Guide to Choosing the Right Solar Installer
The total cost for typical residential Solar PV systems ranges from $25,000 to $50,000 and quite possibly more (before solar rebates). With so much at stake riding on a decision, you must be an informed and involved consumer. You will want to take some time to consider a number of candidates before turning someone loose on your roof. You must trust in the expertise, professionalism, and integrity of your solar installer, because this firm will be your on-site partner for the life of the project, often many months. This guide will help you choose the right solar installer for your project.
The best solar installer: one-stop shopping or a la carte?
Many solar installation firms are built around a “one-stop” model, allowing them to factor in the “economies of scale” they realize from buying in quantity at a lower unit price. By doing the entire job and supplying all the parts the installers pass along solar components savings on to you. This is a good option because few people will buy solar panels, meters, and wiring from separate sources and then hire a professional installer to assemble it all.
Buying parts from all over and hiring an installer is inconvenient and very time-consuming. Also the “one-stop” Solar firm lets you take advantage of the system of components its installers have matched to work together with the greatest efficiency and effectiveness.
Solar installation pricing and options
One additional advantage of dealing with a single established solar installation firm is that you will have a number of financing options. Most solar power system companies are able to offer low-interest financing to those with a good credit score.
A Solid Business and Reputation: What To Ask For.
You will want to make sure that your solar firm does quality work. An installation will only be operationally sound, and cost-effective if installed correctly. You will want any company on your short list of candidates to be:
- Bonded, insured for all work done on your home and the employees of the firm.
- Have good standing with permitting authorities and the local utilities.
- Are the company’s installers employees or contractors, as this can possibly affect your avenues of recourse if something goes wrong. (not a deal-breaker, but should be considered)
- Ask for reference solar projects, get contact information of the project residences.
Work your list down to the best two or three companies in your area, and do not make the final decision based on price alone. A thoroughly professional, responsible firm will be happy to provide answers to your questions and be eager for you to see their fine work.
Remember this: A good installation and a poor one can both start off with the same piles and pallets full of raw materials, electrical equipment and wiring. It’s the installation that will take these ingredients and make an effective solar power system. Solar power a home addition, albeit one that can reduce your energy costs, and positively affect the planet. Take your time, consider your options, do your homework and research the solar installation firms in your region.