Installing solar panels is a long-term investment that needs to be made with a lot of consideration. It is best to vet all the potential solar panel companies to choose the best one that fits your particular needs. Choosing the right solar company is important to make sure you get the best energy output.
However, selecting the best solar panel provider can be a tough decision as there are many providers to choose from.
So, if you are overwhelmed and unsure where to start, here is a guide to finding the right solar panel provider for your home energy system.
1. Determine your needs
Before searching for the best companies, you must determine your needs as you do before buying air conditioners or setting the temperature of your refrigerator. For instance, you must figure out your average power consumption, whether you need batteries, the type of solar panels you need, and many other factors.
After you have a clear idea of your expectations from the solar energy system, you will be able to choose the best company.
2. Compile a list of the available companies
The best way to compare all the providers is to make a list containing all their details on one page. You can create an excel sheet or go the traditional pen and paper route.
You must include every solar provider that services your area and the type of panels, generator, and batteries you need.
To start your list, simply begin with a simple google search. Moreover, you must ask friends who have already installed solar panels for recommendations.
3. Determine if you need a local or a national company
You can choose either a national solar company or a small local business specializing in solar panels and technology.
Larger companies have a more established business with high-quality products and provide more extended warranties. Moreover, many national companies have a variety of payment options and offer better maintenance services.
On the other hand, local solar companies are more well-versed with the state’s rebate policies and have a speedy process of attaining the required licenses. Also, since local companies have a relatively smaller customer base, their customer service, paperwork, and other processes are often faster.
There is no specific answer on which company you should choose. It depends on your needs, budget, and judgment. When you list out and compare all the solar companies servicing your region, you will be able to find the best one.
4. Check the credentials of the company.
You should pay more attention to the company’s experience rather than their size. The best way to determine their experience is to scour through their website to see how many solar panel systems they have previously installed.
Besides their experiences, take note of their credentials, such as the state and local licenses. Most companies display all of their licenses and certificates on their website.
Look for firms that have accreditation from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) in addition to state-mandated licensing. The NABCEP is a nationally recognized certification program for installation and sales that is considered the benchmark for quality.
The NABCEP’s PV Installation Professional certificate signifies that the company’s installers have completed stringent criteria and undertaken intensive training.
5. Check the reviews
Reviews from past customers are an excellent indicator of a company’s work. So, search for customer reviews on platforms like Yelp, Google, social media, or online business directories. These reviews allow you to get a general impression of the company and its services.
6. Ask about the financing options.
Installing a solar panel is not an inexpensive affair, and you may even need to take out a loan to finance it. You should check with the company about the different financing options.
If you are unsure about which type of financing to choose, make an appointment with the company’s representative for a consultation to understand better.
7. Request a quote
Based on the information you have gathered about each solar company, narrow down your list to the top five or six companies and ask these companies for a quote.
Often, the companies would schedule a visit to your property to do a quick survey and take measurements to calculate a more accurate price.
While asking for the quote, you may ask them about the permits, installation charges, type of panels, warranty, power output, and duration of the whole process.
After seeking a quote from each company, choose the one that checks all the boxes for you.
An ideal company would have excellent customer reviews, a good service experience, pepper credentials, and affordable prices. Make sure you do sufficient research about the solar company and consider all vital factors before you make your decision.
If you do it right, the switch to solar energy is a one-time investment that can potentially save you hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars in the long run.