Installing solar energy systems is getting much more common and easier. Two reasons are that there are more solar installation companies and financial support grants to upgrade to solar energy or green energy.
This article reviews 4 criteria in selecting the right one for your needs and budget.
Installing Solar Do Your Homework
The foundation for selecting the right solar installation company is do your homework!
Similar to purchasing a car, buying a piece of land, investing in stocks, or any other long term commitment, one should always do some research before committing.
When it comes to solar installation, doing your homework means going beyond getting references on the installation company. It also means researching the equipment they will be installing, checking to ensure that equipment has a solid warranty, and that it is the right equipment for what you want done.
In addition to your personal research, another way to dial in on what’s best in the solar installation marketplace is to get at least three quotes. As each technician or salesperson presents their offer, ask questions. As you learn from one, you will be able to dig a little deeper with the other two.
4 Criteria Selecting the Right Solar Installation Company
1. Get Three Quotes
“Sure”, you say. “I always get three quotes.” But do you? Really, you always get three quotes?
If you are like most people, you might call three places for quotes. What happens though is generally the first representative to show or the one who connects with you best, gets the contract.
The nugget here is to show three different solar installation contractors what you are looking for. Listen to their suggestions and learn from their questions.
Make notes while the solar installation representative is doing the walk around. Update the notes as you listen to each representative. And, when you receive each of the quotes, compare what is offered to what was discussed.
2. Equipment, Time Frame, Company
Just like people, when it comes to solar equipment not all are the same. Panel design, reliability, warrant, efficiency, differ between solar equipment manufacturers. Some will take up less space than others. Some provide a longer warranty. And some have been in business longer than others.
Each of these is a consideration in selecting your solar installation company.
In addition to equipment, time frame for installation and the solar installation company’s reputation is important.
You want to select a business that has a reputation for standing behind their work, has all the necessary insurances and meets each of the state or provincial installation requirements.
And, as you get ready to make your final decision …
3. Watch for Pressure Tactics
A solar installation is considered a high-ticket product. It is also a competitive market.
When you put those two together, and add in tight profit margins, some salespeople will really push to get your signature on the dotted line.
Watch for pressure tactics to push you to sign and hand over your deposit. Some pressure tactics included promising a quicker installation date “If you sign today!”. Offering a gift, an additional storage battery for example, “If you sign today!” Or perhaps a discount, a free trip, or some similar gimmick “If you sign today!”
If you are feeling pressured, simply tell the representative that you will not be closing the deal today, stand and ask the person to leave. or if you are in their office, stand and walk. This is tough to do. But if someone has to use tactics like his to get you to sign, is that a way to start a relationship?
4. Paying for the Solar Installation
In some respects, this consideration could be at the top. If you require financing to go solar, prior to speaking with the bank, credit union, finance company or whoever you will be arranging financing through, check to see if there are any grants or other money available that you might qualify for by installing solar.
Additionally, when getting your three quotes, ask the solar installation representatives if their company provides financing. If they do, compare what they offer to the other lender you are considering.
The four criteria all start with doing your homework. Truth is, they are very similar to how you would go about applying for a mortgage or any other big expense.
The good news is that there are plenty of resources available. And, there are also several excellent available solar energy projects you can make as a DIY project.