Finding a Solar Installer in Your Area
So you’ve done your research and your are ready to find a solar installer in your area – great! But wait, not all solar installers are created equally. Just a word of caution. You wouldn’t just run out to buy a car from the first listing in the Yellow Pages, right? If you even have a copy these days that is.
Now you have done your research; you know what type and size system you want and how you anticipate paying for it because you have read about sizing your system, solar power costs, and know what solar power incentives are available. So you won’t end up buying a system large than you need because you know what you need, but there is more to it than signing on the dotted line. You need to know what questions to ask of your installer or solar sales representative.
You Need to Know Something
Sadly it’s a little more complicated than just talking directly to your solar installer. Just like getting your home remodeled your contractor may, and probably will, subcontract some of the work out. It matters who they use because the last thing you want to be doing is sitting at the end of the installation with a non-code-compliant system that your utility company refuses to let you connect to the grid as a result of shoddy work.
There’s a Difference
There is a difference between solar installers and solar sales persons. Sometimes the solar salesperson will be part of the installer’s company, some times they will be contracted by solar installer company, and sometimes they will be operating completely independently. As I am sure you can figure this presents a lot of different motivations for compensation.
We Are Both Responsible
Now please understand, the reason I tell you this is that both the consumer and the provider are responsible for ensuring the successful future of solar and I don’t want you or anyone to have a bad experience with solar! The only way we can do that is by educating you: the consumer. And that’s why I have created this site amongst other things.
What You Need To Know Before You Accept an Offer
You need to know who the sales person works for: the installer, a sales company, or herself. If they don’t work for the solar installer directly, you need to know what company they will be contracting to install your system. You ask, but why? You need to know the track record of the installer company, because your sales person might have 400 installs (sales of installs that is) under her belt but if she is contracting your install out to a company that has only done 3 installs you might want to get concerned.
After you find out who the solar installer will be you will need to do a little due diligence on that installer. Good things to do are to contact customers, both happy and unhappy (if they exist, sometimes they do); research their installation experience do they usually do PV systems like the one you are getting or are they mostly thermal; find out if they subcontract parts of the installation out, and to whom, and what the working relationship is between those companies. The most important question to ask is who is the electrician and what are his credentials. He along can make or break whether your system gets approved by the city and utility company’s inspectors.
That’s a good start to get you thinking about what types of questions to ask your solar salesperson but for more in-depth, detailed information on what to expect and what questions to ask with comprehensive checklists, sample questions, as well as audio and video demonstrations cover this subject in depth pick up a copy of my eBook.
But without further adieu use the below widget to find installers in your area: