Solar power is a long-term investment, monetarily and environmentally speaking, so it’s important to take every step necessary to assure that the system you choose to install in your home is going to be worth it later on down the line. It’s also important to ensure that the company who installs it knows exactly what they are doing.
How to Choose Your Solar Installers
As you can probably already tell, it is imperative to trust the expertise and integrity of the solar panel installers you decide upon, and you want to make sure that they’re professionals with the necessary expertise and credentials.
Here are several important factors to consider, when selecting your solar installer:
Is your contractor licensed?
State licensing is completely different from any voluntary certification that your contractor may opt to participate in. Ensuring that Installation Company is licensed protects you from dangerous installation and safety mishaps. Your solar panels are a huge financial investment on your part, so you want to know that they are installed according to all code and safety regulations.
Licensing in the solar power system realm began in the 1980s. However, not all states require or have well-outlined licensing guidelines. It’s important that you thoroughly research your state to find out what their requirements are. It’s also important to note that on the certification side, a contractor having a NABCEP certification is much preferred if you are looking to install a high-quality solar power system that will meet state guidelines and prove eligible for later rebates and incentives.
What are the panels and inverters your installer is using?
The quality of the solar panels and inverters that your installer decides to use is of the utmost importance, so it’s imperative that you speak with them and understand the devices they are installing. Your solar inverter is the mechanism responsible for converting the energy, or direct current, obtained from your solar panels into a useable energy source, or alternating current (AC to DC), which can be utilized by your local electric company’s wiring network. A high quality inverter also supplies safety features that protect your equipment from overload and damage. A low quality solar inverter can result in lost or wasted energy and low conversion rates when cultivating energy from your solar panel system.
How long will it take to install the system?
A normal solar panel system installation on a residential house can take less than a day and up to three, depending on the complexity and specific nature of the job. However, obtaining permits, a licensed contractor, and a well-defined plan for installation can bump the overall process time up to a week or two, again, depending on the overall project specifics.
Obtaining a tentative timeline from your contractor is definitely a part of the process you don’t want to skip. Having contractors up on your roof is a tedious part of the process, and one that you’ll want to be fully aware of. But in the end, the overall result and savings will be well worth your time.
What about insurance and warranties?
And the answer is…absolutely.You need both. Upon installing a solar power system, your electrical company will most likely ask to see proof of insurance on your new system, which is completely normal. However, the good news is that most of your standard homeowner insurance policies will provide adequate coverage for your solar panel system. However, this is definitely something you will want to discuss with your insurance agent beforehand, so you can figure in the cost.
Now, as far as the warranties go, it’s somewhat simple. A high-quality, reputable brand will usually slap a 20 – 25 year warranty on their system. Great news, right? But be aware that this warranty usually only applies to your solar panels, which constitute the greatest energy output. When it comes to your batteries and inverters, somewhere between 5 – 10 years guaranteed is pretty standard. So, as you can see, the warranties on the systems (and all their parts) are pretty long-lasting, ensuring that it is built to last.
Are they certified and accredited?
Checking a company’s accreditations should be one of your top priorities in your search for the best solar company for your home. Most companies will seek accreditation with organizations such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in order to guarantee that they are a trustworthy business that adheres to sound and ethical business practices. If your chosen company does not have any accreditations, you should ask them about this. If they truly have no existing accreditations to their name, you may want reconsider your choice.
The proper certification can put your mind at ease, knowing that your solar system will be installed carefully and correctly. A desirous certification to keep an eye out for is given by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). This certification program is one of, if not the most prestigious certification programs in the solar power field.
If a business has this accreditation, it means the company has met an extremely strict set of requirements and standards. This arduous process involves thorough background checks, a certain amount of independent reviews, a superb customer rating, extensive testing, and a minimum span of time for established business. Accredited businesses are less likely to make foolish mistakes and give shoddy service.
So, don’t hesitate to ask the companies you are researching for proof of their qualifications or to contact the NABCEP to ensure that the solar power company in question has in fact received their approval. If they’ve got the certification, they’ll be happy to share it! If they don’t or they try to brush you off, there’s your answer.
Is there outsourcing involved?
Being involved with a company with less outsourcing will be most beneficial for you. Doing the job entirely on their own and supplying all the necessary parts will save the solar company (and by extension, you, too) time, and money.Buying supplies from all over and then hiring an installer separately is a time-consuming task that will cost you precious dollars. In addition, if the company outsources a team of separate installers to do their own job, the quality of work may be jeopardized. You pick your solar installer because you trust them, but does that mean that you can inherently trust their subcontractors? This isn’t always the case.
Clearly, hiring a full service solar installer that will take care of every step of the process for you is the most safe, efficient, and effective option for you.
Finally Choosing the Best Solar Company for You
So, let’s do a quick review. You are looking for a solar company that is shining with good reviews and recommendations, as well as references from higher-ups. This company is fully accredited and certified with important people in their industry. They are cost-effective and are truly passionate and thorough in their work.
This company minimally participates in outsourcing, and their costs are most convenient for your solar power needs. You’ve invited them into your home, you feel comfortable around them, and have grown to trust them and their skills.
Pretty simple, right? When push comes to shove, you will eventually arrive at the one option that fits all of the above criteria. The accredited company that is overrun with satisfied customer testimonials and decent pricing is the perfect fit for you.
Once the installation of your solar panel system is complete, you can sit back, and enjoy your energy efficient home - not to mention the financial benefits your solar power system will reap.
Off course, we are always here to help. Fill in the solar estimate form here, and receive instant quotes from qualified buyers we recommend near you. Talk to them, compare, and decide how you wish to take your first steps in “going green.”