Getting Multiple Quotes When Choosing a Solar Installer: Helpful or Confusing?
Finding the right solar installer can be one of the most crucial parts to your solar experience. Many homeowners either choose the first provider they meet or opt for a “big box” name from the Stock Exchange. Most homeowners we speak with who elect one of these two methods tend to have disappointing overall experiences. In this article, we share top tips for selecting a solar company to help you switch to rooftop solar.
Choosing a Solar Company Best for You
Most customers start off by choosing between a national solar installer or a local solar installer. While national installers are well-known, there are advantages to having a local company install your solar.
- A report by the NREL found that local installers are usually cheaper than national ones.
- A national installer may subcontract your installation to multiple contractors, complicating the process without a single point of accountability for your home’s work.
- A local installer can offer a customized solar system with a wide range of products to meet your specific needs.
- A local installer will also be able to respond to any system issues, reducing system downtime. We’ve observed inefficiencies in larger firms and sympathize with customers left to figure things out independently.
Regardless of the choice, it is important to know the company working on your home has the right qualifications. Trust an installer who knows what they’re doing and will be involved in your installation process from start to finish. Even with premium products, if your system is installed poorly, it will end up costing you.
Some key questions to consider when choosing the right solar installer are:
How long have they been in business?
Most reputable companies have been doing this work for close to a decade, under the same name. Ensure the company you work with can provide their contractor’s license for your home project.
How are they ranked with the Better Business Bureau?
This platform offers the most reputable way of understanding how a company operates and treats its customers. Its mechanism for addressing issues and complaints between consumers and businesses provides a great deal of transparency other search engines, including Google and Solar specific sites, lack.
Are they NABCEP Certified?
The NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners), is a certification held by Solar Topps since its inception, demonstrates a commitment to implementing the best practices in the solar industry. Certified expertise makes for a better installation and more potential savings with your system.
Best Considerations When Choosing Your Solar Company Proposal
As with any home improvement project, it is important to do your due diligence regarding the companies you want to deal with and once you narrow your list, begin obtaining quotes from them. Taking the time to review the quotes and really understand them is particularly important. If you come across a less than transparent salesperson, it is OK to trust your gut and walk away. You have no obligation to them. We do not tolerate pushy salespeople, and neither should you.
When reviewing these quotes, always consider the following:
Are you getting a good deal?
Calculate the price per watt of your system. You can quickly determine this by dividing the total cost of the system by your system size. A fair price on a typical system is between $2-$3 dollars per watt.
What is the system size they are proposing you need?
Remember, when doing your research, it’s important to know how much energy you use to ensure the system size will meet your needs. Ask how many kWh the system will generate in the first year of operation and in total over the course of 25 years. It should be in line with your current or projected energy usage patterns.
What type of equipment are they using?
Be sure to ask about the types of panels, inverters, or energy storage devices they will be installing. Request to see the spec sheet on the equipment so that you know exactly what they are selling you. Solar Topps uses premium products like REC and Enphase microinverters, which outperform all other inverters, especially in the unique Arizona climate. Premium products offer better productivity and reliability, which in turn means more potential savings for you. A common misconception is premium products mean paying significantly more. In fact, premium products, especially those provided by Solar Topps, may only be slightly more expensive but provide a quicker return on your investment and a better overall deal.
Who will be installing your system?
Are they an all-in-one solar company like Solar Topps or do they subcontract their work to several people? This will make an impact on the quality of work performed, how quickly you will get installed, and who will serve the system if needed.
Are there any additional options they have included?
Typically, homeowners may request to have a pest barrier added to their system or want to be able to monitor their production and consumption patterns once the system is operational. Generally, these options are not standard, so if you want them, be sure to ask for it.
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 for choosing the best solar installer 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.
- Tip 1: Doing Your Research
Always remember that you are not alone in this process. Whether you’re choosing Solar Topps as 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.