Overwhelmed by the seemingly excessive amount of solar installation companies? Not only that, but it can seem like they all provide the same level of service with little variance.
In any case, it doesn’t have to be that way. Most people settle for a mediocre solar installation, and then they have to get regular repairs.
You deserve better. And by the end of this article, you will be able to separate the best from the worst.
So if you want to learn how to find the best solar installer in your area, keep reading.
What Truly Matters
Solar is an industry that requires certain qualities. And, more specifically, careful attendance that most people do not possess. Here are the three most important things to look out for when looking for a solar installer.
When it comes to solar installation, what matters most is experience. However, this experience often comes with certification. In North America, the standard is the NABCEP Solar PV Installation certification. Any solar company that you interact with should be NABCEP-certified, as only then can they provide a much-needed assurance for the systems they install, and how they will operate.
All solar installers should have appropriate business licenses and up-to-date insurance policies, and they should be locally enforced via the law.
It’s not uncommon to see an installer possess licenses, such as electrical, contracting, home performance improvement, etc. The least that they should have is full-fledged general liability insurance to ensure that you are not held responsible for their own mistakes.
The solar industry is a growing one, so it’s not surprising to see many people from all over wanting to join in on the action. Some contractors get into the industry without knowing anything about it. When reviewing potential installers, make sure that that they have a long and strong track record behind them. Not to mention, they should be able to explain anything pertinent to the job in simple language so that anybody can understand.
How to Choose the Best Solar Installer
Now that you know the faculties to look out for. We can move on to a simple step-by-step process for finding the best possible solar installer. However, it is oftentimes best to find contractors through references, so if you can do that — that’s your best bet.
1. Make the A-List
The simplest way to compare is to have a document that allows you to gather information on each company in a single digestible format. Using a spreadsheet or a simple piece of paper, you should make the A-list of the solar providers in your area.
Include all: small and big, national and local, etc. Cover all of the bases. In order to start your search, you can simply make a query on google. When you get the companies written down, you can move on to the further comparison.
2. National vs. Local
You are very likely to come across a national solar provider who happens to execute work in your area. Therefore, it’s important to compare local and national companies to determine which is best for you.
A larger company will have comprehensive warranties, and a team of experienced professionals vetted through time. They might also provide you with financing options, and maintenance add-ons to make sure all is dandy.
Whereas, a local company might be familiar with your county’s specific requirements, state rebates, and anything local. And because they have a smaller client base, they can execute the job quicker and allowing you to save money and long-winded work.
There’s really no wrong or write selection when it comes to choosing local over national or vice versa. Just consider the differences, and note them down into the document you have.
No certification, no licensure, none of that matters if a company gets bad reviews, and treats their clients poorly.
Going solar is not an easy process; it starts with attaining permits and then ends with applying federal tax credits to help you save money. Therefore, you want to work with those who can understand your needs and tend to them accordingly.
To determine this, you can visit the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, YellowPages, etc. If you cannot find the company, contact them directly and ask for past client references.
Use the document you have to note that any of the impressions left to you by the references or the reviews that you find online. It’s pretty easy to determine if a company is a bad one or a good one, just by reading a couple of experiential feedback.
When it comes to actually acquire the solar panels and the service behind their installation, there are multiple options. You can pay cash, you can take a loan, you can lease them, or you can enter a power purchasing agreement.
The options are limited to the selection provided by the company with which you will be working with. If you already have a general idea for how you want to do this, ensure that the company can provide you with that option.
Using the information you’ve gathered, pick your A-team, and those will be the companies/contractors that you will be calling.
After a quick call, most companies will want to schedule an appointment so that they can take a look at your property and provide you with a more accurate price.
At this time, you should ask all of the questions that you have left.
You can try some of these:
- How many panels will I need based on my energy usage?
- Do you provide a comprehensive warranty?
- Will you be handling the city permits?
Then, you can compare quotes based on your needs.
The Solar Installer of Your Dreams
Now that you understand the intricate process behind choosing a solar installer the right way. You can apply the methods outlined in this article, and finally, find the company you’ve been searching for.
If you’re interested in high-quality solar installation, and a myriad of other applicable services, get in touch with us and we will happily accommodate your needs.