Residential solar panel installations climbed more than 34 percent from 2020 to 2021 in America. With new solar tax credits on the horizon, you should expect even more U.S. citizens to switch to solar in 2023.
Have you contemplated making the switch but aren’t sure how to find the best solar installer for your job? It’s a big investment, so there are several important factors to consider before you hire a solar installer.
The following guide will explain everything you need to know after searching for a “solar energy company near me.”
Make sure to buy your panels from a local company so that they’re nearby if a problem ever occurs. Local solar companies tend to put more effort and value into their installations because their customers are also their neighbors.
Local solar companies have advanced knowledge of local electrical and building codes in the areas they serve. This helps give you a custom solar design for your specific energy requirements, roof layout, and budget.
Local installers often have good relationships with inspectors and permitting offices. That relationship helps installation go more smoothly because building codes tend to change continually.
The local installer you choose must have full certification and a team of certified electricians. They also need to have a good track record and understand safety practices.
Ideally, you want the installer to directly perform the installation without subcontractors. But if they intend to use subcontractors, find out which specialized tasks they’ll use them for.
The subcontractors also need to have a proven track record and proper certification. Make sure that the main installation company plans to oversee their subcontractors at all times.
Not all installation companies provide follow-up maintenance for solar panels. So, you might end up stranded if you have problems with your solar system a few years down the road.
Ask potential installers about maintenance upfront before you hire them for your job. You’ll want to select a company that can act as a one-stop shop for all your solar needs for years to come.
Solar Panel Quality
It’s crucial that you select a company that only installs high-quality solar panels. For example, avoid companies that use cheap amorphous solar panels because they’re the least efficient type on the market.
Polycrystalline panels take up a lot of space but they’re very efficient. A skilled solar installation company can evaluate your home and determine if you have the right layout for these blue-colored panels.
Your best bet is the very popular monocrystalline solar panels, which most customers prefer. They’re the most efficient kind of solar panel on the market and take up the least amount of area on roofs or on the ground.
Consider financing your solar installation rather than going with a cheap type of panel because it will pay off in the long run. Most reputable solar companies offer multiple finance options to their customers.
Spend some time reading through reviews left by past customers before you choose an installation company. It will give you a good idea of a company’s customer support practices and help you avoid costly mistakes.
Look for solar companies with reviews that show they have responsive employees that care about their customers. If possible, talk directly with a neighbor or someone you know that has recently had panels installed by a solar company.
Quick online quotes might help you get a general idea of costs, but solar projects vary greatly from home to home. If no one comes to your home to take accurate measurements, take the quote with a grain of salt.
Find a company that will personally visit your home to examine your roof layout and energy needs. Precise quotes help customers stay within their budget and help eliminate costly surprises later in the job.
Licenses, Insurance, and Warranties
Solar companies must have proper business licenses and insurance policies to shield both the company and the customer. Note that different states have different requirements. Always make sure you understand the local jurisdiction in your area.
At the very least, the solar company you select needs to have general liability insurance. Typically, solar companies have about $1 million of insurance for solar panel installations.
Next, make sure the solar company offers a workmanship warranty. The warranties usually cover the system’s design and construction for up to 10 years.
You can buy an operation and maintenance contract separately if a warranty isn’t offered. Although, reliable solar companies tend to offer in-house workmanship warranties to keep things simple and back up their work.
Questions to Ask
It’s important to create a checklist of questions to ask a solar installer before finalizing your selection. First, ask them to verify their quote and ask about their financing options.
Ask if they’ll self-perform the work and ask for the contact information of any subcontractors they use. Also, find out the typical ratio of labor installers to certified electricians on their job sites.
Have the company verify that your roof is suitable for solar installation before they start the job. Ask about a general timeframe for the job’s completion, and get it in writing if possible to avoid delays.
Finally, have the company clearly explain how much energy production you’ll generate with your new solar energy system.
Solar Energy Company Near Me
Now you know the questions to ask and qualifications to look for after searching for a “solar energy company near me.” Remember to check for certifications, licenses, warranties, panel type, and customer reviews.
Try to stay local and finance your solar panels if necessary to avoid cheap inefficient products. We hope this brief guide helps you find the right company to launch you into the beneficial world of solar energy! Please check out our site’s design section for more intelligent ways to enhance your home.