Jason RothmanMay 22, 201812260
You don’t want just anybody installing solar panels on your home.
It can be the difference between flawless solar power and an endless headache.
Finding the right solar panel installer takes more than a basic online search. There are variables you need to look out for, such as quality of work, customer service, post-installation service and much more. Simply choosing the cheapest solar installer is not the smartest decision. Although local installers are usually less expensive than national installation companies, we have gathered a basic guide so you know where to start looking, and what questions to ask.
People review companies, and there are plenty of places that post these reviews. Look online for reviews on Google, Yelp, and even places like Angie’s List. This way you know if the company has had problems in the past, and sometimes you learn how they handled them, and whether they learned from their bad reviews and improved their business practices.
Also, word of mouth is the best form of marketing there is. If you see a great solar installation on your neighbor’s roof, then ask them about it. Are they happy? Was the installation done in a timely manner? How well does the system work? If you ask these questions, it will help find a company with a good reputation. People trust their friends and neighbors.
HahaSmart Tip: It is also a good idea to call the companies themselves and ask them if they outsource their labor. If they do, installation quality might be inconsistent.
Solar power is a large investment, so it is beyond wise to protect yourself with a warranty. We don’t recommend you purchase a solar panel system unless it is covered by a warranty. Different equipment is covered by different warranties, and many installers also guarantee their work. It is still important to understand what is covered and for how long. It is important to sit down and figure out which warranty works best for you. It might be the decision to choose one power inverter over another.
HahaSmart Tip: Call your local installer and ask them about the product warranties AND service warranties. Really good installers include service warranties for a certain period of time after the installation to make everything goes smoothly.
The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners is an organization that certifies energy installers, including solar power technicians and installers. To become a NABCEP certified professional, installers have to pass a rigorous certification process. The details of the NABCEP benefits to the public and installers are detailed here.
Everyone on the crew doesn’t need to be certified, but if the people running the installation are not, then there is no guarantee they will do a great job. It is important to make sure the solar project is supervised by a NABCEP-certified member, and ideally, you want a NABCEP-certified crew member installing the solar panels.
HahaSmart Tip: You can give the NABCEP organization a call and ask them for a list of NABCEP certified installers in your area.
At HahaSmart, we also have a list of verified installers and you can find them here.
Because solar power is popular, many installers are really busy. Make sure to ask for a project completion timeline from your installer and demand them to stick to it.
It is fair and often a good thing to ask companies how long it will take to get started on the project, and then how long it will take to finish. If companies are spread too thin, it may take months before they can get around to your installation and it is important to know that before committing to the project.
HahaSmart Tip: Don’t just talk with their sales department, ask to get the contact for their lead installer. They will be a lot more honest and detailed when they give you a project completion estimation.
With a few exceptions, solar power is so popular that most areas have many reputable solar installers to choose from. Get multiple bids from the different companies and find the one right for you. An installer might use one approach to install a solar system on different houses, while another company customizes each design for homeowners. Both can be the right one to choose, it just depends on each homeowners needs.
HahaSmart Tip: If you Register With HahaSmart. You get multiple quotes for any budget size which makes it easier and faster to move forward with project specs you prefer for your house.
Roof leaks are the most common complaint from homeowners who had solar installed. However, a great solar installation will not void roof warranties, while actually helping protect the roof from rain, wind, snow, and even hail. Technical expertise, the actual solar equipment, and those system warranties all widely vary from installer to installer. The good news is there are many more reputable solar installers out there than bad ones. It is a good idea to research the best options for you. Here are some things to think about when choosing a solar installer.
HahaSmart Tip: Talk with other homeowners in your area and see the type of problems they encounter in your unique climate. You can ask local installers and ask them about their contingency plans against these common problems.
For help deciding exactly what is needed, our service HahaSmart can help connect with you a HahaSmart verified installer and our free online tool Design DIY can help you design your home solar in just a few clicks. Because we work directly with solar manufacturers, we can help you get the lowest possible price on top-tier solar products.
It is important to remember that installers offer different products. You might want some new sleek solar panels because they have a long warranty, or you might want an inverter or you may even want a battery to store electricity for use at night. Be sure to ask each installer what they have available so you can get the right system for your home.
There are many solar power installation companies out there, and it is only getting bigger. Follow these guidelines and you can separate the great solar power installers from the rest, giving you a solar system you can enjoy and use without worry.
Please look at our list of verified installers that work with HahaSmart. We have a lot of installers that we work with and we can help find a great one near you.
If you are interested in solar for your home, please visit the HahaSmart Price Checker Tool yourself. You can not only see how much a solar panel system would cost in your area, you can find get help with every aspect of your project. Enter your information and see how much you can save in the next 20 years.
For information relating to going solar don’t forget to visit our solar blog section for more handy guides and articles.
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