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How to Choose a Solar Power Company

Oct 14th 2015 at 4:34 AM

A solar powered home generates and stores solar electric power, drawing on traditional grid power only at night and during times of high demand. Solar electric power is a clean, green alternative to traditional fossil-fuel based electricity.

If you've decided to move towards a hybrid home, choosing the right solar power experts to install your new solar power system can be a big hurdle. There are many firms out there, and all of them seem like solar electric power pros. How do you choose the best solar power company for the job?

When checking out the credentials of a solar power company, be sure to ask:

  • How long has this solar power firm been in business? A company should have at least 2-5 years of experience installing solar electric power systems. You want a reliable company that will be around to back up its warranties in the years to come.
  • What is its customer satisfaction rating? If you can't find out easily on the company website or through the Better Business Bureau, you may want to reconsider.
  • Does the solar power company hold all necessary licenses to complete your installation? In compliance with federal law, your solar installer must hold a valid state contractor's license. Check out their license number on your local state site. In addition, your solar installer should be certified by NABCEP (the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners), the highest solar certification.

Ask questions on essential details about the installation of your solar panel system:

  • Who manufactures the solar panels and inverter? Solar panels generate D/C energy, which needs to be inverted into A/C electricity to be usable within your home, so you need a reliable inverter with a good warranty.
  • Does the solar power firm use its own employees or sub-contract out aspects of the solar installation? A company that uses its own engineers, designers, permit processors, and installers can offer greater accountability and experience. Its employees will be far more familiar with the company's procedures than a sub-contractor.
  • What does the bid include? Solar installation bids can vary dramatically. Before going for the less expensive, make sure it includes everything you need it to, from engineering your system to pulling building permits to connecting your new system with the grid. Companies that offer turnkey installation take care of all the details to ensure you a smooth and relatively hassle-free installation process.

Don't be afraid to ask the firm as many questions as needed before signing any paperwork. An honest company will be happy to answer all your questions and provide proof of its claims. Going solar is a major decision, and it pays to be an informed consumer. With the right questions, you'll be well on your way to choosing the right solar power company.

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