As the world begins to shift slowly toward renewable and sustainable energy sources, more people are deciding to live a green life and convert their home power supply to a renewable energy source.
Solar energy has proven to be the most popular, accessible, and affordable option for the average homeowner. Solar companies are popping up everywhere to keep pace with this growing demand.
But, in this burgeoning market, the question arises: How to choose a solar company? What should you consider when shopping around for an installer?
For most homeowners, solar paneling may seem like a daunting endeavor. And, you know, it’s understandable to get a case of the buyer’s jitters when venturing into uncharted territory. The choice to convert your home power supply to solar energy and live your best sustainable life is a huge step, and you want to be sure it is done right. Have no fear.
Just keep reading for the top 5 things to consider when choosing a solar company for your home.
1. Shop Around
First things first—shop around! It would help if you did your research. If you have neighbors, friends, or family who have also gone solar, don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations. It’s also a good idea to check out company reviews online. Where possible, look for local solar companies that have a well-established presence in the market. Going local may save you a lot of money in the long run.
A 2017 study by the NREL (National Renewable Energy Labs) discovered that large solar companies typically charge up to 10 percent more than smaller enterprises. The flashy, high-end branding that larger companies employ may look attractive. Still, it is in no way an indicator of quality or value for money. Seek assessments and quotes from at least 3-5 reputable companies. Also, be sure to check that the companies you consider are fully qualified and legally certified to do the job.
2. Don’t Be Cheap
In your quest for cost-efficiency, do remember not to be cheap. While it is possible to get great deals, you should be wary of any installer whose prices seem suspiciously low compared to the competition. Chances are they may cut corners somewhere, which will inevitably cause you to spend thousands more than anticipated.
3. Buy Your Equipment Outright
Where possible, it’s usually a good idea to steer clear of lease agreements. Large solar companies frequently prefer to offer their customers solar leases and power purchase agreements rather than selling the equipment outright. These may seem attractive at the outset but are unavoidably parasitic to the consumer.
These agreements often have escalator clauses in the contracts, which guarantee a higher profit for the company by continually draining your pocketbook. These terms are another reason to go with a smaller company. You may pay a bit more on the front end, but the long-term savings are worth it.
4. Look into the Warranties
It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the standard warranty for your solar equipment. You also want to make sure that the contract warranty covers labor costs.
5. Read the Fine Print
You probably already know how important it is carefully read contracts. But, for the sake of thoroughness, be reminded. Reading the fine print in your contract will stave off disputes. If your installer says that the service package includes something, make sure that it says so in the contract.
Follow these five tips for a seamless transition to green, sustainable, earth-friendly energy.