With so many solar companies out there, knowing whether the one you’ve chosen is a reliable one, isn’t always easy. However, there are a few things you can do to help ensure that you’ve made the right choice.
Evaluate their portfolio
If you’ve chosen a reputable solar company, then they should have an established body of work in your area, and be able to show you plenty of examples of their past projects. Whether these are case studies, blog posts, social media posts, or writeups in the media, all can help to demonstrate their ability and commitment to quality. They should also be able to put you in touch with their previous customers, if requested.
Discuss their financial calculations in detail
With net metering and tax credits to consider, your chosen solar provider should be able to walk you through their financial calculations in detail, avoiding the use of jargon that you might not understand, and without complex calculations designed to bamboozle you. And while financing can be a great option for many customers, it can also be an opportunity for unethical businesses to disguise the total cost of the system.
If possible, try seeking a second opinion from another reputable solar company in the area, and consider running any financial projections by a qualified accountant.
Make sure you know exactly who is responsible for what
Knowing exactly what your solar company will provide for you before you sign a contract is essential. It’s important to understand whether they’re pulling permits for construction and electrical work, filing the interconnection request with your utility, or working with your utility to get permission to operate. You should also find out whether they will handle or help with the solar ITC paperwork involved with the installation.
Know who is accountable should repairs be needed
If your solar system should ever require any maintenance or repairs, you need to know whether the company are based locally, and therefore able to provide you with such services should you need them. While a solar contractor based in another state may be able to offer you a lower price, would you feel comfortable knowing that they’re many miles away, and not able to visit your home and assess the panels should it be required?
Review the contract
A proper contract should detail when payments are due and how milestones are structured. It should also provide assurances regarding permitting, insurance, and such things as responsibility for project completion and permission to operate. If a warranty is being offered, this should be clearly detailed in the contract, too, along with the company’s responsibilities as general contractor.
While there are no guarantees of quality and performance when it comes to hiring solar installers, being vigilant and carefully reading your contract before signing it, can help ensure that you always hire reliable contractors who won’t let you down.