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How to Pick a Solar Installation Contractor: What You Need to Know

Are you thinking about going solar? Getting a solar panel system in your house is one of the most important investments you will ever make.

The return on investment or ROI is strong and you can save lots of money on your power bills for decades to come. Plus, having sustainable energy feels good. What’s not to like?

Before you pick a solar installation contractor, it’s helpful to understand a little bit about how solar energy systems get installed. The more you know going in, the better able you will be to choose the best system for your needs.

Identify What Solar Panel You Need

An important step in selecting a solar installation contractor is to identify what solar panel you need. Most customers opt for grid-tied solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, which require some knowledge of the electrical system and components.

The contractor should be able to assess your current electrical system and determine the proper size of the solar panel array. They should also know the right amount of watts needed to meet your energy demand. Further, most solar panel systems require expansion over time.

Which is due to higher electrical requirements. The contractor should also build this flexibility into the design. The contractor should also be able to provide detailed information on different types of solar panels and their advantages and disadvantages.

This is to help you make an informed decision. Finally, the contractor should be able to provide an estimate of the total installation cost and define the terms of the contract. Make sure to do a lot of research to know more about solar panels.

Ask for Referrals

When picking a solar installation contractor it is important to ask for referrals. Determine what type of referrals the contractor is getting. Ask for past customer referrals, or referrals from architects, building contractors, or engineers in the area who have previously worked with the contractor.

It is advisable to talk to three or more customer references to get a good feel for the contractor’s performance. Ask questions like, how reliable were they, were they prompt and on time? Did they answer all of the questions posed to them and communicate effectively?

If a majority of the former customers recommend the solar energy installation contractor. This can be a great indication of their quality of work. Furthermore, you may be able to view the completed systems and visit the customer’s homes if possible for firsthand experience.

Read Customer’s Reviews 

When it comes to picking a solar installation contractor, it is important to do your research and read customer reviews. First and foremost, customer reviews will help you determine which contractors are reputable and honest. It will help you know the contractor’s customer satisfaction, the quality of their work, and reliability.

Which ensures that you are selecting a reliable solar installation contractor. Reviews can also give you insight into the contractor’s installation process and warranty terms. Which also includes their maintenance services.

It is also important to read reviews from both current and former customers. This will help you gain a full understanding of the quality of work the contractor provides. Reading customer reviews is one of the best ways to ensure that you are selecting a solar installation contractor.

Check Their Work Experience

When it comes to picking a solar installation contractor, you want to make sure that you are choosing the right one. It’s important to check the contractor’s work experience and credentials. This is to ensure they have the knowledge and skills necessary to do the job right.

Ask the contractor how many years they have been in business, what kind of jobs they have done, and how long they have been installing solar systems. Make sure they have experience with the specific system you are looking to install. Ask for references from previous clients so you can get insights into the contractor’s performance.

Contact multiple contractors so you can compare their experience, cost, reviews, and warranties. This will ensure that you choose the best installation contractor to meet your needs. Checking your solar installation experience can help guarantee that you got the best solar panel provider.

Review Provider’s License and Permits

When selecting a solar installation contractor, it is important to review the provider’s license and permits. This can provide information about the contractor’s competency and qualifications, including any existing regulations that need to be adhered to.

Licenses will vary from state to state. It’s important to ensure that the contractor holds the required documentation for the state in which installation is taking place. Permits may be necessary from the local or state government.

The contractor should ensure that all of the paperwork is in order and comply with the relevant regulations. Be sure to ask for copies of the documents.

This is so you can review them and double-check that the license and permits are active. Licenses and permits are essential in a residential solar system.

Ask for Their Maintenance Service 

One of the deciding factors in choosing a contractor, is the maintenance and service plan. Before signing a contract, ask your potential contractor how they provide post-installation service. Do they offer regular maintenance and cleaning packages?

Are there additional costs associated with potential repair services and warranties? Are they able to provide safety checks to guarantee the health and safety of your solar system? Knowing how your contractor handles potential solar system repairs, maintenance, and safety checks can save you a lot of time and money.

So it’s important to make sure you ask the right questions. Be sure to ask if they have an in-house team of technicians, or if they outsource repairs. These also include who will be responsible for setting up the system initially.

You should also ask for any additional details you feel are important. Having a good maintenance service can help you avoid costly errors.

Check for Insurance and Warranties 

It is also important to ensure that they have proper insurance and warranties. It’s recommended that all contractors you are considering should provide proof of liability insurance. This is to protect you from any potential damages or injuries.

In addition, ask what type of warranty covers the materials and labor. A reputable contractor should offer at least a five or ten-year warranty. If a contractor does not provide or does not discuss warranties as part of their service, you may consider looking for another contractor to hire.

By taking these steps, you can be sure that you are selecting a reliable and experienced contractor. The right contractor will properly install your solar system and provide you with a strong warranty to protect you and your investment. Insurance and warranties are one of the most important things buyers have in their minds.

Consider Tax Rebates and Credits

Tax rebates and credits are important to consider when selecting a solar installation contractor. One of the greatest benefits of transitioning your energy source with solar power is the money you can save through tax credits and rebates. To get the most out of the savings, it’s important to find a contractor that has a history of accessing these benefits for their clients.

Start by researching the contractor’s track record of clients being able to get the maximum savings. Ask the contractor to provide references that you can talk to. This will provide further assurance of their ability to utilize the tax credits and rebates.

Additionally, be sure to talk to multiple contractors. This is to ensure you get the best bang for your buck. Ask them questions about the type of energy they use, the rate of return you can expect, and their expertise with credits and rebates.

Taking the time to do your research will help ensure you select a contractor that can fully utilize the tax advantages available, helping you save money. Overall, make sure to take advantage of those tax rebates and incentives, to reduce cost and expenses.

Understand the Factors That Affects Installation Cost

Understanding the factors that affect the cost of a solar panel installation is key when selecting a contractor. First and foremost, the size and scope of the project must be considered. Larger projects will cost more to install.

The tilt and type of installation, as well as the type of solar panels and inverters, can have a dramatic impact on the final cost of the installation. Finally, the quality and experience of the contractor should be taken into consideration.

The most experienced installers may be more pricey, but the finished product is likely to cost less in the long run due to better efficiency and fewer mistakes. Ultimately, the best contractor for your project is the one that can provide the best combination of cost and quality.

Get More Than One Quote

One of the most important steps in picking the right solar installation contractor is to get more than one quote. When you request quotes from different installers, it allows you to compare different options and prices. You will also get a better understanding of the capabilities and services of each contractor.

After receiving multiple quotes, you can evaluate them based on the information they have provided. These include such as the scope of work, the time it will take to complete the project, and their experience in solar installation. Consider the certifications of each contractor and their ability to meet your deadlines.

When evaluating quotes, look for any hidden costs, conditions, or additional services that may be included in the quote. Ask yourself if the contractor provides additional services. These are such as post-installation maintenance and repairs.

Comparing solar installation costs is also another way to help you make a decision. By getting more than one quote, you can be sure to make the best decision for your solar installation project.

Avoid Leases and Power Purchase Agreements

You also need to make sure to avoid companies that push leases and power purchase agreements. These agreements often have hidden costs and fees attached. Which can complicate your financial situation, so it’s best to steer clear of them.

Instead, look towards a company that offers ownership and installation services. Have a professional solar installation company evaluate your roof and design a customized plan. They make a plan that can cater to your specific needs and budget.

Make sure you have considered all the components of your new system including, hardware, labor, and certification. By doing this, you can make an educated decision about which company to choose for your solar installation.

Consider Their Customer Service

When looking to pick a solar installation contractor knowing the company’s customer service track record is essential. Doing your research upfront is smart. This will help in perceiving how well a contractor will handle any potential issues that may come up during the installation process.

You must make sure that the contractor you choose will offer a quality customer service experience from beginning to end. This includes their customer service reputation and how long a representative takes to respond to your inquiries.

Additionally, some contractors offer 24/7 emergency services which may be worth exploring. Good customer service should be one of the factors to keep in mind in selecting a solar provider. It would be a great help especially if you are just new to using solar panels.

Pick a Solar Installation Contractor That is Right for You

Before making a final decision on a solar installation contractor, make sure to do your due diligence. You should inquire about experience, references, customer service, warranties, and additional services.

Then, you can make an informed decision on which contractor can best meet your needs. Knowing these key points will help you pick a solar installation contractor who is reliable. So get started on your search today to get the best provider.

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