Did you know that solar is an industry that continues to grow worldwide? Many people are indeed seeing the benefits of switching to solar. You might be wondering how to get started yourself.
That is when you need to learn how to hire a solar installation contractor. You don’t want to pick just any company for this big project, as solar panels are a great investment for most homeowners.
See below for several key tips and tricks you should follow when finding the best solar installation contractor in your area.
Ask for Recommendations
If you are considering using a solar installation contractor, one of the first steps is to ask for recommendations. Start by asking family, friends, and colleagues if they have used one. If so, ask what the solar installation experience was like.
You can also look for testimonials and start reading online reviews. You can also check in with local solar installers to see if they have contacts or references they can connect you with.
Consider checking with local trade organizations or green technology organizations to see if they have memberships that could provide leads on options for solar contractors in the area. You can visit here for a reference on one of the top solar companies. Taking the time to seek out appropriate references can help you hire the right contractor with the necessary skills.
Check their Credentials and Experience
It is also essential to check credentials and experience. Start by asking for the contractor’s qualifications or other certifications in the area of solar energy installation.
Ask for a list of references from past solar energy projects. Interview the references to ensure the contractor is well-equipped in:
Ask for evidence that the contractor has insurance and bonding. If a contractor does not have much experience, you may want to opt for someone else, as a novice installer may not be able to deliver the project effectively.
Verify their License and Insurance
To verify their license and insurance, you must research the contractor’s credentials and ask to see paper proof. Ensure the contractor is properly licensed in your state and certified in solar installation if required.
Check their membership in a reputable national or local solar energy organization. An organization such as the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners.
You should also request a copy of the contractor’s liability insurance and a Workers’ Compensation Insurance Certificate. The contractor should show these documents to you before any work begins, and it’s important to ensure they are current. If any documents appear incomplete or invalid, take extra caution and ask further questions.
Check If They Provide Good Customer Service
Good customer service is an essential component. You should also check to see if the contractor has any complaints filed against them with your local better business bureau.
When you call them, ask about their approach to customer service. They should take the time to answer your questions thoroughly. And provide information regarding warranties and guarantees.
During the installation process, maintain open communication with the contractor to address any issues quickly. After all is said and done, don’t forget to send feedback to them, expressing your views on their customer service. This will help them maintain their reputation and give other customers an idea of their service quality.
Ensure That They Do All the Paperwork
Ensure that they handle all the paperwork necessary for your project. Some areas may need a permit from the local building department.
They should secure all necessary documents, such as certificate of occupancy forms. Also, the system shut-off forms and other relevant documents must be completed before the installation.
They should be knowledgeable, experienced, and familiar with all city and county regulations. Also, the electrical and mechanical codes should provide a detailed schedule of the installation process in advance. They should also provide detailed, itemized invoices outlining labor hours and materials used.
Compare Fees and Services Offered
It’s important to request quotes from multiple contractors. Compare their fees and services, and choose one whose services best suit your needs.
When comparing solar installation costs, it’s important to remember that some fees, such as taxes and permits, might be included in the project’s total cost. While others, such as labor and materials, may not.
It would help if you also asked what services are included. Are they only installing your solar system, or do they also offer maintenance services? Will they help you access local incentives or provide system monitoring?
Understand the Written Contract
The contract should clearly outline the following:
- scope of work
- payment terms
- completion date
Before signing the contract, you must ensure that it contains all the details you have agreed upon. And that all parties have read and understood the contract and its obligations.
Check to ensure that all parties sign and initial the contract for it to be valid. Ensure that the contract includes specifications for insurance and liabilities in the event of any unforeseen circumstances.
Do not hesitate to ask your contractor questions. Make sure that any proposed modifications or additions to the work are documented in the contract.
Know Their Payment Options
Choosing the one that offers the right payment options should be a consideration. Of course, it is important to ensure their competitive price and credentials and experience are reputable. But knowing what their available payment options are is equally important.
Are you able to pay the entire cost up-front, or is there an opportunity for a payment plan? If the latter, is it interest-free, or do you pay interest?
Are all services required for installation included in the cost? Knowing this beforehand allows you to properly budget for the project and consider ways to finance it if necessary.
Hire a Solar Installation Contractor
Hiring a contractor for a solar installation project requires more than just looking for the lowest offer. Ensuring that the contractor is reputable and reliable is essential for the success of your project.
Researching and comparing contractors can ensure you get the best results for your money. Don’t wait; start looking to hire a solar installation contractor today and reduce your carbon footprint.
There’s so much to learn, so don’t forget to come back again. Feel free to check out the rest of our blog!