contractor if they see any reason why your roof and surroundings would hinder the efficiency of solar panels.
2. Do You Offer Alternative Solar Mounting Systems?
For those who feel like they don’t have enough roof space for solar panels, pole mounts offer an alternative. These free-standing poles include manually adjustable poles (these can be moved twice a year for winter and summer optimal angles), and fixed poles. They also include automatic trackers.
Trackers are more expensive than traditional solar panels because they follow the light of the sun. However, they can help you get more power than you would without them.
3. As a Solar Installation Service, How Do You Size Your Solar Panel System?
When you first speak with a prospective contractor, they will ask questions about your average energy consumption. They might want to see some of your past bills to see what size of system will be best for your needs.
While this is helpful for them to see, sizing a solar system is more complex that viewing your past electric bills. A reliable solar company should take a look at your home energy usage patterns, the orientation of your roof, which utility you use and how much they charge for electricity, and the surplus amount of energy you’ll export to the grid.
Be cautious of installers who suggest that sizing your system is just a matter of a simple calculation.
4. Are You Licensed As a Solar Panel Installer and How Much Industry Experience Do You Have?
Before you hire a solar installation company, you want to make sure they have a license from the county and state in which they are working. The contractor would also be insured and bonded.
Make sure you also find out how long the company in question has been in business so you don’t act as a guinea pig.
5. Will You Thoroughly Inspect My Roof?
A good solar contractor should not only make a recommendation for your future system size, they should also take the time to thoroughly inspect your roof. The roof needs to be inspected for any issues before solar panels can be safely installed. Depending on the age and condition of your roof, you might need a roof replacement before panels can be installed.
5. What If My New Solar System Doesn’t Generate As Much Energy As Expected?
If a solar installation service company promises that your new system will produce a certain amount of energy each year, make sure you ask them what happens if the panel doesn’t meet those expectations.
It may be that they will add extra panels free of charge or reimburse you for any underperformance. It’s important that you understand your options in such a situation before moving forward.
6. What if My Needs Change Over the Next Few Years?
Life can take many turns, and as a result, some of your solar needs might change over time. You might add more people to your family or new rooms to your home. This can lead to an added demand for energy production.
Talk to your solar installation company about any possible changes that you might foresee in the upcoming years. They might recommend that you purchase a system that is big enough to cover potential future usage.
7. What Happens If I Move While Leasing a System?
Make sure that you understand what you’ll be responsible for should you decide to move while you’re still leasing a solar panel system. In most cases, you can transfer your lease to the new homeowner once they’ve been approved for the home.
Contact Us With Your Questions Today!
Hopefully, these questions will help you narrow down your search for reliable solar installation service. Now that you know what to ask, we invite you to give our solar installation company a call and learn more about our services.
We are happy to answer any questions you have about solar energy and our installation process. We want you to be satisfied with your experience going solar every step of the way and look forward to serving you!