Among all energy sources, solar power has the least negative effect on the environment. It doesn’t emit greenhouse gases nor lead to water pollution. Besides, its maintenance requires less water than nuclear energy plants. Production of solar energy does not produce noise and is thus suitable for both urban and rural areas. Generating your power means that you will save the amount you could have spent on energy bills. To enjoy these benefits, you need the best solar installers.
All these benefits are behind the rapid increase in the number of homeowners seeking to install solar panels. As the demand increase, solar panel installers are on the rise in the country. Unfortunately, some of them are not up to the task. Being an over 30-year investment, you must find the best solar contractors and suppliers to carry out the project. But how do you determine quality service providers? Below are factors to consider when choosing solar installers.
How to Choose the Best Solar Installers
1. Is it a local company?
When you seek services from a local solar panel installation company, you have the assurance that the installers will be readily available if the need arises. You should choose a company that has a team around your locality. Locally-based solar installation company usually find inspiration in making the communities better. Therefore, finding a local installer who focuses beyond the bottom line will be a significant step.
Additionally, local solar installers have expertise in local constructions and electrical codes. They will work with you through the installation process and offer a tailor-made design depending on your energy requirements, roof structure, and investment objectives.
Local municipalities differ in building code standards. Besides, they change regularly. Solar energy installers with a good relationship with the local inspectors are crucial for a smooth installation. They evade likely bottlenecks that may result from changing utility needs and local codes. You can carry out an online search for “solar installers near me” to get filtered results.
2. Is the company certified?
Solar panel installation is a technical and involving project. The process has its challenges. Therefore, you must pick solar energy installers who have all licenses. Additionally, their electricians should also hold certifications. The company should be conversant with all safety requirements and practices.
An accreditation by NABCEP is an indicator that the solar panel installation company is reliable. The North American board is responsible for certifying energy practitioners. The company has to undergo training on solar installation and sit for a test.
3. What do customers say?
Consider finding reviews from customers who got their services from the same solar panel installers. This will help you in finding the reliable company and avoiding errors. The best installation company should have glowing reviews from its past clients.
The evaluations reveal the nature of service the company offers and the responsiveness of their customer support. Every client wants a company with caring and skilled staff who are quick to respond. The best solar power installers have a collaborative team that works with the customer in every step of the project.
You can get the reviews about the solar panel installers through Facebook and Google. You can request the company to provide you with a list of their clients.
Online reviews give a rough idea of the track record of the company. Through them, you get to know the experience of workers with the employees. Additionally, it is possible to know whether solar installers understood the precise requirements and offered service according to that.
You can as well inquire about the best companies from your neighbors, friends, and family. Today, there are more than 2 million solar installation companies in the United States. Therefore, it is very likely that the people around you know reliable solar installers around you.
4. Quality of products and installation technique
Solar panels available in the industry differ. There are amorphous, mono, and polycrystalline types. Amorphous solar panels consist of a thin silicone sheet on a steel layer. They are cheap but the least efficient.
Monocrystalline solar modules have the highest efficiency. They do not occupy a large space and are the most popular type among clients. The popularity of the polycrystalline panels is on the rise. They are the blue colored types you find on the streets.
Lifestyle, size of roof, preferences, and budget are factors determining the appropriate solar products. Before you settle on any, examine your values and your home requirements. But for whichever the products you choose, ensure the solar panel installation company has them. Besides, make sure that they are of high quality and from reputable manufactures.
Some companies seek to save costs through template designs. It may not be possible for them to come up with a customized solar system for your premises. But solar panel installers who work specifically in a particular region can develop a typical design that suits the special local architectural requirements.
For a long lifespan and elegance of a solar system, the installers must observe proper wire management. Wiring involves making sure that wires are not visible, which cushions your equipment from destructive elements and as well as the appearance of your home. A solar panel installation company should be keen on proper wiring: the wires should pass beneath the racking and in the home interior.
When choosing a solar panel installation company, you have to consider the warranty. Although it is possible to stay for decades without experiencing issues with the solar system, a long term warranty is vital if the unexpected happens. A solid warranty is an assurance that the company will be available for you in the long term. This is important to ensure return on investment. Policies in the warrant include labor, equipment, and performance assurances.
The recommended warranty policies that you should look for are:
i. Performance warranty (25-year)
Performance warranty provides an assurance of 90% power generation in the 25th year. It is an agreement between the solar panel installers and the clients that the investment quality won’t substantially depreciate with time.
ii. Equipment warranty (25-year)
This warranty covers activities such as removing defective panels. Besides, it also covers the shipment and mounting of the new replacement solar systems. Equipment warranties usually give surety on the power generation by the kilowatt-hour.
If the above warranties are not available, you can go for installers that offer warranties above 5 years on their services.
6. The financing options available
When it comes to financing, companies with diverse options are the best. Most solar power installers urge clients to subscribe to their financing packages because the earnings from the service are vital for the business model.
Although it is not a must that you will come across such, you should ensure that you have an alternative to finance your solar project. Therefore, inquire whether your solar installer has such an option. Established national solar installation companies tend to persuade clients to adopt solar leases without an in-depth explanation of the significant payoffs from buying.
Smaller, regional companies have more flexible terms when it comes to financing a domestic solar project.
While installing a solar system may appear expensive initially, there is a fast payback period through savings per month. But there are several options to finance the investment. You can lease the system, purchase it upfront, or acquire a loan for the same. Be sure to consider the three options before you make the final decision.
7. Turnaround time and home visit
It is not realistic to evaluate a building for a solar project’s suitability without a visit to the site. After getting the free solar quote estimate, home visit is important to get a better picture of your property. You should inquire whether the installers are willing to come to your place. It is the only way to get the best installation as they will examine several factors like the roof structure.
There is a high likelihood that the solar panel installation company that you choose has several other projects on their checklist. The company should give you an insight into their schedule. They should be clear on when they will commence working on your project.
Besides, let the solar installers give you an idea of the number of days they are likely to take to have the job done. A typical three-kilowatt system with about 20 solar modules takes between one to three days to install. The precise turnaround time depends on the type of system you are to mount.
8. Comparison of the quotations
Settle on at least three solar installation companies and ask for quotations from them. This allows you to make comparisons on the rates among the installers.
Ensure that the quotations are specific to your situation and broken down per item. You should not settle for a total amount that you don’t understand how the company came up with.
Note that cost should not be the only factor for settling on a particular company. Sometimes, the cheapest deal could turn expensive. The products could be of low quality, thus costing you in the long run. Quotations should only be a guide as you pick the solar installer of your choice.
As you go for solar installation, avoid companies that market a one-size-fits-all system. You should look for solar power installers who have custom-made solutions. That is why the company should be willing to visit your premises, examining your specific requirements. From there, they can determine the most suitable solar system for your case.
If you are looking for the best solar panel installers in Texas, we’ve got your back. Get in touch with us for a custom-made solar design to meet your needs.