How to Find the Best Solar Panel Installer: 4 Easy Steps
Now that you’ve decided to end your high utility costs and take charge of your energy future by installing a solar power system, you’re faced with another critical decision: finding a reliable solar installation.
This is sometimes a long and tedious process, but getting the most out of your new system is essential.
If you follow these four steps, things should move more smoothly.
First, back to your neighborhood handyman.
Having an in-person interview with each potential solar installation is crucial in making the proper choice. It is preferable to use a local installer. This is crucial for several reasons.
First, a local installer should be able to visit your home or site to perform a site inspection and analysis, giving you an accurate estimate of the equipment you’ll need and the optimal placement for that equipment, especially the solar panels, which should be installed in an area with the least amount of interference from other structures.
Second, this will give you a chance to conduct the crucial interview, during which you can and should ask any questions you have about not only the system you need (asking these questions and listening to the answers should give you a good idea of whether or not the person knows his stuff), but also the candidate’s training and background, experience, and the number of completed installations.
Third, you’ll meet the company’s founder and learn whether or not you click with them on a personal level. You might be wondering what the big deal is here. Since you and the installer would ideally be working together as a team to finish your project, it’s essential that you feel comfortable with the installer and trust that he will be forthright and honest with you.
Look into Their Credentials
Since formal certification isn’t necessary for an installer to do their job, verifying their competence may require looking into less tangible factors like the installer’s level of education and the courses they’ve taken. When hiring an installation, you want to ensure they are forthcoming and honest about their expertise and qualifications. Be wary of anyone who acts cagey or unsure when asked about themselves. After all, you wouldn’t want to learn that your installation is the installer’s very first.
A NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) accreditation indicates that an installation has the necessary electrical expertise. It would be ideal if they also had solar energy certification.
Make sure you get references and check them out. You should call each connection and inquire about their positive or negative experience with the installer. If possible, you should also request permission to see the installation location.
In addition to using high-quality items and providing written guarantees and service contracts, the candidate you choose should have liability insurance.
Determine the price of labor.
The price of a reliable installer. Yes, that is the million-dollar question. OK, maybe not quite that much! The difficulty in providing an accurate estimate stems from the fact that it is highly context-dependent; most quotes are supplied to cover the entire job, including the installation cost.
However, a good rule of thumb is that 15% of the entire cost should cover the installation cost. However, since the quality of the installation can determine whether or not your PV system operates at total efficiency, it is not something you want to scrimp on if you can help it.
Obtain several quotes.
You should get quotations from at least three or four installers if you’ve found a handful that would work for your project. Check the bids to ensure the installer has included all you requested, which was promised. Make sure you haggle to obtain the most excellent deal. Don’t be hesitant to make a counter-offer, provided it’s acceptable, as there is a lot of competition in today’s market.
By the end of this process, you should feel confident in identifying the best solar installer for your needs. But if you’re still unsatisfied with any prospects, keep trying until you find someone who is a good fit for you.
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