Solar panels are now giving homes near independence from the electrical grid. They power up homes using energy from the sun, which is a clean and renewable source of energy.
As a result, they’re more environmental-friendly. And, they save you money in electric bills, as well, among other benefits of solar energy.
If you want to make the jump to solar energy, you need a reliable and quality solar panel company. Keep on reading to see how you can pick the right one for you.
1. Create a List
First, look for solar companies near you and compile them into a list. You don’t have to choose yet, we’ll be looking at their credentials, reviews, and such later on. Make sure they can service your area, though.
For this, Google is your first stop. A simple search can give hundreds of results of solar companies available in Las Vegas.
You can also look for blogs that list the best solar companies. You might find one that can work in your location.
Another place you can find solar companies is social media. Reputable businesses likely have social media accounts. Go on Facebook and search for companies there or join groups and see what they recommend there.
2. Check Their Credentials
Installers should have the necessary licenses and insurance policies. Look through their websites to see their license for installing solar panels. Don’t hesitate to contact them to ask for these details, as well.
At the least, they should have general liability insurance. However, the required licenses and insurance vary by state, so check what you should be looking for, first.
Beyond the state-required licenses, though, see if they also have certification from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Many consider their certification program to be the gold standard, so companies with a certificate from them will have met high standards. You’ll know you’re in good hands.
Contacting them is a good way to gauge their customer service, as well. How fast do they respond? Do they answer all your questions?
They should be polite and knowledgeable enough to give you valuable information. How they present themselves to a non-customer can set the tone for the rest of your working relationship with them.
3. Look at the Track Record
A company that has a solid track record stands out among the rest because you’ll know it already has experience. Check what types of projects they’ve taken and see if their expertise matches the job you have for them.
However, more established companies understandably charge more. For this reason, you shouldn’t discount the newcomers right away, especially if you have a low budget. This is a big risk, though, as you wouldn’t find many reviews or references.
4. Get References and Reviews
It’s also worth it to search each company on Google or social media to see if someone has posted a review. You can also look for reviews in Yelp and Better Business Bureau. The actual experience of the customer is still worth more than all the credentials and certification.
Ask the company for references, as well; they should be able to provide at least two or three upon request. You can then ask their past customers about the quality of their work, how they handled the project, their work etiquette, and more.
You want to find a company that not only knows what they’re doing but one that cares for its customers.
Don't forget to get recommendations from people you trust. Ask your friends and family if they have a solar panel company they can recommend. Ask anyone — your boss, your coworkers, and even your contacts on Facebook.
5. See Their Financing Options
You should have shaved your list by now, but we’re not done. Next, check what financing options they have and see they offer your desired option.
If you have no idea yet, review the different ways to finance solar panels, first. You can pay in cash, lease, take out a loan, or enter a power purchase agreement (PPA).
If you’re unsure which is the best option for you, take note of the solar panel companies offering multiple payment options. This way, you can consult with them and see the best decision for you.
6. Ask For a Quotation
At this point, your choices should have gone down to around 5 or so. This is the time to ask for a quotation as your budget is a huge deciding factor, too.
Remember that they’ll have to schedule a visit to your house to calculate the prices more accurately. That’s why you want to limit your choices before you get to this point. Don’t worry, the consultation should be free.
During this time, they’ll see how many panels you’ll need and how much power you can generate. They’ll also assess the angles of the panels, where the wiring goes, and any risks for the installation process.
You should take this opportunity to ask any questions about the installation. Will they handle any permit for the procedure? How many panels do you need based on your electricity usage?
Should you choose to go with them, what are the next steps?
Feel free to prepare questions before the visits, so you can compare them on an even playing field.
7. Check the Warranty
Don’t forget to ask about the warranty. Most solar panel companies offer around 20 to 25 years for the panel, although the labor usually only has a one-year warranty while the inverters have up to 10 years.
Some also have workmanship warranties. These are specific to the act of designing and constructing the solar panel system. The best installer will have one, which usually ranges from one to 10 years.
Choose the Right Solar Panel Company
Solar panels are a long commitment. Make sure to choose the right solar panel company to save you from headaches and unnecessary costs down the line.