Finding a solar installer should be no different than selecting any service company – read online reviews and carefully consider all the available options before making your selection.

There are numerous companies out there touting hardware, financing plans and national, state and local incentives; it is crucial that you find one that works with you to develop a system tailored to meet your specific requirements.

1. Reputation

Your solar energy system is an investment, and you want to be sure the installer you select has an excellent reputation for quality work. Make sure they can provide references from past customers and check reviews on sites like Google, Better Business Bureau and SolarReviews before committing.

Seek out companies offering transparent pricing quotes. Ideally, they should detail what equipment and panels are being used. Any company failing to disclose specific brands could be using lower quality products or cutting corners with their installation work – be wary!

Consider how long a company has been operating before making your selection. Newer firms may go out of business before your warranty has run its course, making repairs or maintenance services difficult to obtain.

2. Experience

Installers that offer solar quotes are essential when choosing an installer for your home, taking into account factors like energy usage and local power prices when creating their price proposal.

Your potential solar partner must demonstrate their expertise by providing references and testimonials from past customers. They should also have experience installing similar types of renewable energy systems or solar photovoltaic (PV) panels.

Choose a solar company that utilizes top-of-the-line equipment and provides performance guarantees. Request that the potential installer provide you with a list of brand name panels they intend to use during installation; SolarReviews’ annual list of top performing panel manufacturers allows you to easily compare brands.

3. Equipment

Reputable installers take the time to understand your home and its unique characteristics through an in-depth consultation that includes roof shape and pitch, as well as shading issues which could impact energy output. They will also prepare a comprehensive quote including detailed plans of their proposed work.

Consider choosing a company that uses Tier-1 solar panels, which comply with stringent manufacturing and testing standards. Also ask whether their stock includes US-made panels as this helps support American jobs.

An investment in solar is made for at least 30 years; choose a company with longevity in the industry to avoid future headaches. When dealing with newer companies that offer extended warranties in order to close a sale quickly, be wary as it could become difficult enforcing those warranties should they cease operations before having installed your panels.

4. Warranty

Purchase, financing or leasing solar energy systems is an investment of both time and money. A good way to make the right choice is selecting an installer who offers flexible payment methods that suit both your lifestyle and budget.

Learn from past customer experiences by perusing online reviews and testimonials of previous buyers to gauge your own. While not scientific, such testimonials can reveal much information regarding ease of installation, financing solutions and refund policies.

As part of your 30-plus year investment, ensure the solar company you select provides warranties covering its products, equipment and installation workmanship. Companies earning top marks typically offer 10-year product, workman’s and performance warranties. As this investment will require your commitment for at least 10 years, make sure the solar provider you select will still be around to honor its promise in 10 years time.

5. Pricing

Most experienced installers will provide a price proposal once they’ve seen your home and assessed solar potential. To compare quotes effectively, take note of cost per watt (price of solar energy generation divided by panel capacity).

Ask any prospective installer for references from past customers as an accurate representation of their customer service. This will allow you to gain a true picture of how well they handle customer interactions.

As well as asking about their installation service warranty, it’s also crucial to inquire about their warranties for labor and performance guarantees. Reputable installers typically offer warranties that cover your investment until it reaches completion, plus will use Tier-1 equipment made here in America.

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