Jessica PirroFebruary 17, 20202940
When you make any sort of investment you’re going to want to ask questions. The same goes for solar panel installation. If you’re installing solar panels, you are going to want to know a little bit about what you’re getting into.
Here are some questions to ask to help you be informed when it comes to getting a solar panel installation:
What Size of Solar Power System Should I Choose?
When you are trying to choose the right solar power system for your home, you should know that it is going to be a lot more complex than just looking at your electric bills and choosing a one that’s going to generate enough electricity to match your usage.
The solar company will need to collect some information:
- Your home energy usage patterns.
- The orientation and angle of your roof.
- The extra energy that your solar panel installation will generate and send to the grid.
- The utility you use, how much they are going to charge for electricity and their net metering rate.
This data is necessary when it comes to figuring out the right size of the solar power system for your home, and then creating a financial prediction based on that. It’s recommended that you stay away from solar installers that tell you sizing your solar power system is going to be an easy task.
What is the Upfront Cost of Solar?
When it comes to the cost of solar, there’s going to be a lot of different offers that are out there, and the different kinds of payment structures can significantly differ. You may end up purchasing a solar power system outright. Paying the full cost of solar up front, but this isn’t going to be your only option. There’s going to be loaned for solar, solar leases or power purchase agreement options where you’re going to have the option to pay $0 down to complete your solar panel installation. There will even be ‘in-between’ options that are going to allow you to pay a partial amount up-front to save even more money later on.
In general, the more that you pay upfront, the more money you will save in the long run (buying your solar power system outright is normally going to save you the most money). But, this might not be the best option for everyone. Depending on your situation, you might see more value in simply saving a smaller solar power system. From the first day, your solar panel installation is live, instead of simply waiting for the solar panel installation to pay itself off.
What Happens if my Solar Panel Installation Doesn’t Produce As Much Solar Power as Anticipated?
If the solar installer makes promises that your solar power system is going to produce a certain amount of solar power per year, you should most certainly ask the solar installer what will happen if the solar panel installation or the efficiency of the solar panels doesn’t meet your expectations.
There are a few possible scenarios. For instance, maybe the solar company will add extra solar panels, for free. Or they might even reimburse you for your solar panel installations underperformance. You should be sure to ask the solar installer this before you sign a contract with them!
What Should You Ask the Solar Installer?
You are going to want to be sure that you are asking the solar company a few questions to get an idea about the experience level of the solar company itself. The answer that you’re looking for most likely will differ based on the customer. You might be looking for a smaller solar installer, or perhaps you’ll be more comfortable working with a solar company that is more well-known and widespread. Here’s what you should know about the solar company that you work with.
- How long have they been in business?
- How big is the area that they operate in? Are they operating in multiple states or are a local company.
- How many solar power systems have they installed? This is more to let you know how much experience the solar company has.
- How much experience they have working with their utility company? How familiar are they with the permitting process?
- Can they provide you with customer reviews & testimonials, references, and examples of their other solar panel installations?
- What is their rating with the Better Business Bureau, if any?
How Do Solar Warranties Work?
Solar power systems come with both warranties and production quality guarantees, This isn’t going to be the same as a workmanship warranty that your solar installer is going to offer. It’s a good idea to ask about both of these kinds of warranties, and what each will cover.
It is going to be smart of the solar installers who will require you to hire them to take care of your solar power system regularly, to keep your solar panel installation warranty from becoming void.
In reality, you generally going to only need to service your solar power system once every five years to maximize its performance. You should also try to clean it at least once a year. To save time and money, you should stick with a solar company that won’t compel you to get solar power system serviced more often than you will need to.
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