Anyone can see that installing solar panels is a smart choice. It saves energy, saves money, and saves the planet.
What’s not so obvious is how to choose the right solar installation service. But not to worry. The following guide will teach you all you need to know about comparing solar panel services.
First, you’ll learn how you can tell if a prospective solar company is properly licensed and experienced. We’ll also explain about checking references and reviews and comparing price quotes and warranties.
It’s all in here—everything you need to know about choosing a solar panel service. Read on to discover more.
1. Are They Properly Licensed?
Before anything else, you want to make sure that the solar company you hire has the legal authority to do the work. Each state, and even the different cities within each state, have different laws and requirements concerning solar installation.
To find out if the companies you’re comparing are properly certified, you’ll need to research what the requirements are for solar panel services in your area. When you do have this information, make sure the solar companies you’re considering have these certifications, too. If they are properly licensed, they’ll happily produce proof of this on demand.
2. How Experienced Are They?
Next, check how many years of experience the company has, and what kind. Are they exclusively a solar installation company? If not, that’s red flag number 1.
Any general contractor can get the basic training and licensing to legally do solar panel services. But the quality of service they provide doesn’t even compare to the top-notch results you’ll get from a true expert.
A company that only does solar work is competing to be the best in their field. General contractors compete on many fronts. they don’t necessarily have to excel at solar work to keep their business afloat.
Furthermore, expertise is developed over many years. The longer the solar company has been in business, the better their work is likely to be.
3. Check Their Reputation
Another thing to check on is how highly-rated the solar company is on review sites. You can find detailed reviews of customer testimonies on sites like Google, Bing, and Yelp.
Pay particular attention to similar comments of a single company. This alerts you to any patterns in their work ethic, whether good or bad.
It doesn’t hurt to check Consumer Reports, the BBB, and other such review sites. Also, ask prospective solar companies to provide references.
They’ll be happy to provide positive testimonies of their work, if they can. The only reason they’d be reluctant to provide references is if they have no satisfied customers.
4. Compare Price Quotes
Home solar panel services have been around for many years now. This is long enough for pricing to get quite competitive. In other words, there’s no reason for you to settle for a high price quote.
Now that you have a list of highly-qualified solar installation experts, it’s time to compare price quotes. When comparing quotes, make sure you know how their pricing works and what is included.
For example, is the given quote final or is it subject to change? If it’s only an estimate, find out what factors may increase the final price and by how much. Get quotes from 3 or more solar companies.
5. Will They Come Out to Your House?
If a solar panel service is reluctant to visit your house for the price quote, don’t even bother with them. Each property is unique, even model homes. As such, there are factors unique to each property that determine solar installation costs/whether solar installation is even possible.
You could have holes in your roof, a structure blocking your sunlight, or even a building that’s not up to code. Such issues must be addressed (if possible) before solar panels can be installed. Furthermore, installation on your building will require measurements and perhaps even specialized measures like scaffolding.
Such factors are impossible to determine without a visit to your home.
6. How Long Will the Project Take?
Aside from your monetary budget, make sure the project fits your schedule as well. Project completion time usually varies among solar companies even more than the price does.
A lot of solar companies will be in no hurry to finish your project. Others use their speed-of-service as a selling point and strive to complete in the shortest possible amount of time.
Get a quote for the estimated project duration before you commit. Also, find out how imposing the installation will be. That is, are you fine to inhabit your house during installation or will you have to temporarily relocate?
7. What Kind of Warranty Do They Offer?
Lastly, it’s vital that you compare warranty plans between different solar panel services as well. The cheapest solar panels in town will still be a large investment.
It would be very unfortunate if the panels, and their warranty, are only good for 5 years. It shouldn’t be difficult to find solar panels that are covered for 10 or even 20 years.
Furthermore, the length of the warranty often indicates the lifespan of the product. Since you’re making such a large investment, invest in solar panels that are more likely to last.
Use This Guide When Choosing Solar Panel Services
As the song goes, “Only fools rush in.” Don’t rush into a deal with solar panel services that will take advantage of you.
Keep this checklist and use it to get high-quality solar work at an agreeable price. If you know someone who’s looking into solar panel installation, please refer them to this guide so they can benefit, too.
Now that we’ve talked about the exterior of your home, take another look at our home decorating tips for the interior. Or, perhaps you’d like some help with entertaining or gardening. We have tips for these, too.
Find all these ideas and more on our blog.