About 10 years ago, solar installers numbered in the hundreds. Today, there are nearly 180,000 solar professionals employed across more than 6,000 businesses—just in the United States alone.
And as a homeowner, you probably feel like you’re receiving solicitations from every single one. New offers via email, post, and phone continue to flood into your life, causing you to feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of choices.
So how do you select the right photovoltaic (PV) installer for your needs?
We’ve written a free step-by-step guide to help you transform a sea of candidates into a much more manageable pool of options.
1. Only Use Licensed Solar PV Installers
If your PV contractor isn’t properly licensed, your installation won’t qualify for most federal and state solar incentives. Worse still, you won’t be able to connect your PV system to the utility grid, meaning you’ll have to invest in expensive batteries to enjoy 24/7 electricity.
To read more about the dangers of unlicensed solar projects, click here.
2. Only Use NABCEP-certified Installers
Short for the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, NABCEP is the gold standard when it comes to installation certification and training.
This accreditation is 100% voluntary. But by choosing NABCEP-certified contractors, you erect another filter between amateur installations and high-quality workmanship.
At Direct Energy Solar, each project is overseen by a NABCEP-certified professional.
3. Read Customer Reviews
Good or bad, every installation becomes part of a contractor’s portfolio. So you can use online review sites like Yelp or Angie’s List to start some of your background research.
Unbiased solar testimonials are also a great guide. Read what others have to say about their own experiences with each installer on your list.
4. Choose Quality Over Price
Avoid the temptation of chasing hot deals and discounted panels. Instead, you should focus on quality—and quality alone.
Solar is a long-term investment that provides decades of financial and environmental benefits. 25 years from now, you’ll have completely forgotten the price originally paid for your installation. You will remember, however, what you paid for.
5. Always Look for Ironclad Solar Guarantees
Never hire any solar installation company that can’t provide the following 3 guarantees:
1.) Solar panel warranties—i.e. your panels will continue to operate (free of component-related defects) for a minimum of 25 years.
2.) Solar workmanship warranties—i.e. your installation will continue to operate (free of labor-related defects) for a minimum of 10 years.
3.) Solar performance guarantees—i.e. if your PV system underperforms, the contractor will correct the problem and compensate you for any losses.
To learn more about Direct Energy Solar’s worry-free guarantees, click here.
6. Avoid High-Pressure Sales Tactics
Cheaper electricity and a smaller carbon footprint—these solar-related benefits sell themselves. And you should avoid PV contractors who pressure you into moving forward with an installation.
At Direct Energy Solar, our approach is entirely consultative. We lay out the facts, run through the numbers, and allow you to make whatever decision is best for your home or business.
7. Visit Their Website
Whenever solar installers contact you, you should visit their website to make sure they are clean, professional, and informative. Solar offers many incredible benefits, but be on the lookout for outrageous claims:
1.) Your installation can save you a lot of money, but going solar will not make you rich.
2.) Installing panels can dramatically reduce your carbon footprint, but rarely will you be able to unplug from the utility grid completely.
Be sure to also scan emails and flyers for exaggerated claims.
The Most Important Tip of All
Your solar experience should be easy and enjoyable. Under ideal circumstances your contractor should be able to:
- Provide a free quote, complete with costs, savings, and solar guarantees.
- Design a customized PV system that meets your needs.
- Handle all paperwork on your behalf, including permits, inspections, and incentives.
- Offer transparent financing—regardless of your budget or credit history.
- Install your system using high quality parts.
- Provide ongoing monitoring and maintenance.
To learn more about how we make going solar hassle-free, read about the Direct Energy Solar Difference. In addition, we also provide references if you ever want to connect with one of our many satisfied customers.
Schedule a free consultation with our solar team today to learn more.