Blog

Choosing The Right Solar Contractor | Helpful Tips To Finding Reputable Solar Installer

Have you already received multiple solar quotes from various contractors and is it now time to choose the perfect one for the job? This guide by Everything Solar has got your back. We understand that finding the right solar contractor is a challenging task, and it is essential to ensure that the company you hire not only delivers its services at the prices you can afford but also ensures the quality of the finished product or project.

Federal Tax Credit of 26%

How to Choose a Solar Contractor in Orlando

If you are wondering “how do I choose a solar electric contractor”, the first step is to consider checking a few major aspects listed below, before you finalize the contract with a particular company. In this section, we will talk about those areas so you can figure out the best candidate to install solar panels on the roof of your home.

 

Licensure and Insurance

We recommend getting the solar installation done by contractors who are credentialed to do the job. This will ensure that the crew you hire has complete knowledge of the field and that the wiring and electrical components of the system are in safe hands.

 

Eight states require solar contractors to obtain a state credential, according to the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE): Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Michigan, Nevada, and Utah.

 

The term “solar work systems” can refer to work on systems that use (1) solar energy to heat liquids for various purposes and (2) photovoltaic cells to generate electricity. The first type of system sometimes referred to as thermal systems, requires the skills of a plumber to install. The second type, referred to as photovoltaic, requires the skills of an electrician. [1]

 

Don’t hesitate in asking the contracting company to provide proof of their certification, licensure, and liability insurance. Solar electric contractors are accredited by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).

 

Once a contractor has gained training in solar installation and has cleared a written test, only then he will receive his credentialing certification. The best answer to how do I choose a solar electric contractor is to go for the one who has all the appropriate licenses and industry-specific certifications, in addition to possessing the required consultative and professional solar experience.

 

Experience and Track Record

The solar industry is a fast-growing industry of the present day. The best approach is to look for a contractor who offers more experience and has a reputable track record. You can evaluate this by learning about the online reviews of previous customers who have received services from the same solar company. Client testimonials are helpful, especially if they are in video format. They are authentic and relying on them can mostly never go wrong.

 

This way, you can have a heads-up on the kind of contractor you are getting in business with. Positive ratings are a green flag that will help you gain confidence in the solar company you hire. However, if you see a pattern of complaints and malpractices, this obviously indicates that you need to pick a different installer.

 

Competitive Bidding

How do you choose a solar electric contractor? We suggest you start by getting quotes from at least three different contractors. You will be surprised to see a noticeable variation in bids. This gives you a broad understanding of what the market offers and helps you compare the services of different installation contractors.

 

Various companies offer different billing structures, however, the best and the most straightforward approach is to charge in terms of cost-per-watt. If this is the pricing method of your desired company, be sure to give it a call!

 

However, do remember that cheaper offers are not always the best when it comes to solar panels. If an installer quotes inexpensive rates and the deals look too good to be true, then probably, that is exactly what it is. You need to provide ideal working conditions to ensure the durability and high efficiency of the panel system. Going for cheaper alternatives to cut costs is not what you need for a solar installation job.

 

Subcontractor Crew

Some solar contracting companies use subcontractors who perform some or all of the tasks during installation. This is completely normal and is part of the standard procedure of this industry.

 

However, you cannot always be sure of the transparency of these subcontractors. To avoid any disappointments, we recommend you ask the companies about their use of subcontracting crew beforehand. And in case they do use subcontractors, be sure to ask them the reason for this as well. Once you are satisfied by the involvement of their subcontractors in the installation procedure of your solar panels, only then you should move ahead with the contracting process.

 

Workmanship Guarantee

Even though it’s rare, there is still a chance that you come across an installation issue and need to call the contracting company once again to fix the problem. In that case, a well-grounded company will always offer good warranties to their customers.

 

Therefore, you must make note of the workmanship warranty details of a company, before finalizing a contract with them. Such warranties are linked to the work performed by the installer and a professional contracting company usually provides a 5-10 years warranty to their customers. Be sure to read the fine print to understand what is covered and excluded in their warranty, so that both you and your contractor are on the same page from the very beginning.

 

Customized Solutions

The positioning of roofs, the angle of sunlight, and the conditions of instalments vary from client to client. In the solar installation business, one size does not necessarily fit all. There will be numerous instances where the situation might require a customized, innovative approach, one where an installer will have to consider various obstacles that will hinder a smooth, easy-to-do installation procedure.

 

In that case, your contractor must have a broad approach towards proposing suitable solutions. Hence, it is important to meet with the installer first to evaluate his creativity with the ideas he proposes for an efficient solar panel installation. Do note that such a quality can only come from diverse expertise, and that is exactly what you need for this job!

 

If you haven't found what you are looking for here, review our newer article on "tips for hiring a solar contractor in Orlando, Florida".

Man on roof installing Solar Pool heating system in Orlando

What to Look for In a Solar Electric Contractor in Orlando

We understand that figuring out the right approach to your most appropriate question: how do I choose a solar electric contractor, is not an easy task. To narrow it down for you, we have created a list of questions you can ask the contracting companies when you interview them.


Licensing

If you don’t have any information about the contractor’s license, now is the time to make sure you know about this. This is also when you can check whether or not the installers are NABCEP certified. In case they are not, they should at least have experience of three to five years.


Site Plan

Before you officially hire a contractor, make sure he gives you the site plan that his team has developed for the project. It visually indicates the layout and position of the system’s components on your homes such as inverters, disconnect switches, panels, and meters.


This will give you an insight into what the installation procedure will look like. And later on, will help you check if the procedure is carried out the way it was supposed to.


Warranty

Be sure to ask about the workmanship and component warranty. (Read the workmanship section above)


Component Selection

Ask about the secondary components that are needed for the installation procedure. Make sure the contractor uses a reputable, good-quality brand. Also, ensure that you are satisfied with the prices of the materials that the installer will be using for the job.


Production Estimate

Consult the contractor and enquire about ways that will result in maximum power production from your solar panel system. Ask him to provide rough comparisons and estimates with your average usage, so that you get to know about his professional approach towards the system’s output.


Payment Schedule

You must ask everything there is to know about the payment details, including when you will be due to pay it and what is the advance payment and overall payment schedule (in case there is any).

Federal Tax Credit of 26%

The Final Word

Going solar is one of the best decisions of today. This way you do not have to rely on your city’s utility energy services and pay for them at such high local rates. With a little investment, you can make affordable, eco-friendly electricity for future years to come.

 

An efficient, uncompromised installation of a well-performing solar panel system is crucial to the longevity of this invention. Therefore, hiring a good company for installation matters the most. So, we hope that this article helps you the answer question: how do I choose a solar electric contractor. Wait no more and get a quote from Everything Solar right now for the best services in town!

 

References

LICENSURE OF SOLAR CONTRACTORS
https://www.cga.ct.gov/2006/rpt/2006-R-0538.htm