When it comes to harnessing the power of solar energy, choosing the right solar panel installer is crucial to ensure a seamless and efficient transition to renewable energy. You can confidently navigate the selection process by considering key factors such as experience, certifications, and customer reviews. This guide will shed light on the essential aspects to consider when choosing a solar panel installer.
What Should You Know & Questions to Ask When Choosing a Solar Installer?
Like any contractor, you need to interview your solar installer to confirm that they’re qualified to meet all requirements. A solar installer should have proof of the proper certifications and training, experience and references, and a solidified process.
Below, we’ll look further into the crucial information that needs to be understood and the essential questions that should be posed to your solar panel installer.
Can You Provide Proof Of Your Certifications?
A professional, credible solar installer should have the proper qualifications, certifications, and training, and they should be able to prove it to you. Having the necessary expertise and credentials provides quality assurance, having shown their competence in the field. Likewise, solar company warranties require a certified installer, which reduces your liability risks and protects against exemptions.
Do You Have References?
References are one of the most critical pieces in the hiring process. Never settle for a solar installer who cannot provide past client reviews or information. You can reach out to past customers and ask about their experience with the contractor, any issues that arose during the installation, and how happy they are with the results to this day.
How Long Will The Installation Take?
The timeline for solar installation depends on your installer’s availability and the size and complexity of the system. On average, it takes less than a day to install a solar panel system on the roof of a single-family home. Sometimes, the process can be as quick as 4 to 6 hours. Based on the specifications of your solar energy system, your installer should be able to provide an approximate timeframe for installation.
Is My Property Suitable For Solar Panels?
Instead of inquiring about this matter from the installer, although you can, it’s advisable to consult with an inspector before the installation process. The inspector will assess the state of your roof, considering its dimensions, stability, and the existence of any required repairs for damages or leaks. They can also provide insights on suitable solar panel sizes and types and identify any obstructions that may restrict panel placement or cause shading.
Do You Recommend An Off-Grid Or Grid-Tied System For My Property?
A grid-tied solar system is directly connected to the grid, enabling the surplus energy generated to be fed back into it. This system transfers converted energy from the solar panels to the grid, producing electricity.
An off-grid solar system operates independently from the grid, relying on batteries for energy storage. These systems are commonly used in remote locations where connecting to the grid is not feasible.
An installer typically looks at the location of your property and whether you’re within a reasonable distance of the grid and will reap credit for excess energy. Off-grid systems are usually the best choice if you live in an isolated location where connecting to the grid isn’t doable.
Are There Available Incentives In My Area?
Always look into available incentives in your area for solar power. Local governments, utility companies, and organizations will offer financial incentives and rebates to promote the use of renewable energy. Do your research and ask your installer to see if there are any opportunities to save money on upfront costs and receive tax credits for solar.
What Will Maintenance Costs And Procedures Look Like?
Solar systems require ongoing maintenance, including cleaning, inspections, and potential repairs. Maintenance costs can range from $140 to $180 annually, with additional fees for professional services. Warranties accompanying solar panels may cover certain expenses. Maintenance visits are recommended two to four times per year, depending on panel performance, placement, climate conditions, and the need for monitoring.
Can You Give Me A Quote?
Before you start the process of installing solar panels, make sure you look at upfront costs, maintenance costs, and how these align with your budget. An installer will calculate costs based on the type of panels you choose and how large the system is.
Depending on how much electricity your household consumes, you may have more expensive upfront costs to cover a system efficient enough to power your home. As a breakdown, costs for a solar power system include equipment, labor, permits, and ongoing maintenance. Your installer should also look at incentives and how these will impact the overall costs.
How Do I Find a Local Solar Installer?
Nowadays, you can find resources through various means besides word of mouth. That said, some of the best ways to find a local solar installer is through a reference or recommendation. You can hear firsthand experiences from someone who went through the process and how satisfied they were with the outcome.
If finding a personal reference isn’t an option, you can research local solar installers online using keywords like “solar installer,” “solar contractors,” and “solar companies.” Consider third-party sources like Solar-Estimate.org and Pick My Solar to narrow down your location and view quotes from multiple installers in your area.
Choose the Experts at OWE for Quality Solar Panels and Installation
At Our World Energy, our primary focus is to ensure that your solar power system installation is carried out by experienced professionals, ensuring optimal energy efficiency for you.
Contact us today to learn more about our solar installation services and take the initial step toward attaining energy independence.