Choosing a Residential Solar System
If you’ve decided to take the plunge and install solar panels at your home, but you haven’t yet figured out which solar installer to hire, you’re not alone! Due to the environmental and economic advantages of solar power, the popularity of solar is higher than ever, but it can still be tricky to determine who can do the best job installing your panels.
To be certain, there are quite a few reputable and legitimate solar installers in the industry today, but it’s still difficult to find objective analyses of their services. With this in mind, we put together the following list of questions that you should ask about each provider when you’re choosing a residential solar system.
What can the solar provider show as a track record of successful installations?
First and foremost, you should determine whether the solar installer you’re considering has the expertise and experience needed to get the job done right. One thing you can look for is whether the provider is properly certified for solar installations.
We recommend asking the solar provider if they have been certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners. Most reputable solar installation companies have NABCEP-certified professional installers, which indicates that they have the appropriate skills and expertise to correctly install your new solar panels.
If a provider isn’t certified by the NABCEP, ask them why. In some cases, solar installers who have been in the industry for a long time haven’t bothered to get certified because their experience speaks for itself. Still, we typically prefer to only use installers who do have their NABCEP certifications.
Can the provider provide proof of proper licensing and insurance to deliver solar solutions?
Another vital aspect of choosing a residential solar system design professional is whether they’re licensed to provide these services. Depending on where you want your solar panels installed, there may be different rules and regulations because the laws that cover solar installation licensing vary by state, and sometimes by county or local jurisdiction as well. Find out what the requirements are in your area and make sure your installer follows them to the letter.
You should also check to see whether the solar company is insured. In most cases, general liability coverage should be plenty, but we still advise asking your installer to fill you in regarding the insurance policies they have in place to cover their services.
What are the indicators of an accomplished and established solar provider? Can the provider live up to their reputation?
As solar energy gains popularity around the nation (and around the world), more and more people are leaving their old careers behind to pursue jobs in solar installation. Many of these individuals were tradespeople in another line of work before they jumped into the world of solar, and you need to make sure the installer you choose is established enough to do a good job.
At a minimum, any reputable solar provider should be able to describe the different variables of your options for solar panels, and also provide examples of systems they’ve installed for other customers. You might even want to ask for testimonials if you want to be extra-certain of their reputation.
In general, the characteristics we look for in solar installers are experience, an established process, a successful track record, and a deep knowledge base regarding all relevant aspects of solar power, including functionality, system design, and installation process.
What are “warning signs” of a poor-quality solar provider?
If you have any doubts while asking the previous questions in this guide, you may have stumbled upon a poor-quality installer. The most common problem to run into is probably a lack of experience, but that’s far from the only “yellow flag” we’re aware of.
Some other warning signs include (but aren’t limited to) poor communication, vague or overly complex pricing structures, pushy sales representatives, and an inability to provide proof of previous installations.
The decision of which provider to hire to install your residential solar system is often a more difficult choice than deciding to install solar panels in the first place. By properly evaluating your options by asking the questions in this guide, we think you can minimize the likelihood of choosing a subpar solar installer.
If you have any questions, or if you’d like to speak to one of our expert representatives, give LGCY Power a call today at 1-866-566-2650.