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The Top Questions to Ask Before Getting a Solar Panel Installation

Jessica PirroAugust 21, 20207820

The Top Questions to Ask Before Getting a Solar Panel Installation

If a homeowner has decided that they want to install solar panels, the first thing they probably did was start researching. Researching the best solar installer, the best solar panels or inverters, what is the average cost of solar in the area, is their state good for solar panels, what is a good solar warranty, and are solar panels right for them?

Chances are if a homeowner researches solar panels on the web, they are going to get different opinions based on the different websites that they look. There are questions that a solar installer will answer better than any article on the web.

Here are some questions homeowners should ask before they get a solar panel installation:

Question #1: Will You Take a Detailed Look At My Roof?

A good reputable solar installer will make recommendations for the solar power system’s size, and they are going to give your roof a thorough inspection. Your roof will need to be suitable for a solar panel, and not all roofs are suitable.

Depending on your roof’s condition and age, homeowners might need to replace it before they get a solar panel installation. It is important to keep in mind that when the solar installer installs racks on your roof, which are needed to install the solar panels, they will be drilling holes. Homeowners should also ask what types of solar power materials and equipment will be used to make sure that when it rains you aren’t going to have a roof that leaks.

Question #2: What is the Solar Warranty?

If the solar installers say that a solar power system is going to need to be regularly serviced by their solar company if you want the solar warranty to stay valid, run away!

A solar power system that is installed correctly won’t need to be checked regularly. If you notice a dip in solar power performance, you may need solar maintenance. If there is a dip the solar power output of your solar panel installation, contact your solar installer.

Question #3: How Much Money Will a Solar Panel Installation Save You?

Regardless of how you are going to pay for your solar panel installation, most people are going to want to know just how much a solar panel installation is going to save them. How much money a solar panel installation is going to save will vary. Your solar installer should be able to give you a better estimate of how much money will save you specifically.

Question #4: How Will Your Solar Warranty Be Handled?

Solar panel installations will have both a solar warranty and production quality guarantees. These are both going to differ from the workmanship warranty that your solar installer will offer. You should ask about each solar warranty. There will also be a different solar warranty for your solar panels as well as solar inverters. Ask about them all!

Question #5: What are their Licenses and Insurance?

Each solar installer you talk to will promise that they are the best in the area but there are some ways that you can ensure that they are:

- Do they have all of the necessary business licenses and insurance policies for your state and locally?

- What is their license number? You are going to want to ask this to validate their credentials.

- Do they design and install the solar power system themselves or do they subcontract to local companies? And if they do use subcontractors, are the subcontractors licensed, and have they had a background check?

- When they do the solar panel installation, will a master electrician be on-site? If they say no, find a different solar installer to work with.

Question #6: How Extensive is Solar Maintenance?

Because solar panels and the other equipment that goes along with a solar panel installation don’t move, solar maintenance is rarely needed. If you notice a dip in solar power output, you may want to try and hose the solar panels off before getting in contact with your solar installer. If the solar panels are cleaned off and the solar power output from your solar panels is still low, contact your solar installer for an inspection.

Question #7: What Solar Incentives are Available?

When it comes to solar incentives, one of the most popular solar incentives is going to the federal investment tax credit (ITC). The Federal ITC allows homeowners to deduct 26% from the overall cost of their solar panel installation. But, depending on the state, county, and city you live in, there will be other solar incentives and rebates that allow you to reduce the overall cost of solar panels even more. Ask your solar installer about the solar incentives in your area.

Questions #8: How Can You Calculate the System Performance and Savings?

When it comes to how much money your solar power system is going to save you, it will be contingent on the solar power system performance. You should ask your solar installer about how the solar power system is expected to perform. Here are some additional questions that you can ask:

- What is the utility inflation rate that they are using?

- What solar lease escalator are they using?

- What is the minimum performance guarantee of the solar power system and how will you be compensated if the solar power system doesn’t produce as much power as you were promised in the contract? Can you see the actual wording of the contract about this before you sign the contract?

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