Solar panels are not just the wave of the future anymore. They have become popular as a green energy option for residential homes. With being better for the planet, they can also save you money on your energy bill in the long run.
While the benefits of solar panels are numerous, it can be overwhelming and hard to know how to get started with them. You need a reliable professional solar panel installation company, but how do you know who to trust?
We are going to breakdown solar panel installation and seven tips for finding the best solar panel company. Green energy doesn’t just have to be a dream anymore, it can be a reality with these tips.
1. Look for Experience
For the best experience with going solar, you want your installer to be an energy expert. Many roofing companies have added solar panel installation as part of their services, but that doesn’t mean they are experts. Installing solar panels correctly to a roof can be a complex process, and not every roofer has the right skills to do it properly.
Ideally, solar panels should last for at least 25 years, so it’s worth it to pay extra for the best installation service you can find. Getting it done right the first time will save you from headaches later!
When you are talking to potential companies, ask about their history and how long they’ve worked in solar. Look for at least two years of experience in installing solar panels before you decide on a solar panel company.
2. Check Licenses and Insurance
Solar installation companies need to be licensed by the government to be able to install solar panels on a home. Any company without the right licensure is not who you want on your roof.
Look for a C-10 electrician license, a C-46 solar contractor license, and a general contractor’s license when you’re researching companies. Home improvement and home performance licenses are also standard.
The more licensed they are, the more expertise they have in installing solar panels.
Along with multiple licenses, good solar panel installation companies should also show proof of liability insurance in case anything goes wrong. Again, this is something you should find out about before choosing the company you want to go with.
3. Read Reviews
The best way to know the quality of someone’s work is to hear from past customers. Since solar panels are meant to last for a long time, try to read recent and older reviews of a solar panel installation company to get an idea of how they held up over the years.
If you spot one or two unsavory reviews, you can ask the company how they’ve fixed those complaints. However, if you notice a pattern of issues from several past customers, you know that you should move on to a different company.
Most companies have a reviews page on their website, or you can check out Google reviews.
4. Ask About Warranties
Getting a warranty on your solar panels is vital. If something goes wrong due to faulty installation, a workmanship warranty will cover the repairs. Warranties can be anywhere from one year of coverage to 25 years.
If a company offers you a lengthy warranty, make sure they have the street cred to back it up. Be wary of brand new companies offering long warranties. Since solar is such a booming industry, some companies pop in and out all the time.
You want to be sure that the company you go with will be around long enough to make good on their warranty in 15 or 25 years. Look for a company with a good track record so you know you can depend on them for a long time.
5. Compare the Cost Per Watt
Solar energy is an exploding business right now, so there is a ton of competition between companies. You can take advantage of this and try to get the most competitive price.
One way to compare pricing between different solar panel installation companies is to look at the cost per watt. To find this, get quotes from multiple companies and then divide the size of your energy system by the price they give you.
Comparing costs between companies could save you thousands of dollars in installation expenses, so it’s worth taking the extra time to shop around and get multiple quotes.
6. Ask About Post-Installation Services
Some companies only install solar panels and don’t offer any maintenance or repair services. For the best experience, try to find a company with expertise in both installation and maintenance.
Using the same company for solar panel upkeep over the years will save you a ton of headaches. If you ever have issues with your solar panels, you will know exactly who to call instead of needing to find a new repairman.
Companies that offer post-installation services are also more dependable than those that just install and leave. Since they are experts on all parts of the solar panel experience, you can assume they’re more skilled and knowledgeable than only install companies as well.
7. Ask About Customizations
Not all homes are created equally, so you want to find a solar panel company that can bend to your needs. Some companies offer custom packages while others stick to the same solar panel design on every home they outfit.
Ideally, your solar panel company should understand the preferences of your Home Owner’s Association and create a design that works within those specifications.
Other things that can be customized with your solar panel design include:
- Upgrading the electrical panel
- Running the conduit line through your attic and walls
- Storing your backup battery
- Using a conduit tile hook
- Painting any exposed conduit to match your roof
Make sure you go over all of your preferences with each solar panel company you are considering hiring so you know if they can handle the customizations you want. If you’re paying a higher price for a custom experience, you should get high-quality work in return.
Why Go Solar?
Now that you have all the tips you need to transition to solar power, why should you do it in the first place? Let’s breakdown all the benefits of solar energy for you and the planet:
Eliminate Your Electricity Bill
With solar panels, you’re creating the energy you use for free from the sun. Even if your solar panels don’t generate 100% of the energy you use, they will still reduce your bills by a drastic amount. With a 25 year lifespan, your solar panels can save you thousands of dollars over the years.
Protect Yourself From Unpredictable Energy Prices
According to this report, utility prices have gone up three percent every year for the last decade. Solar systems provide a fixed utility rate so you never have to worry about electricity inflation. Having a more stable budget will help you plan for the future instead of being blind-sighted by unexpected bills.
Solar Panels Add Property Value
As demand for solar energy grows, homes already outfitted with solar panels are seeing a huge increase in value. In fact, homes with solar panels are roughly 4% more valuable than similar homes without them, and they sell faster too.
Solar Industry Creates Jobs
Since solar energy is on the rise, it creates new jobs faster than many other industries. Since these jobs are done locally, the solar industry is amazing for the US economy. Not only can you save money on solar energy, but you’re stimulating your local economy.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Solar energy is the leading green energy resource, and using it has a dramatic impact on your carbon footprint. The number of carbon emissions eliminated from a residence using solar power for a year is equal to planting one hundred trees. If you’re looking for a way to protect the planet for current and future generations, investing in solar energy is a great way to do that.
Solar Energy Gives Back
Solar energy isn’t just great for the US. It’s also an amazing way to help underserved nations. Look at Hayes Barnard of GivePower, an organization committed to providing clean energy and water to communities who need it.
Solar energy is impacting lives for good. When you invest in solar panels for your own home, you’re joining a global community of people who care about others and the planet. It’s an amazing way to feel part of something bigger than yourself simply by changing the energy that your home runs on.
Finding the Best Solar Panel Company for You
These tips should make it much easier to find the best solar panel company for you. In the end, focus on expertise, experience, and the services they can offer. Don’t hesitate to ask all of your questions before signing a contract with a company.
Finding a great solar panel company with exceptional service will make you extremely happy with your choice to go solar. After experiencing all the benefits of solar energy, you’ll never go back.
For more business and technology tips, check out the rest of our blog.