Solar energy has come a long way in the past few years. It has now become the preferred energy source for millions of homeowners worldwide. After all, it helps reduce your negative impact on the environment. And best of all, it’s free (at least after the initial expense).
However, unless you have the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience, you need to look for a reliable contractor who can install your solar energy system.
A simple Google search will show up numerous solar contractors in your area. They develop creative marketing tactics or hire specialized agencies like Smart Solar Marketing to attract potential clients like you. And it’s up to you to sort through the clutter to find a trustworthy contractor for the project.
In this article, you’ll learn the critical factors to consider when looking for a solar power company to find the right one for your needs.
1. Check Their Certifications And Qualifications
One of the most important things you need to consider when looking for a solar installer is their qualifications and certification. Be sure to ask the solar company for the necessary documents, certifying that they are legally allowed to install solar panels.
Don’t just wait for verbal confirmation, either. Instead, ask for a copy of the company’s legal certifications and licenses. Of course, any contractor can say they are adequately certified and qualified to be your solar installer. Still, only legit contractors can provide the necessary documents to prove it.
In particular, you want to ask them about the company’s license to operate as well as the individual licenses of their workers. A reliable solar company should have no trouble quickly providing you with this information.
2. Ask If They’re Bonded And Insured
Aside from having the proper license to install solar panels, the best solar companies also have insurance. Mistakes and accidents can still occur regardless of how careful a worker may be. So, you want to protect yourself and your home from that liability. A solar company with the right insurance can provide peace of mind.
With the right business insurance, solar companies can protect their crews while on the job. That means you don’t have to worry about compensating them in case one of their workers injures themselves or causes damage while working on your property.
Meanwhile, a bonded solar contractor means that if they go out of business halfway through the installation, the cost of hiring a new contractor to finish the job will be covered. Plus, it also protects you against an installer that did a terrible job, whether they’ve installed at the wrong angles or misaligned panels. Their insurance will cover potential damage costs and hire another solar contractor to fix the problem.
Consider asking for copies or proof of the company’s bonding and specific insurance. A solar energy system provider should generally have several types of insurance, such as worker’s compensation, general liability, professional liability, and general public liability insurance. Once they’ve provided you with a copy, don’t forget to verify if their coverage is up to date.
3. Can You Afford Them?
A solar energy system installation is already costly on its own. The panels can cost you about USD$3,500 to USD$35,000, depending on the model and type. However, you can get a return on your investment over time. Thus, you want to ensure you can afford the solar installer you’re considering.
Always ask a solar company about their rates or fees. You don’t want to hire a company only to realize they’re too expensive for your budget. Consequently, you don’t want to go with a company offering the cheapest service you can find. As is true with most things, you get what you pay for.
While you may be able to save on costs, there’s a chance that they might not be too reliable. Remember that this is a system you’ll depend on every day for nearly 30 years. So, it’s crucial to have an installer that provides quality work.
So, take your time and ask for estimates from at least three solar companies before deciding. In addition, you also want to ask about hidden costs and extra fees such as getting local permits. If possible, ask for a detailed breakdown of their estimates.
4. Consider Local Companies
Experts recommended choosing local solar companies over national enterprises. While a large national company has the benefit of reputation, name, and size, working with a company in your local community offers better advantages.
For one, working with a local solar company means they have experience in your community. They have more in-depth knowledge of local policies, municipality or city regulations, building codes in your area, and local utility company information. A local specialist can ensure faster and safer installation than a national solar company serving several areas.
In addition, a local solar company is also easier to access and communicate with. This means they can better focus on your needs and are more likely to work with you face-to-face and plan your solar project more efficiently. They may also help you with any local rebates and energy incentives your local government offers. Lastly, their proximity means they’re cheaper than national companies since they don’t have to travel far to visit your home.
5. Think About Warranties And Maintenance Services
A reliable solar installer should offer a warranty to show their confidence in the quality of their work. The warranty period will differ from one solar installer to another; however, you can expect at least 3–10 years of warranty for labor. This means that if something goes wrong after the installation, the installer will return and fix the issue without cost.
The solar panel and other accessories will depend on the manufacturer. Still, most panels have up to 25 years of warranty. However, it’s best to ask your installer about their warranty. Also, consider asking about any services they provide after the installation—for instance, maintenance or repair services.
How we power our homes has significantly changed over the years, with traditional utilities gradually losing ground to solar power as more homeowners choose to go off the grid. Choosing the right contractor is critical if you finally decide to start using free energy from the sun.
So, consider the factors mentioned above to find the right contractor for your solar panel installation and soon experience the wonderful benefits of a solar energy system.