Finding the right people to install solar panels requires knowing what not to do. Here are mistakes with selecting a home solar company and how to avoid them.
Are you interested in going solar?
There are lots of solar companies out there to choose from. Finding the right company to install your solar panels and provide ongoing maintenance can be challenging.
Your home is your most valuable asset, so you must do your due diligence and research to find the right fit. That doesn’t mean looking at price alone, but also the customer reviews of a home solar company.
You need to be aware of mistakes you might make when looking for a home solar company. How can you be sure you don’t miss an excellent solar company because you made one of these mistakes?
Check out this article before selecting a home solar company to install or service your home.
1. Lack of Research
When selecting a home solar company, you must research for the best product and service possible. One mistake people make when choosing a solar company is not sufficiently researching the company they are considering.
Without researching the company, you won’t know if they have a good track record. You won’t see if they have customer complaints. Additionally, analyzing the company will help you to find out how much solar installation experience they have.
Taking the time to do research also allows you to ask questions. You can also compare quotes from several companies to get the best deal.
To avoid mistakes with selecting a home solar company, do your due diligence and research the company before committing to any agreement.
2. Ignoring Credentials
It is essential to make sure that you are aware of their credentials. Ignoring this vital aspect of the process can lead to various mistakes.
Such mistakes include picking an unqualified or inexperienced company. Repairs or maintenance could be vastly more expensive than anticipated. Similarly, you could be paying for equipment or services of poor quality.
To avoid these mistakes, review each solar company’s credentials carefully. Ask the relevant questions that will tell you about their experience in the industry. Check their certifications, licenses, and other qualifications.
You want to be sure you’re making the right decision regarding such a significant investment. Being informed and taking the time to investigate each company’s credentials is the best way to avoid costly mistakes.
3. Overlooking Customer Reviews
Overlooking customer reviews can be a costly mistake. The most important thing to do when considering a provider is to research what customers have experienced.
Importance of Customer Reviews
Customer reviews can be a great source of insight when weighing your options between different companies. Not only can reviews alert you to potential problems, but they can also give you an idea of customer satisfaction.
Testimonials from friends, family, and colleagues that have used the company’s services before can also help you. Take the opinions of others into consideration. This will help to provide greater insight into the quality of work of the solar company.
Where to Find Solar Customer Reviews
There are many places to look for solar customer reviews. One of the best resources is online consumer review websites like Yelp and Angie List.
You can read past customers’ experiences in detail and may even be able to communicate directly with past customers to clarify specific information or ask for individual recommendations.
Beyond review sites, many solar installation companies have dedicated customer testimonial pages on their websites, highlighting their best reviews and experiences.
Additionally, consider using a consumer solar rating system such as SolarReviews. The ratings here are based on customer complaints and compliments from users of the service.
You can also ask your contacts, family, friends, or coworkers for advice and personal recommendations. Research past customer reviews and ask neighbors about their experiences with the solar company. This can help better uncover any potential maintenance or warranty issues that may arise in the future.
Finally, local solar organizations or groups may also have helpful advice from experienced users in your area.
4. Focusing Solely on Price
Many homeowners solely focus on the project’s price when selecting a home solar company. This is a huge mistake!
Although price is essential, it should not be the only factor considered. Cost alone does not dictate the quality of the panels and the installation. The warranty, customer service, and company track record should also be considered.
To avoid this mistake, research the available companies. Expand your criteria for choosing a home solar company.
Compare quotes and understand the contract terms they agree to. Researching and comparing multiple home solar companies can result in a better installation and a more positive experience overall.
5. Disregarding System Design and Efficiency
One of people’s biggest mistakes when selecting a solar home company is disregarding system design and efficiency. It’s essential to remember that the components of a home solar system and the overall design of the system will dictate its efficiency. They will also significantly impact the return on investment.
If a solar company overlooks the system design, it can increase production costs without the expected performance gains. To avoid this, thoroughly research your area’s solar companies and ensure they have a well-thought-out design that maximizes efficiency.
Consider asking for references that can attest to their design capabilities and trustworthiness. It’s also good to ask for a long-term estimate of yearly or monthly energy production. Look at the estimated return on investment.
This will allow you to determine whether the system is designed optimally for maximum efficiency.
6. Not Considering Maintenance and Warranty
When considering a home solar company, it’s important to consider maintenance and warranties. Not doing so can lead to costly repairs or replacements down the road.
To avoid this mistake, ask questions about the maintenance requirements, if any. Check the type and length of warranty they offer. Look into the repairs covered under the contract and how quickly they are available during an emergency.
Going through this extra effort ahead of time can ensure that you won’t be stuck dealing with costly maintenance or repairs down the road.
7. Neglecting Local Permitting and Regulations
Neglecting local permitting and regulations is one of the common mistakes when selecting a home solar company. Many people don’t consider the extra paperwork or rules that must be followed as part of the installation process.
Every town and municipality has different zoning laws. Some may create an obstacle for the home solar project.
Before signing a contract with a solar company, research all the laws and regulations in their area. Once you are familiar with local ordinances, speak with the solar provider. This is to ensure they comply with all the rules.
Furthermore, be aware of the state solar tax credits and rebates available to installers and homeowners in their area. Neglecting local permitting and regulations can lead to the following:
- Costly fines
- Higher installation cost
- Long delays
8. Failure to Assess Financing Options
Not assessing financing options is one of the biggest mistakes when selecting a home solar company. Financing options can be a great way to make solar panels more affordable. Financing should be looked into upfront.
Not looking into financing options can lead to missing out on potential deals. You could also spend too much on the solar energy system.
A loan for a solar energy system can also increase your household’s debt. So while it’s an option, it should be considered carefully.
To avoid this mistake, consider the financing options available from each home solar company, and compare them to those from other solar companies. Here are some types of solar financing options available.
With a solar loan, you can receive up to 100% of the solar panel system cost. The repayment options are tailored to the individual’s needs. Solar loans typically have fixed and competitive interest rates and no-money-down requirements.
This financing type allows you to obtain a solar energy production system without incurring significant upfront costs. With solar leasing, a third-party typically finances, installs, and maintains a solar energy system.
You are renting the system and, in turn, agreeing to pay a monthly fee for the energy produced. Advantages of solar leasing include:
- No upfront costs
- State Incentives
- Fixed monthly payment
- No maintenance fees
- No long-term commitments
Meanwhile, potential drawbacks of solar leasing include limited eligibility, often long-term contracts, and a lack of system control.
Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)
A PPA contract allows a third-party developer to install, own, and maintain a solar panel. This is while the customer (such as a business or government organization) agrees to purchase the electricity generated from the solar array over a fixed time frame at a fixed price, usually lower than what they would be paying for a traditional electricity system.
This allows businesses and organizations to adopt solar without the upfront capital, easing the burden of initial costs and allowing them to maximize benefits from the system. PPAs are appealing as they are considered a low-risk form of financing. The developer is responsible for installation, operation, and maintenance.
This gives potential customers the peace of mind that the company they choose can handle the financial logistics while focusing on energy production.
9. Lack of Understanding of Solar Contracts
Understanding the solar contract terms is essential for homeowners selecting a solar contractor. Homeowners may not fully understand the specific terms of the agreement. They may enter into a contract that does not suit their needs.
This may result in an unfavorable financial result and potentially lead to the termination of the contract with added costs. To avoid this, you should ensure you are clear on all aspects of the solar project before engaging any company.
It is also essential to be aware of any hidden fees or addendums that may show up in the contract. You should have a clear understanding of the following before signing any contracts:
- Energy needs
- Project scope
- Contractual terms
- Payment structure
If there are any questions or concerns, never hesitate to ask the solar provider to explain the contract. Finding the right solar company with the best solar plan for your needs will help you avoid future regrets.
10. Underestimating the Importance of Customer Service
When selecting a home solar company, it’s easy to overlook the importance of customer service. The part it plays in ensuring a successful installation and long-term relationship is essential.
Good customer service means reaching someone quickly with any issues, fair response times for repairs or changes, and a smooth installation process. To avoid underestimating the importance of customer service, research how a company handles customer service before committing to using them.
Ask as many questions as you can. Find out if they offer 24-hour emergency service, what kind of warranties they have, how quickly they respond to complaints, and other critical service-related questions.
By selecting a reliable solar company that takes customer service seriously, you can protect your home’s solar investment for many years.
Helpful Tips on Selecting a Home Solar Company
Solar power is an excellent move for the environment and your wallet.
When selecting a home solar company, it’s essential to do your research to avoid mistakes that could result in a loss of money and time. Researching reviews, comparing solar service prices, and verifying credentials are essential steps.
Taking these steps before selecting can ensure a successful transition to solar energy. Don’t wait any longer – research today and find a home solar company that works for you.
Make your move to solar today and find a trusted home solar provider!
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