Solar Panel Installers: What Questions Should You Ask?

Solar Panel Installers

In 2019, solar panel installations in the United States stood at 2 million. Just over two years after, amidst the pandemic, installations further grew by 43%.

This means the U.S now has 97.2 gigawatts of solar capacity, enough to power 17.7 million homes.

California, Texas, Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina continue to lead as the top 5 states to go solar. The rest of the country isn’t far behind, quickly joining the trend.

Are you a homeowner looking to switch to solar energy as well? Have trouble deciding which solar panel installer is perfect for the job?

If so, this article is for you! Here are some questions to ask your solar panel installers to help you choose the best.

What Brand Do You Use?

The degradation period and the performance of solar panels vary across brands. Thus, ask for the brand and do your research. Make sure that your solar company only uses top-quality solar technology.

Furthermore, quality service is also reflected in the products that the company uses. When they use high-quality products, they’re taking every measure to ensure you’ll have the best of the best.

What Is Your Installation Process?

It’s best to learn what your solar panel installers will be doing in your home. This will help you gauge what changes you should be wary of. At the same time, an overview of the installation process will tell you how long the process will take.

Generally, solar panel installation starts with an engineering site visit. This is then followed by the processing of permits and other documents. Ordering of proper solar equipment will also take place before the actual installation.

The process ends with switching the installed solar panel system and testing it out. A good solar panel installer should be able to explain these steps to you in a brief but concise manner.

Further, the best solar panel installer should also give you a comprehensive timeline. In most cases, it takes 2 to 6 months utmost to finish the whole process.

However, note that certain things are out of their control which may affect the finish date. These include the inspection process necessary for acquiring final permission to operate.

How Many Experiences Do You Have?

Experience is a major indicator of quality and reliable workmanship. When working with a new solar panel installer, it’s wise to ask how many installations they’ve done in your locality.

Local installation experiences mean that they’re familiar with your geography. As a such, they can work better and faster as they know what to expect and how to deal with local issues that may arise.

Three years is a good rule of thumb for installation experience. Meanwhile, at least 2 to 3 local solar panel system installations are reasonable.

Are You Insured?

What happens if a mistake or an accident occurs as a result of their work? Do your solar panel installers pay for the cash value of these events, or will you cover them yourself? Pick a solar company that can ensure your property and belongings in the wake of unexpected events.

Do You Offer Warranties?

Most solar panel system problems occur soon after their installation. Thus, ask what warranties your solar panel installers provide and their coverage.

The best installers should offer at least five years of workmanship warranties. On the other hand, they should also provide at least 25 years of power production warranty. Meanwhile, ten years warranty on solar string inverters should also be in order.

How Much Does It Cost?

Whatever system you use, remember that solar panel system installation is capital intensive. Smaller and lower-capacity units can cost around $5,000. Meanwhile, high-end solar panel systems can range up to $40,000 or more.

Labor, permits, and maintenance will also contribute to the cost of the solar panel system. Hence, broaden your expectations when asking for the upfront cost of solar installation.

What Financial Options Do You Offer?

Solar companies provide an array of finance options to help ease the financial burden of switching to green energy. Nearly all solar companies provide solar loans. Under this, you can divide the payment into low monthly payments instead of paying a huge upfront charge.

Other companies offer power purchase agreements or solar leasing. Here, you’ll have a solar panel system at home, but your solar company owns it. You’ll be paying a certain lease payment.

What Financial Incentives Can I Avail?

Your solar panel installer should be the expert in helping you qualify for solar incentives. Thus, don’t hesitate to ask for their help.

Federal law provides a 26% tax credit for homeowners who will install a solar system in 2020-2022. Meanwhile, a 22% tax credit is for solar systems installed in 2023.

Unfortunately, most solar salespeople neglect to mention the eligibility standards for this incentive. There are instances whereby they tell retirees that they qualify for the tax credit.

Yet, in reality, you can only claim the 26% solar tax credit if you have income. Again, your solar panel installers should be able to tell you this head-on.

Aside from the federal tax credit, municipalities also have incentives and rebates. Depending on the law, you may qualify for tax exemptions for installing a solar system. There are also private utility companies that can give you solar energy incentives.

What Benefits Can I Get from Solar Panels?

If you opt to go solar with Blue Raven, you’re entitled to great benefits, including increased home value. Solar panel systems can reduce your utility by up to 50% less. Over a 20-period use, this equates to $30,000 worth of savings.

Moreover, by using solar energy, you’re helping mitigate climate change. Using solar energy reduces fossil pollutants which lowers greenhouse gas emissions.

More importantly, solar panel systems can increase your home value by up to $15,000. Nowadays, people are prioritizing the energy-efficiency feature of homes hence, the value-added.

Find the Right Solar Panel Installers!

Having a full understanding of the basic matters of solar panel installation goes a long way. Solar panel installers should ensure quality workmanship and better placement. Hence, don’t hesitate to ask your solar panel installers these questions.

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