In 2019, solar accounted for 40 percent of the new electric generating capacity, which exceeds any other energy source. This means solar energy is one of the fastest-growing energy sources, and not just in America, but in the world.
Deciding to install solar in your home may be one of the best decisions you could make for your energy needs. There are so many solar installation companies out there, but there is so much more to hiring a solar contractor than just calling the first one you come across.
In this post, we’ll share some of the most important questions you could ask a solar contractor to ensure that they are the right fit.
Hiring a Solar Contractor: What to Look For
When searching for solar companies, it’s vital for you to do thorough research. This is a significant investment on your part so avoiding mistakes from the beginning is important.
When it comes to solar installers, testimonials, and customer reviews are some of the best resources of information. A high positive serve record means a great reputation and reliability.
You want to hire a contractor with exceptional energy solutions. Look for exceptional products, great customer service, and a track record of success. Before you commit to a solar installer, it’s advisable to ask these questions.
1. Do You Have the Right Qualifications for Solar Installation?
There are so many service providers for solar installations in the US right now that hiring the right solar contractor is not an easy feat. Some of the most important things to check out are the credentials and qualifications of the contractor. If your contractor hesitates to show you their credentials, then be wary of them.
You should ask to see their license and certificates. Hiring a solar contractor with a license means you can be assured of safe practices. You see, unlicensed contractors could leave faulty installations that will result in poor performance or create safety hazards. Licenses are issued by states to protect homeowners from malpractices.
Certifications, on the other hand, may not be a requirement, but hiring a solar contractor with one assures you of optimum quality services. Certifications give them a distinction over their competitors. The contractor should have a certificate from NABCEP or North America Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, RISE or Roof Integrated Solar Energy, or the Electronics Technicians Association.
Hiring a solar contractor with these certifications gives you confidence. They have undergone coursework, exams, and training, meaning they are qualified enough to work.
These certificates require contractors to have at least one year of experience installing solar panels. Beyond that they must re-certify after every three years to stay updated.
2. How Long Have You Been In Business?
Despite the fact that having a license and certification ensures competency, experience is still crucial. Experience still is the best teacher. Knowing that the solar contractor you hire has done installations countless times before and developed their skills will give you peace of mind.
Solar contractors with years in experience have the right installation techniques and strategies. Education and training serve as guidance for them. Experience teaches realistic skills and techniques.
Experience also gives them a competitive advantage. They hone and enhance their skills based on how they deal with different clients and installations.
Years of experience also means your contractor will know the best installation equipment and tools. Even better, hiring a solar contractor with experience means they can use warranties as a competitive advantage.
When an installer has a warranty, you can use them to get solar equipment when they need to be changed and repair services when the need arises. Ask if they offer service warranties before you hire a contractor.
3. Will You Subcontract?
The last thing you want to see is people you don’t know on the day of installation. You may talk to a contractor and verify all their credentials only for them to subcontract to other contractors whose credentials you’ve not checked out.
If they do intend to outsource, ensure you ask to see the licenses and credentials of the contractors to ensure that they are also qualified to make the installations for you.
4. What Happens When the System Doesn’t Generate As Much Energy as Expected?
A professional solar installation contractor will recommend the best system size for your home, depending on your needs. They will check the roof and advise you on the best system. However, you need to know what will happen if the efficiency doesn’t meet your needs or expectations.
They may offer to add extra panels to meet those needs or reimburse you for the under-performance. You need to consider your future energy needs as well before you settle on a system, so you don’t have to add more panels.
5. What Possible Problems May I Face In the Future?
You should always expect issues in the future, regardless of what you’re installing in your home. Asking this question might seem too straightforward, but an honest answer will determine the integrity of the contractor.
If they do share the problems you may face in the future, they should also offer solutions. If you do hire a contractor with a warranty, they may be available to help you in the future should those issues arise.
Ask These Questions Before Hiring a Solar Contractor
These are some of the most important questions you should ask before hiring a solar contractor. Once you find the right contractor, you’ll be one step closer to greener living.
Are you looking for a reliable solar contractor? Then look no further. At SOLO, we're a team of dedicated contractors waiting to serve you. Contact us today for immediate solutions.