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Finding a Reputable Solar Company (9 Step Comprehensive Guide)

June 23, 2022

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Are you searching for a solar panel company for your home or business? You’re certainly not without options! More and more companies are offering solar panel installation today, with affordable systems for homes and commercial structures.

However, how do you find a reputable solar panel company for your installation? One reason property owners might hesitate to sign a solar contract is that they don’t always understand how solar works. Two, prices between panels vary, which might make you question why a contractor recommends one over the other. To help you choose the right solar installer for your home, check out 9 steps to take throughout the process.

converting solar energy

Step 1: Learn some basics about solar power

Before buying a car, you might research the differences between an SUV, sedan, and minivan. Knowing their differences makes it easier to choose the one that offers features you need in a vehicle. Also, you can better understand why they’re priced differently, and which might last longer over time.

In the same way, knowing some basics about solar power can help you choose an installer and array. First, note that solar panels produce energy measured in kilowatts. Second, consider that high-quality panels produce more kilowatts of power than lower-quality options.

Also, solar panels lose effectiveness over the years, due to exposure to weather, sunlight, and the like. The less durable the panel, the more effectiveness they lose. In turn, you might pay less for these panels but find they don’t produce adequate power the older they get.

Step 2: Understand the differences between solar companies

When searching online for a solar energy contractor, you might notice that not all companies offer installation! Check out some differences between solar companies so you know which is right for your property.

  • Solar manufacturers, as the term implies, only make panels, inverters, and other solar array components. Often, they don’t have contractors to install those panels on properties. Instead, they sell those components to installation companies or contractors.
  • Solar finance companies typically do not manufacture or install panels. Instead, these are outside companies that work with installers, finding or offering financing for property owners.
  • Panel dealers or resellers sell products from a solar manufacturer. In some cases, they might have contractors who install those panels. However, some only sell components to solar panel companies.
  • Lead generation companies work to find potential solar customers and then connect those customers with local installers.
  • Full-service solar providers work with customers from start to finish. These providers help you choose a solar array, obtain panels and components, and schedule installation. Additionally, they can help customers find needed financing and take advantage of financial incentives.

Step 3: Don’t hesitate to get more than one quote

When searching for a solar panel company, don’t hesitate to get multiple quotes from various contractors. However, you also don’t want to make your choice based on price alone! One factor to consider is how long they’ve been in business. Two, do they guarantee their installation for both materials and labor?

Additionally, note if they obtain permits and ensure connection to a local utility company as needed. Above all, a reputable solar installer always visits a property before offering a final quote. This in-person visit ensures they’ve recommended the right panels for your property and can install them as promised.

finding the right solar panel installation company - alliance solar

Step 4: Check licensing and insurance of any solar panel company

Always check the licensing and insurance coverage of any potential solar panel installer. Licensing is vital as this ensures they can work with your power company, install wiring, and handle other technical details. Also, while damage during solar installation is rare, having insurance to cover repair costs is also important!

Step 5: Check online reviews from various sites

Once you’ve narrowed down your solar panel installer options to a few candidates, it’s time to check their reviews. First, check Google for user reviews, but don’t stop there! Second, check sites that offer places for contractor reviews in particular. These include Angie’s List or Angi, Houzz, Thumbtack, HomeAdvisor, and others.

When checking reviews, note that you might dismiss a random negative comment. However, if you see a pattern of poor reviews, consider this a red flag! One reason to take several negative reviews seriously is that they can indicate a serious issue with the contractor. Two, you don’t want a contractor who doesn’t work with clients to resolve their complaints.

Step 6: Always ask about warranties for both materials and labor

Any contractor should provide clients and customers with ironclad warranties, for both their labor and materials. This includes solar panel installers! Always ask about an installer’s warranty and note what it includes.

Also, note that solar array systems include more than just panels. Those panels attach to a racking system, while an inverter converts solar power to usable energy. Additionally, those panels need wiring and connection to your property’s junction box.

In turn, those warranties and guarantees should include all these components. Be wary of a solar installer who only offers a guarantee for panels and not other components in your array. After all, these parts are also expensive to replace if they should break down prematurely!

Step 7: Choose a solar company that offers you some options

Along with proper insurance and ironclad warranties, you want to choose a solar company that offers some options for your panels! Higher-quality panels mean more power over time, as said. On the other hand, you also need to consider your installation budget. A reputable contractor will offer more than one choice for your solar panels and other components.

industrial solar panels

Step 8: Avoid high-pressure tactics

While a solar installer might know more about panels than property owners, they should avoid high-pressure sales tactics. After all, you know your budget better than them as well! A property owner shouldn’t overspend on a solar installation no matter their benefits. If your potential installer starts pressuring you into buying, move on to another company.

Step 9: Choose a company that knows about current solar incentives!

A reputable solar power installation company will always stay updated on state and federal solar incentives. Additionally, they should know if those incentives have deadlines or reduce over time. In turn, they can help customers find and apply for as many as possible, saving on solar installation costs!

A solar panel installer not familiar with incentives might not be the right choice for your installation. This can indicate that he or she doesn’t keep updated with other aspects of the industry. For instance, they might not know local regulations regarding connecting to your power company. Also, an installer familiar with incentives is more likely to save you money than one not updated!

How Do Other Solar Companies Rip You Off?

While most solar installation companies offer quality services and equipment, some aren’t always as reputable! Some solar installers might only sell lower-quality panels, which is why it’s good to know how those panels work. Check the kilowatts of power those panels produce so you know if they’re worth their price.

Also, avoid any installer who offers a final quote without inspecting your property in person. An installer cannot decide how many panels your property supports without checking it first! They should also note obstructions that might block sunlight from reaching those panels. Avoid any installer who says that they can place panels that obviously don’t get much sun exposure.

Above all, a reputable installer is always happy to discuss their guarantees and warranties. If they don’t, or if those guarantees are short-lived, this often signals a disreputable contractor. Additionally, those guarantees should cover both parts and labor, as said.

solar power system

How Do You Know If a Solar Company is Legit?

First, check for a solar company’s licensing and insurance. Second, note if there are complaints with the Better Business Bureau or online review sites. Third, see how long they’ve been in business. A company that has just started out might not be reputable or reliable.

Additionally, you might note if they’re locally owned and operated. Owners from out of state might not be overly concerned with their business reputation. On the other hand, local owners know that their business relies on word of mouth and positive reviews. In turn, they might work harder to ensure customer satisfaction.

Is There a Federal Tax Credit for Solar Panels?

To encourage property owners to invest in solar, the federal government offered tax credits for solar installation. These credits reduce your overall tax bill, putting more money in your pocket and lowering your installation costs.

Congress passed an extension of these programs, providing a 26% tax credit for solar installed between 2020 and 2022. Also, you can claim a 22% credit for solar arrays installed in 2023. Unless Congress extends this program, these credits expire starting in 2024.

Consequently, it’s vital that you choose a solar system installation quickly and have it installed before these credits expire. Your solar installer can also check for local incentives including manufacturer rebates, sales tax waivers, and the like.

Alliance Solar is happy to provide this information about choosing a solar panel company to our readers. We hope you found it informative and helpful when it comes to solar power! If you’re considering solar for your property, call our expert solar panel installation contractors. We offer FREE consultations and can help you find all the incentives for which you’re eligible. To get your property with clean, green solar power, call us today!

 

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Alliance Solar is expanding in the national solar community because we know the value of going solar. Not to mention, we keep track of the best solar incentives for our customers! Reach out to us to learn more.
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