10 Questions Homeowners should ask a Solar Company
Installing solar panels on your roof is not a choice to be taken lightly. You must decide which solar firm to use, what type of panels to use, where to install them, how much of your power to offset, whether to finance the system, and so on. It is critical to work with a reputable solar supplier to make the transition as simple and stress-free as possible. We’ve developed a list of crucial questions to ask solar firms before making a decision.
Questions to ask Solar Company
1) What Do Your Customers Say About You? Can I Have The Name And Contact Info Of Three References?
Look for internet reviews before contacting any solar business. Several national databases, such as Solar Reviews, offer local installers as well as consumer reviews. Check out Yelp, Nextdoor, Facebook, and, of course, Google. If you wish to go a step further, you should request references. Reputable businesses would happily allow you to speak with their clients in your region who have similar sorts of properties. Encourage those customers to be honest about their experience from beginning to end, including inspections and approvals, panel and equipment selection, the installation, and any performance or service concerns that were rectified. Inquire about how they appreciate their system now and what they would do differently during installation. Most importantly, if they move in the future, would they utilize the same firm to install solar on a new home?
2) Do You Have A Office Area In Which I Can Visit?
After conducting basic internet research, it is a good idea to inquire whether the firm has an office where clients may visit. This will offer you a better sense of how the firm operates and will demonstrate that they are reputable. You may also be able to see the actual panels and mounting mechanisms. Freedom Solar, for example, has showrooms in San Antonio and West Austin, as well as headquarters in Irving and Houston.
3) How Long Has Your Company Been In Business? How Many Installations Have You Done?
The longer the experience, the better; experts advise they would avoid anyone who has been installing for less than three years. Experience is important in solar since each home is unique and each project is different. A service that has been in business for a long and has completed several installs will have a better feel of what will and will not work for your property. A good track record also provides some comfort that the firm will be around if any problems emerge in the future.
4) Do You Outsource Any Parts Of The Installation?
Solar enterprises may ensure quality by using a full-time, in-house staff of installers and electricians rather than hiring subcontractors. “The installer’s only duty is to install solar- not roofs one week, Christmas lights the next, and solar in between,” says Freedom Solar Energy Consultant Robert Bradshaw. Furthermore, if something goes wrong during the installation, the consumer will know exactly who to call. Whatever a firm chooses to outsource is going to be its weakest link.
5) Will You Visit The Site Before I Sign The Contract?
While there are many great software tools available to prepare an initial design for a solar array, there is no substitute for having an installer visit your home in person to ensure the roof is sturdy enough, to determine whether the installation could result in leaks, to verify how much power the system will produce, to confirm how much shade your roof is exposed to, and so on. This stage allows the firm to ensure that solar is a viable choice, and also prevents you from signing a contract without all of the necessary information.
6) Will You Obtain HOA Approval And Schedule The Required Inspections? Which Paperwork Will You Be Submitting, And What Will I Be Responsible For?
Depending on where you live, the Homeowners Association may need residents to obtain prior clearance before going solar. Inquire whether the solar installation will handle this or whether it will be your duty. Other documentation associated with a solar installation includes applications for municipal, state, and federal subsidies, as well as building permits. These permissions are particular to your location, and the installation should be aware of what is necessary. In most circumstances, the installer will complete this documentation for you, but you should be aware of any papers for which you are accountable.
7) How Expensive Is Solar? What Are The Financial Insurance Benefits Of Going Solar?
Solar panel prices in Texas have dropped by 55% in the last five years, making going solar more cheap than ever. However, estimating the cost of solar for you without performing an unique solar study for your home might be tricky. If you opt to finance the system, your upfront out-of-pocket expenses and monthly payments will be determined by the size, direction, and angle of your roof, the amount of shadow, the kind and efficiency of panel you select, your energy use, and federal and local incentives. The government incentive is currently known as the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This permits you to deduct 30% of the cost of solar installation from your federal taxes. Taking advantage of municipal incentives may need the hiring of authorized installers. Check with your utility and select a partner who is approved. Furthermore, incentives and rebates differ across Texas based on where you reside and your utility provider.
8) Do You Provide Warranties? What Should I Do If My System Is Not Performing As It Should Or If I Require Service?
Your solar solution may be covered by one of three types of warranties:
1) Performance: This is a promise of how much solar energy your system will produce after a certain number of years of operation.
2) Product: The product warranty should cover the repair or replacement of your system’s physical components, such as the panels, inverter(s), and mounting system. You should validate the specifications for each component in order to acquire product replacements. As a condition of the warranty, some firms may demand you to produce proof of original purchase, and you may be liable for the expenses of packing and shipping faulty panels.
3) Service: Confirm that the cost of labor and shipping to repair or replace system components, as well as service calls to analyze any concerns, are covered by your warranty.
Freedom Solar provides the industry’s finest warranty. SunPower guarantees all system components, including labor and shipping, for 25 years at no cost; 92 percent of original power output after 25 years; and our service warranty promises we will repair, replace, or reimburse defective parts, including those caused by rust damage, for 25 years.
9) Do I Have To Contact You If I Move In A Couple Of Years?
The majority of individuals do not stay in the same residence for more than 20 years. Check with the solar business to see what papers they will provide you with in order to transfer the solar warranty to the buyer. You should also inquire whether the solar supplier would speak with your realtor when it comes time to sell, so that you can fully benefit from the enhanced market value of your home’s system.
10) How Long Will The Solar Panels Be Effective?
For most individuals, installing solar is a big investment, and you want to ensure that the panels and equipment have been performance tested over a number of years and have an established track record of good quality. Freedom Solar Power sells SunPower panels, which have a 25-year warranty and a usable life of more than 40 years.
Going solar is a complicated process that can be stressful for homeowners. Choosing the right solar provider can help you feel more confident in your decision to go solar by making the confusing process less stressful.