Did you know that there are over 13,299 solar panel installation companies in the U.S. today? This is a 2.3% increase from 2021. Unfortunately, with so many solar power companies in the market, it can be challenging to find the right company to fit your needs.
Before installing a solar energy system in your home, it’s essential to do your research and find the best solar company. It would be best to ask the company representatives some questions before signing any contracts. Asking questions help you better understand the company and its products.
Important Questions to Ask the Best Solar Company Before Hiring Them
Below are some of the most important questions you should ask your solar company before hiring them…
Is Your Company Licensed Insured and Bonded?
Many things could go wrong during a solar installation project. For this reason, one of the most important questions you can ask a solar company is if they are licensed, insured, and bonded. You wouldn’t hire a doctor or lawyer without first checking their credentials, so why would you hire a solar company without doing the same?
Solar companies are no different. Make sure to ask for proof of these licenses and insurance policies before hiring a solar company. The insurance will help protect you if something goes wrong with the installation or the company goes out of business.
If there is an accident, the bond will help cover the cost of any damages. This protects you from potential problems down the road. Likewise, hiring a company with a license shows that they have the experience and qualifications to do the job correctly.
How Long Have You Been in Business?
A company that has been in business for a long time is more likely to be reliable and have a lot of experience installing solar panels. Solar panel installation is a complex process, so you want to make sure you’re working with a reputable company. Ask around and do some research to find the best solar company for your needs.
A professional solar company will have years of experience installing solar panels and will likely be able to offer you a good deal on installation. Hiring such a company is an excellent way to ensure the installation process goes smoothly and that you’re happy with your solar panels once they’re up and running.
Ensure to interview at least two or three solar companies before making a decision. By asking the right questions, you can be confident that you’re hiring the best company for your needs.
What Types of Solar Panels Do You Install?
There are four main types of solar panels: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film. Monocrystalline panels are made from a single silicon crystal. Polycrystalline panels are made from multiple crystals. Thin-film panels are made from very thin layers of photovoltaic material.
Polycrystalline are more efficient than monocrystalline panels, but they are also more expensive. Thin-film panels are the least efficient, but they are also the cheapest.
It is essential to ask the solar company what types of solar panels they install. Some companies only install one type of panel, while others offer various options. You should choose a company that offers the kind of panel you want.
If you are unsure what type of panel you want, the solar installing company should help you decide. They will be able to tell you the pros and cons of each type of panel and help you choose the one that is right for your home.
How Much Will It Cost?
Before hiring a solar installation company, it’s essential to understand how much the installation will cost. Make sure to get an estimate in writing from a few companies and compare them.
When comparing the price, check what is included in the estimate. Some companies will give you a low price but then upsell you on additional products or services.
Ask them whether there are any additional services and charges not included in the estimate they sent you. This will help you avoid future disappointments.
However, don’t settle for the cheapest available option. In the solar industry, you get what you pay for. A quality installation by a professional company is worth the investment. It will last longer, perform better, and ultimately save you more money in the long run.
How Long will the Installation Take?
Another critical question is how long the installation will take. You’ll want to know this so you can plan for the disruption. Some installations only take a day, while others may take a few weeks.
If you have a tight schedule, be sure to ask the solar company how long they think it will take from start to finish. That way, you can plan your schedule around the installation.
Must I Be Home During the Installation Process?
The solar company should be professional and courteous enough to answer this question truthfully. If they give you the run-around or act like it’s a silly question, that’s a huge red flag.
Some companies will try to pressure you into being there, claiming that it’s necessary for safety reasons. In reality, most installations can be completed without the homeowner ever stepping foot on the property.
As the solar industry has continued to grow, so has the number of solar scams. Homeowners need to be smart and do their research before hiring a solar company.
What Kind of Warranties Are Available?
When you’re investing in solar panels, you want them to last for years and years. Make sure to ask about the available warranties. Most good solar companies offer a 20-year warranty on the panels.
The type and duration of the warranty will give you some insight into the quality of the solar panels. If a company only offers a short warranty, that’s usually an indication that their panels aren’t as high-quality as those with more extended warranties.
Residential solar panels should last for decades with proper care, so a 20-year warranty is a good sign that the company has faith in its product.
What Are the Maintenance Requirements?
Solar panels are designed to be low-maintenance, but they require some upkeep. So, you’ll want to ask about this just in case. Typically, you’ll only need to check the panels every few months to ensure they’re clean and free of debris.
You may also need to trim back trees or bushes shading the panels. Other than that, you shouldn’t have to do much to keep them in good condition.
But it’s still important to ask about maintenance requirements before hiring a solar company. That way, you’ll know what to expect and how to budget for any necessary upkeep down the road.
What Happens If I Move?
If you move, you may need to move with your solar panels. Most good solar companies include relocation in their contracts. However, it’s still something you’ll want to verify before signing anything.
Ideally, the solar company you hire will be able to remove the panels and reinstall them at your new home. But if they’re not willing or unable to do that, then you may need to find a new company to work with. Most companies don’t offer this service because of the process involved.
Moving your solar panels involve steps like scheduling an appointment with the company, getting necessary permits, disconnecting the panels, packing them up and shipping them to your new home, and then installing them again. So it’s not a process that most companies are willing to go through.
But if you’re sure you’re going to move soon, make sure to ask about this during your initial consultation. That way, you can be prepared for what’s to come and avoid any stressful surprises down the road.
Who Will Handle Solar Building Permits and Inspections?
Most homeowners often forget to ask about permits and inspection paperwork. Today, most solar companies take care of all the necessary permits and schedule inspections with your local municipality. However, it’s always good to double-check.
You want to make sure that the solar company you hire is professional and has experience dealing with these types of paperwork. If they don’t, you could be facing delays in getting your solar system up and running.
Make sure to ask the solar company this question. It could save you a lot of time, money, and hassle.
Is My Roof Design Right for Solar Panel Installation?
If you’re a smart homeowner, you’re probably doing your research before hiring a solar company. You want to make sure you’re getting the best possible service and that your investment will pay off. The last thing you need is to purchase a solar home system only to find out that your home’s roof isn’t suitable for installation.
This is why one of the most important questions you can ask a solar company is whether or not your roof is suitable for solar panel installation. Most professional solar companies offer a free inspection of your roof to determine if it’s ideal for the installation or not.
A reputable installer should be able to give you an honest answer. If they try to avoid the question or tell you that any roof is suitable, you should be wary.
Most crooked companies will give you an answer without inspecting your roof. They are only interested in making a profit instead of providing you with a quality service.
Can I Add More Panels Later?
If you’re planning on going solar, there’s a good chance you’ll want to add more panels later. That’s why it’s key to ask the solar company if they offer this service. If they don’t, you may have to find a new company to install your additional panels.
Do You Offer Any Financing Options?
Many homeowners are hesitant to install solar panels because of the upfront cost. You can expect to spend an average of $20,000 on your solar power system. Fortunately, most solar companies now offer financing options that make it more affordable for homeowners.
Make sure you ask the solar company about their financing options before signing any contracts. You don’t want to be stuck with a bill you can’t afford. Solar energy is a significant investment, but only if you can afford it.
So, you should find a financing option that works with your budget. Some common financing options include:
Leasing Solar Panels
Leasing solar panels is a popular option because it doesn’t require a lot of money upfront. You can lease the solar panels for a set amount each month, and you will still get the benefits of reduced energy costs.
Pay As You Go
This financing option allows homeowners to pay for their solar system over time. This is a good option if you’re not comfortable with a long-term contract.
Home Equity Loan
If you have equity in your home, you can use it to finance your solar system. This is a good option if you want to take advantage of solar systems’ tax credits and rebates.
A solar loan is a good option if you want to pay off your solar system over time. You can usually get a lower interest rate than you would with a credit card.
Solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)
A solar power purchase agreement is a good option if you don’t want to own the solar system. With this option, you rent the solar panels from the company, and they will install them on your roof. You will still get the benefits of reduced energy costs.
Ask whether the company allows homeowners to buy out or terminate their PPA early. Some companies will charge a fee if you decide to do this.
Hire the Best Solar Company Today
When it comes to solar panels, there are a lot of essential factors to consider. But if you take the time to do your research and ask the right questions, you’ll be sure to find the best solar company for your needs.
You want to make sure you’re getting the best possible service and that your investment will pay off. Hiring a reputable solar company is the first step to going green and saving money on your energy costs.
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