Solar energy is becoming an increasingly sought-after form of power. Thus, people want to harness such sources on their properties.
Solar energy companies are quickly popping up all over the country. They are offering solar power systems to people willing and able to pay for such installations. However, there are a lot of hidden costs to consider before seeking out a solar company.
You’ll want to ensure that the company you end up hiring is not going to try to rip you off. Keep reading to learn about the common mistakes by picking solar companies that people make when shopping for solar contractors.
Let’s discuss how to avoid those mistakes as well.
1. Not Researching Enough on Licenses
When it comes to choosing a solar company, most homeowners know that research is key, but there is a common mistake that doesn’t get discussed enough. And this is by not researching enough the licenses of the individual or company they are considering.
Whether it’s a solar designer, installer, or installer, homeowners should ensure that any companies they are considering are licensed and certified. Doing a simple internet search can reveal a lot about whether the company is reputable and legitimate.
Master Electrician’s License
People should always check their solar company and make sure they possess a master electrician’s license. This license is issued and regulated by the state. It sets a basic standard for knowledge, practice, and ethics in the electrical industry. If a company does not have a master electrician’s license, then it is best to stay away and look for another one.
State Contractor License
The state contractor license not only verifies that a business is active, but also that it is registered with the appropriate government agencies, and carries appropriate insurance and bonding. The best way to avoid making this mistake is to ask the solar company for their contractor license details for your state.
Solar Electrical Contractor License
Always verify that the solar electrical contractor you are considering is properly licensed in your state. That goes even more for solar contractors who don’t have a license in any state. Without a valid license, a contractor is not legally allowed to install solar in your area, so make sure to double-check the status of their license.
People also should make sure that the company’s licenses and certifications are still valid and up-to-date. Doing this research ahead of time helps homeowners ensure they get the best quality service for their money.
2. Choosing Based on Price Alone
One common mistake people make when picking a solar company is selecting a company based on price alone. Although price is important, it isn’t the only thing to consider when selecting a solar provider. Companies might have the lowest price, but the lowest cost provider may not have the best equipment or the best customer service.
It’s important to compare solar providers’ reputations, the quality of solar panels, customer service records, warranties, and installation processes to get the best value for your money. Do your research and be sure to read customer reviews for each provider – these will give you an idea of what to expect from the solar installer’s quoted packages.
You may even want to visit the installers’ office to get a feel for the company while comparing solar installation costs. Get multiple quotes from different providers and compare. Don’t just go for the cheapest provider – value for money is key to selecting a good solar company.
3. Ignoring Customer Service
Many times when choosing a solar company, customers overlook customer service, which can lead to issues down the line. Poor customer service can result in negligence when it comes to:
- customer queries
To avoid this, customers should make sure to thoroughly research the company they’re interested in and read customer reviews to identify and understand any common customer service complaints others may have had. Additionally, talking to the solar installation company before signing the contract can provide insight into the terms of:
- customer service expectations
- customer care
- customer needs
Furthermore, contact information should be provided upfront to ensure that customers can contact the solar company in the event of any technical issues. Customers should also ask about warranty plans in case service is ever needed. By addressing customer service initially and ensuring that any issues or questions can be addressed effectively, customers can avoid a lot of headaches and hassle with picking the wrong solar company.
4. Not Understanding the Equipment
When picking a solar company, one of the common mistakes people make is not understanding the equipment being used or offered. It is important to be informed and ask questions about the:
- type of components that will be used
- solar panel efficiency
- track record of the company or manufacturer
Make sure their products are of good quality and certified by local authorities and the Underwriters Laboratory. Ask for sample installations and read reviews from past customers.
Speak to a solar consultant who can explain the different components and installation requirements. Understanding the equipment will help ensure the right choice is made and the system will perform appropriately.
5. Not Asking About Warranties
Too many people assume a warranty is a given when purchasing solar, and don’t take the time to find out the specifics. It’s important to ask about warranty length and coverage since this will determine the length of protection that the solar system has from unforeseen mechanical problems or installation errors.
The wrong warranty could leave homeowners with inadequate coverage and potentially costly repairs. To make sure that guarantees are in place, read any warranties thoroughly and research the solar company to make sure they have a proven track record in providing effective and reliable warranties.
Ask for references, speak with previous customers about their solar installation experience, and make sure to also discuss with the salesperson any concerns you may have. Taking the time to research and inquire can help save money in the long run.
6. Not Considering Financing Options
Solar power is a great investment but can be too expensive upfront. Without carefully considering your financing options, it becomes hard to compare different solar companies and know which offers the best solutions for you. When researching companies, make sure you explore the financing options available for each.
Many companies offer special financing arrangements, such as zero-down-payment or no-money-down plans. Furthermore, many are willing to work with people with low credit scores. If you don’t explore all the financing options, you could miss out on a great deal from a top solar provider.
Do your research, compare rates, and make sure you know all the financing options—such as no money down plans—before committing to any company.
7. Not Considering Local Incentives
Local, state, and federal incentives drastically reduce the cost of solar installations, but oftentimes customers are unaware of what incentives they qualify for. To ensure they’re maximizing their savings on their solar project, customers should research their local, state, and federal incentive programs and see what they qualify for and how they can benefit from these incentives.
Customers should also look for a solar company that is knowledgeable about all the available incentives and can provide strategic guidance on how to use them. Solar companies that actively keep up with the changing availability of incentives can be a great asset for customers who are looking to save the most money.
Knowledgeable solar companies can make sure that customers are aware of any changes to incentive programs and can take advantage of them.
8. Ignoring Maintenance and Repairs
Many people think that once the solar array is installed and operating, it will last for years with little to no maintenance. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Solar panels need to be inspected and cleaned regularly. This helps to maximize efficiency.
Additionally, any damage caused by inclement weather or wear and tear should be repaired promptly. This is to avoid any long-term damage or disruption of service. To avoid making this mistake, be sure to ask prospective solar companies about their maintenance and repair services before signing any agreements.
Here’s an overview of what maintenance requirements need to be done.
Solar Panel Cleaning
Solar panel cleaning is a necessary activity to maintain their performance levels. A clean solar panel is a more efficient solar panel. Solar panel cleaning is important because a dirty panel will collect:
- bird droppings
- other debris
Thus, resulting in decreased energy production. Without regular cleaning, production may suffer significantly over time and lower the overall lifetime performance of the solar panel.
Solar panel inspection is essential to ensure that solar panel systems are operating correctly and efficiently. This can include regularly checking the:
The inspection is done to check for signs of:
- wear and tear
- broken parts
It’s also important to keep an eye on the performance of each residential solar system as a whole and check that the electrical output is as expected. Regularly inspecting the solar panels will also help to determine any alignment or tilt problems and identify any shading that could be hindering performance.
Solar inverters convert the direct current from solar panels into the alternating current used in homes and businesses. After a certain amount of time, the inverter can become worn down. They can’t be as efficient as when it was first installed.
Replacing the inverter guarantees a more efficient system. It can help avoid potential issues later. It can also help the system operate more effectively. Thus, resulting in greater electricity production.
Additionally, the use of a high-quality inverter can increase the expected lifespan of your entire solar system. Keeping the inverter up to date helps to keep the solar energy system operating safely and smoothly.
Solar panel battery maintenance is essential for the efficient and long-term operation of your solar system. Regular battery maintenance is important for increasing the lifespan of your system. This ensures its long-term efficiency.
Dirt and dust can make batteries less efficient and can cause them to heat up. This can damage the system. To maintain your solar panels and batteries, it is important to regularly:
- check the systems’ connections
- check the system’s groundings
- inspect the battery bank
- ensure that it is properly charged and connected
Proper maintenance and cleaning of your solar system will improve its performance and safety, and help to ensure its long-term efficiency and stability.
Verify that the company has a good track record for regularly performing system checks, cleaning, and repairing any damaged equipment. In addition, ask about any warranties and customer service policies in case of an emergency.
9. Not Understanding the Installation Process
Many owners overlook the importance of understanding the technicalities and safety features. These of which are associated with the installation process before signing an agreement. Thus, leads to unmet expectations.
Consequently, owners need to ask questions about everything. Ask about what components will be used and the length of time required for installation. It is essential to understand the offerings of the solar company. That way, all of the necessary elements are in place for the whole installation process.
10. Not Asking About the Company’s Experience With Permitting
Researching the track record of each contractor is key to ensuring a successful project. Verify if the contractor has experience in solar permitting with both local zoning laws and Building Departments. Permitting requires in-depth knowledge of:
- local building codes
- other regulations
This of which means selecting a contractor who understands the local processes. The contractor must comply with all applicable codes is imperative. If the contractor does not have experience in the permitting process, it can lead to costly delays or outright denial of the construction of the project.
Avoid These Common Mistakes by Picking Solar Companies
Careful research and due diligence when selecting a solar company will help you make the right decision. Be sure to read reviews, request multiple bids, and make sure of the company’s size and experience.
Ask yourself if the company is transparent and offering a reasonable rate or warranty. Lastly, researching solar-specific incentives can help you save money by taking advantage of them. Make sure to do your homework first to avoid these mistakes by picking solar companies and you’ll be on the path to solar success!
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