Get a Local and Licensed Installer

Adrienne SorensenSeptember 10, 20185330

Get a Local and Licensed Installer

Once you make the decision to go solar, the next step if getting the right installer for you. With so many solar installation companies to choose from, it can feel overwhelming.


The good news is that when you commit to working with a local, licensed installer, most likely you've already narrowed the field. If you look for licensed solar panel installers based in your area, those installers are typically more concerned about customer satisfaction, they usually use higher-quality equipment, and often have the best prices because they already have to compete with everyone else. 


While the quality of product and workmanship are a priority, it's also true that most homeowners pay attention to the bottom line. The good news is that, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), local solar installers' pricing is an average of 10 percent lower than the national residential solar installers. In fact, studies show that local solar installers consistently get higher ratings than the nation's largest, and most recognized installers.


Since local solar contractors care more about the work they do and their overall customer satisfaction, they use higher-quality products, materials, and workmanship - but still, prioritize customer-centric pricing tables. This results in reduced long-term solar maintenance requirements and repair costs for their buyers, and it also increases the life expectancy of the solar panels and related equipment. 


When you work with a local contractor, the crew who installs the system are full-time workers who report directly back to their boss, the company's owner.

This creates a level of accountability that is simply not present with bigger, national companies who subcontract work out to crews who are not only out-of-towners but who may only work part-time or seasonally. These crews have a less vested interest to give each project their best effort.


These local companies also know the local laws, building ordinances, and have relationships with the local utilities. 

Customer Satisfaction is Key

When you work with a local solar contractor, odds are you're working with a family-owned business that cares about their customer's satisfaction in a more personal way. Local companies rely heavily on word-of-mouth referrals, and those only happen when customers are happy with their work.


Plus, if company owners and employees live and work in the same community as the client base, they're apt to run into you in the grocery store, the soccer fields, or at the local pool - and they want to be able to wave and say hello with open hearts and clear consciences. First, make sure prospective companies are licensed and insured. Obtain at least three to five quotes and compare them line-by-line. I know it sounds petty, but it could save you lots of money.


Finally, take time to do some research. Check online reviews. People who had both good and bad experiences put their reviews online now, and that information is often useful. Make sure the equipment being used is guaranteed, and it is also important to find installers who are certified and properly trained. 

Common Thread of Excellence

These same findings are revealed by the highest, consumer-rated solar installers in the nation, all of which are family-owned and not publicly listed or traded. Consumer ratings are considered carefully by prospective customers, and small to mid-sized companies consistently have the highest overall ratings. 


The key to lifetime satisfaction with your solar installation investment is to choose a reputable, local solar panel installer so you benefit from high-quality products and workmanship, lower prices, and superior customer service.

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