The main mistake consumers make is not thoroughly reading their solar installation agreement. As a result, they often have no recourse when issues arise. Take time to review and understand your obligations, as well as those of the Solar Company, during and after installation. If a salesperson makes a promise, ensure you get it in writing, authorized by the Solar Company’s management. 

Do not be afraid to ask the tough questions; going solar is not a decision to be taken lightly. Saving tens of thousands of dollars, as opposed to a few hundred, greatly influences the viability of going solar. In Arizona, you can cancel a contract up to three days before installation begins if it doesn’t suit you. Solar Topps helps homeowners get better value on solar projects and cancel existing agreements with other installers without penalty.

Here are some of the key questions to consider when reviewing your solar installation agreement:

What brand of panels, inverters and/or storage devices will be installed? 

Solar companies may opt for the lowest price, assuming it’s the customer’s sole concern. Unfortunately, this often means using equipment Solar Topps deems inferior, leading to higher long-term costs, which no customer desires. Knowing the type of panels, inverters or battery storage devices is crucial. Check for any clauses that permit the installer to change or modify the equipment used in your home. This could occur due to inventory or supply issues. In such cases, ensure you have the right to know and approve any substitutions in advance.  

What warranties are provided with the solar installation agreement?  

It is always important to know what warranties you are receiving. Manufacturers’ warranties can vary between 5 years and 25 years. Ensure product specifications and warranty terms are understood before installation. When does the warranty just cover parts, or parts and labor? What are the reasons a warranty may not be honored? Some panel manufacturers won’t warranty solar panels damaged by golf balls or hailstorms. It’s crucial to understand the warranties provided by the solar company, particularly regarding roof penetrations and workmanship. Ensure you know the duration, how to exercise your rights, and the available recourse if issues arise (details below). 

Is there a Power Production Chart?  

Any trustworthy and knowledgeable installer will stand behind their work. The best way to do this is by showing you a Power Production Chart. This chart will show you what the anticipated energy production of the system will be over the years. Each year a solar panel is in operation its power output will decrease slightly, so it’s important to know how much energy you expect your system to produce in the first year of its operation and over the course of the warranty period, which is typically 25 years. As a general check, you can determine what the right size system for your home will be with the easy to use PV Watts Calculator.  

Who will repair the system if there is an issue?  

Although a solar system has no moving parts and designers create most system components to operate without fail, problems can still occur. Any system performance issues directly translate into money lost. If you choose to go with a solar installer who hires a third-party contractor to install your system, it could delay how long it takes to repair your system in the event of a malfunction. In many instances, such companies use multiple subcontractors to work on your system, so it can be difficult to guarantee a quality installation or resolution for your system concern. The solar installation agreements should clearly detail what to do and who to contact in case of a system issue. A trustworthy installer works to minimize or eliminate any downtime you experience.  

At Solar Topps, our highly trained service technicians utilize all essential components from our fully stocked warehouse when assessing any concerns on your site. This helps resolve any issues quickly, keep your system running longer and your electric bills lower. 

Additional Tips

As solar increases in popularity, more homeowners are starting to make the switch and save on their energy bills. But what are the best ways to save the most money? While every homeowner’s journey is different, there are still some key universal ways to get the best system for your home.  

Since 2009, Solar Topps has helped thousands of homeowners go solar without regrets and we are happy to share some of the key factors we have noted over the years that make for a better solar experience. See some of our additional articles from the list below.  

Always remember that you are not alone in this process. Whether Solar Topps is your installer of choice or you decide to go with someone else, we want you to get the best value possible. Feel free to call, text or chat online for a free, no obligation conversation. We look forward to helping you go solar, without regrets.

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