The Ultimate Guide On How To Choose A Solar Installation Company
There are several solar panel installation companies in the market. Finding the right one for you can be the most difficult decision in the process. If you read this guide from start to finish, you’ll know the best ways to choose a home solar panel installation company that is dependable and experienced in the solar market.
As solar is gaining momentum in South Carolina, it is important to choose a dependable company that is here to stay. Customer protection is a high priority of ours and we want to make sure our customers are finding the right solar installation company for their specific needs.
Below is a list of what to look for in your home solar panel installation company:
Solar Experience & Reputation:
Find out their background in solar
Experience is crucial in the solar industry. Each and every state have their own rules and regulations. It is important your solar installation company follows them correctly. Some solar companies are not turn-key which means they are not doing the entire process themselves. It is important to make sure the company is transparent about this information. If everyone is on the same page from the beginning of installation to the customer support after the installation, it makes for a better solar experience.
Read the solar panel installation company’s reviews. This is the best way to obtain honest feedback from customers. Another way is to ask your solar specialist for references and testimonials. A good solar installation company will be able to direct you to happy customers willing to share their experience. Reviews can also provide an insight to the company’s dedication, customer service, and experience. For solar installations, the best website to reference is SolarReviews.com because customers must have had a solar installation by the company before you can leave a review.
Know who is working on your installation
It is important to know who is working on your home solar installation. The experience of the install can be almost just as important as the production of your panels. You want installers that are certified, skilled, and professional working in your house and on your system.
Compare apples to apples
Every company includes different figures on their quotes. Make sure you are comparing ‘apples to apples’. If you have trouble understanding something on your quote, be sure to reach out to your solar professional to have them explain in detail. One item to pay particular attention to is the percent of offset and how it is being calculated.
Questions to ask:
- How long have you been installing in your state?
- Are the installers that will be working on my project direct employees of your company?
- Are you a member of solar trade organizations such as SEIA or SC Solar Council?
- Is the “% of offset” projection based on my current annual usage or how will you estimate future changes in use?
- What are your solar review ratings and can you provide vetted 3rd party testimonials ?
- Has your company registered with ORS? (utility regulation)
Better Business Bureau
BBB otherwise known as the Better Business Bureau sets standards for ethical business practices.
- BBB sets standards for ethical business behavior and monitors compliance. Almost 400,000 Accredited Businesses meet and commit to our high standards.
- BBB helps consumers identify trustworthy businesses, and those that aren’t, through more than 4 million BBB Business Reviews.
- BBB sets standards for and evaluates thousands of advertisements each year to ensure that people can trust what advertisers say.
- BBB sets standards for and evaluates the practices of thousands of charities so that donors know where their money is going.
- BBB coaches businesses on ethical behavior and how to build stronger, more trusting relationships with their customers.
NABCEP is the quality control standard for solar. These certifications obtained by solar installation professionals hold them to the highest standard in the industry.
NABCEP’s goal is to develop voluntary national credentialing programs that will:
- Promote renewable energy
- Provide value to practitioners
- Promote worker safety and skill
- Promote consumer confidence
This piece of the puzzle is critical to choosing a solar company. Depending on the type of software they are using, or lack thereof, will determine the size of the system along with, factors that might change your production. These factors may include: tree shading, architectural shading, and accurate environmental, product, and site specifics.
Questions to ask:
- What is your BBB rating?
- How many NABCEP certified employees do you have at your company?
- What software do you use to estimate the production of my solar system?
Solar permits, warranties, and insurance:
Check the warranties to see if they are through the manufacturer or through your solar installation company. There is more than just one item that makes up your solar panel system, so ask for the warranties on each item. Take the time to look into the warranties and make sure to fully understand them. Workmanship warranties are specific to the designing and constructing of the solar panel system. These solar warranties typically range from 1-10 years.
Solar requires electrical and building permits that come from your local jurisdiction. Essentially anyone who owns your property parcel (county, city or town).
Application to seek permission for your solar system to be connected to the grid- submitted to the utility.
Business licenses to operate in each town – something the solar company has to obtain. In order to submit permits the solar company must have electrical and general contractors license.
In order to move forward with the solar installation companies should ask the customer for proof of homeowners insurance. The solar installation company should carry an insurance policy as well, this is an important question to ask if in the rare case, there are any damages.
Questions to ask:
- Do you handle neighborhood permits and utility requirements along with associated fees?
- What sort of workmanship warranty do you provide and who covers potential damages resulting from installation?
- What type and amount of insurance policy do you carry?
Is your solar solar installation company here to stay?
The biggest question a customer should ask is if their company is here to stay. Many of the large national companies will come try to steal their share of the market and leave once they obtain their share of the market. Make sure you are going to have a company that will be in business as long as your solar panels!
Learn more from our sources:
843.277.2090 www.southerncurrentllc.com 1519 King Street Charleston, SC 29405
About Southern Current
Headquartered in Charleston, SC, Southern Current is a leading developer and solar installation company in the residential, commercial and utility-scale markets with hundreds of systems currently providing clean power to customers across the Southeastern US. Our integrated platform includes Project Development, Engineering, Construction, Maintenance, Finance and Asset Management. www.southerncurrentllc.com