For years, people have criticized solar for being expensive and intermittent. But now solar is the cheapest form of electricity and batteries can solve the intermittency issue. Moral of the story: it’s time for you to get a residential solar system.
While the technology is solid, it’s not as easy as comparing solar installation costs and calling it a day. You need to choose a residential solar contractor that can get the job done right. At AMP Solar Squad, we can assure you that we are among the premium solar companies in the country. So if you’ve never done this before, how do you identify the sort of contractor you can trust?
You don’t need to be an expert in solar technology to choose a good contractor. Follow along as we give you the most important things to look out for.
Choose a Residential Solar Contractor That Is Local
This isn’t one of those “support small businesses” spiels. Hiring a contractor does more than pour money into your local community.
One of the big ones is that they know all the building codes and restrictions. Rules and regulations for the installation of a solar system can change from one street to the next. A local contractor has a solid grasp of what those rules and regulations are in each jurisdiction.
Further, they can work with local distributors to source Solar Panels at better prices. They provide friendly, personable service. After all, if they do a bad job, that will put a dark stain on their local reputation.
In addition to this, companies that come from outside of the community may make it difficult for you to get customer service. Rather than visit a local office and talk to the boss, you’ll have to play phone tag with a corporation’s automated phone menu. A simple RMA or claim could take a lot of time–and may not be successful in the end.
Contractors That Have the Proper Licensing
Every type of building project requires specific licensing to perform it. You wouldn’t want a random person off the street doing your electrical work and not keeping it to spec.
Licensing proves that the person you’re speaking to knows what they are doing. The solar installation experience is unlike installing a new roof or a roof-mounted water tank. It’s multidisciplinary, requiring an understanding of circuits as much as mounting the housing on reliable supports.
Someone who doesn’t have a license could get into legal trouble. There could be a possibility that you suffer consequences for hiring an unqualified person knowingly.
Lastly, the HOA may have requirements for solar panels. The last thing you want is to install them, only to get perpetual fines afterward for having them.
Contractors That Have Insurance Coverage
As you can imagine, installing a residential solar system is a dangerous job. Falling is the primary risk to account for. But you also have to deal with heavy equipment that requires tricky installation.
It’s highly unlikely that anything will go amiss, but you want to have backup in case it does. A contractor without the proper insurance could leave you high and dry if damages or injuries occur.
Uninsured contractors are an accident waiting to happen. Make this one of the first questions off the bat before you hand over your money.
Contractors That Have Extensive Experience
Experience is the best teacher. You simply cannot learn the most valuable lessons from a trade school. Putting boots on the ground and making mistakes is the only way to absorb a contractor’s most important career lessons.
Options for solar contractors are plentiful, but options for skilled solar contractors are few. You want to be sure that the men going up onto roof are worth their salt. If an intern shows up at your doorstep, that’s not a good sign for your solar installation.
Contractors That Provide Warranties and Guarantees
Chances are slim that your solar panels won’t work after a successful installation. But, there is always a possibility, however small, that something could go wrong. Within a reasonable timeframe, you want to have assurance for a fix or replacement.
Solar system maintenance is essential throughout the lifespan of a set of solar panels. Every few months, they need dusting. Throughout the year, you need to check connections and make sure the output is correct.
Poorly performing solar panels could end up costing you hundreds in lost electrical generation. You may not even realize that you are paying more at the electric meter than you should.
Be on the lookout for contractors that can provide continual service. Even though you will have to pay for it, it’s better to have someone who knows your panels intimately.
Get Some Price Quotes
There’s nothing wrong with getting a second opinion. Neither should there be an issue if you take a look at the prices of the guy down the street. Local companies naturally have to compete against each other, so their prices should be close in range.
Price quotes also give you an idea of how much you need to budget. Dig into the fees and included services for each one. You don’t want to budget for the installation, only to find that there are hidden fees that only come after.
In some cases, you may be able to bargain for a lower price. You can point to competitor rates and ask if they can match them
That said, you don’t want to go as cheap as possible. You get what you pay for, since a cheap installation that is too good to be true may not be worth it.
Find Your Solar Panel Contractors Today
Just as important as it is to go solar is to choose a residential solar contractor that you can trust. Look for one that has the right experience, licensing, and local knowledge of codes and regulations. Check for insurance and don’t hesitate to price check among their peers.
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