How To Choose a Solar Installer

solar installation

Photo by US Army Environmental Command

This article is Part II of a series by Mark Yarbough, providing sage advice about picking the right company if you decide to install solar on your buildings.  See Part I, “Competence:  the Next Phase of Solar .” He  is a member of the City Council of Perris, California. He is also the owner of a Volvo repair shop. His city went solar two years ago and won two major national awards from the League of California Cities and the American Planning Association for their solar efforts.

After I read his first part about his solar experience, I asked him, how do you choose a solar installer?  Here is what Mark had to say:

The same way you choose a butcher, a baker or a candlestick maker:

1) Check out their references.

Visit their projects.

Do they work on-time and on-budget? A simple yes or no will suffice. In the end, you don’t need a warehouse full of excuses. You need a warehouse full of energy.

When you check their references and visit their projects, check out their service department: A lousy solar company will tell you their system will never break. A good one will say yes, it will go down, however briefly.

That’s not the question. The real question is what are you going to do when it does.

So you have to know whether your service call is The only question is going to be answered by a salesperson, or a trained solar technician. I personally like to check the trucks: I want to see several of them — all full of solar maintenance equipment and qualified service experts — not someone from the sales and marketing department.

Don’t scoff — it happens.

And of course, monitoring. Your solar company should know about any problems in your system before you do.

And whether you make it first item to check, or last, the viability of your system will depend on how well you are able to apply for — and receive — grants and credits from local, state and federal governments, as well as your local utility.

A delay can cost you big time in lost energy savings — and even bigger — in lost energy rebates because you missed a deadline and the program expired.

It happens. if you pay attention, just not to you.

Thank Mark for both Part I and II of your series on the pitfalls of installing solar.


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Comments

  1. 5

    says

    I think once the price of solar power becomes more affordable to the general public you will start to see a dramatic shift away from traditional energy providers towards these clean alternative energy sources.

  2. 6

    says

    When our solar industry works together, in this particular case of Acro, the solar facility integrator, and SubRun, the solar energy service provider work together, our home owner will get cost-effective and eventually low cost solar enrgy. When our solar industry works together with the Government, all our tax payers will gain by reducing green house gas emmission and maximizing use of tax dollars.

  3. 7

    says

    Choosing a solar installer is the most important decision you can make (weather or not you should go solar is slightly a no brainer) but the company you choose affects the price now, ease of incentive/permit paper work, trust in guarantee, AND long term savings. Not to mention the piece of mind that you’re in good hands through this complicated process. We will be honest with you the entire process- let us prove it.

  4. 9

    says

    I really loathe people who constantly try to up-sell something to you, so if an installer reckons you need a slightly bigger solar panel, provided you have done your research, then drop him/her and get opinions from another. Ideally, the installer concerned also makes the welfare of your community a priority. Ask questions about expanding the solar system in a community and see if they offer viable integrations or not.

  5. 11

    says

    It is really important to carefully choose a solar panel installer in order to be assured of the quality work, just a piece of advice if you are looking for a solar panel installer take sometime to get info about the company you prefer to use read some feedbacks or reviews about the company whether they can provide you a great service or not.
    California Solar Panel Installers´s last blog post ..How much does the California Solar Initiative rebate lower the cost of installing solar panels in San Diego?

  6. 12

    says

    I never knew that was so many considerations to make when it comes to choosing the best solar installer. Without these tips, a beginner could make some costly mistakes when choosing the wrong company with employees who are not equipped with the right answers to the important questions.

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