Solar Power Installer Near Me: How To Choose a Solar Installation Firm
22 million homes (and growing!) already have solar panels installed. It's not just about going green. These homeowners are seeing proven cost benefits on energy bills, leaving more money for quality time, home improvements, and other necessities.
However, the solar company homeowners choose makes all the difference. Solar panels installed incorrectly, poor customer service, and lack of prep work are costly mistakes for homeowners.
Every homeowner needs to conduct thorough research, starting with a simple search for a solar power installer near me. This search will generate a sizeable list of local results. From there, you have to narrow down the list according to a set of parameters.
Let's unpack what you really need from a solar installer.
Does the Solar Power Installer Near Me Have Experience?
After making a local search online, you now have a shortlist to work with. Your next step is to gauge the experience of the company.
Solar panel installation is relatively new compared to regular roofing services. At the very least, ensure the company has at least three years of experience. This information is typically included on the company's website: look here to get an idea of what to expect from a quality solar installation site.
Another way to gauge experience is through customer testimonials. Some companies include videos or written testimonials on their websites.
Photos from previous projects are another factor to look for. You may also find installation photos on the company's Google business listing.
Yelp, Facebook, and Angie's list reviews are also helpful in measuring experience. Customers will often sound off about their experience on these platforms, whether they've worked with a good or less-than-stellar installer.
Another good indicator is preparation work.
Does the solar company near me inspect the roofing first before installation?
If not, that's a huge red flag.
These panels are called "solar" panels, after all. This means they need enough sun exposure to work properly.
An experienced solar panel company will communicate whether or not tree removal is necessary. Your roof may need some repair work before installation. You may need a total replacement if the roof is too old to support panels.
The best solar installer won't install panels if the roof can't withstand the upgrade, no matter how much money they stand to make.
You can also gauge experience through free consultations or the quote process itself. A quality solar panel company should be happy and willing to answer any questions you have about their experience, roofing requirements, and past projects.
Which Solar Panel Services Do You Need?
Experienced installers also help you understand which services you need for a foolproof installation.
For example, if a technician notices that there are too many trees obstructing sunlight, you may need a company that also performs pruning or tree removal. You may need to hire a separate tree removal company prior to installation. Some full-service solar companies also offer that service at an additional charge.
Another service is roofing repair.
As you learned in the previous section, your roof may not be ready for solar panels.
You'll need to repair any loose or damaged roofing materials before you can install any panels. Some solar companies perform roofing repairs. However, you may need to hire a separate roofing company to perform many major repairs or total (and partial) replacements first.
Another service to consider is financing.
Solar panels can cost tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the area covered. However, you'll soon see that money return to your bank account in the form of energy savings. In the meantime, you can take advantage of available financing.
Many solar companies offer financing to homeowners. Plus, you can look into solar panel subsidies provided by the city. These may come in the form of tax subsidies.
Financing may also be offered by "full-service" solar companies that also produce their own line of solar panels. They may also sell equipment separately as well. Full-service options are great for commercial properties as well.
Does Compliance Matter to the Solar Power Installer Near Me
Remember the point about experience?
Any solar installer worth their salt is also licensed and insured by the state.
Insurance means that any accident that occurs during your installation is covered. This also means accidents that may occur on your neighbor's property as well. Therefore, you wouldn't be liable for those accidents.
Even all the experience in the world can't make up for not having the right licensure. Plus, every solar technician at a company must be licensed as well. Some companies make technicians go through additional training before they can start installing panels, giving property owners more peace of mind.
Gather and Compare Solar Installation Quotes
Solar panel installation is a large job. Similar to roofing work, installers typically provide quotes to property owners first. You don't have to pay for these quotes either, and they're often provided with free consultations.
Don't take the first quote offered.
You may be able to negotiate a smaller quote. However, reputable solar companies aim to be fair. Gathering multiple quotes to compare is a much better idea.
Solar installation companies should also provide details of potential jobs with quotes. Some installers break down the quotes by services, equipment, labor hours, and so forth.
Avoid working with solar companies that charge by the hour. While these rates may seem reasonable at first, they add up quickly. In fact, you're more likely to pay too much for an hourly rate.
Hire a Solar Installer You Can Trust
Don't bet on the wrong solar provider. Ask if the solar power installer near me passes the requirements above. Think about experience, services, property conditions, compliance, and price before settling on a company.
Do you need more tips and tricks for your next project or idea?
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