A whopping $1335 – that is the average amount a typical American family spends on electricity bills alone every year, according to EnergySage. Switching to solar can significantly reduce energy bills.
The Economics of Switching to Rooftop Solar
Reductions in the price of solar panels, advances in solar technologies and a wide network of solar installers have helped in reducing the cost of installing solar rooftop panels in the USA. According to Solar Industry research data, the cost of owning rooftop solar panels reduced by nearly 45% from 2010 to 2014 in the USA.
Additionally, 30% federal tax credits for solar investments, state tax incentives, local government renewable energy incentives, property tax exemptions, municipal financing by PACE – have further reduced the cost of solar panel ownership, according to an analysis published by the Union of Concerned Scientists, USA.
Today, homes, businesses, offices and even federal and state-owned properties are installing rooftop solar panels, to reduce their electricity bills, while switching to clean energy. For actual numbers on how much you can save by going solar, this detailed post from Suntuity Solar will help you.
Make an Informed Decision
Not all solar panels are created equal, nor are all solar installers. To help you choose the right solar panel installer and help you find the high-quality solar products, we’ve created a questionnaire that you should ask all prospective solar companies you interview.
Questions to Ask the Solar Installer Before Signing the Contract
1. Licensing and Insurance
Do you hold the necessary business licenses and insurance policies for the state and locality?
What is your license number? (Use this to track and verify credentials).
Do you install the system using your in-house team or do you subcontract the process to local installers? If the latter, check if the sub-contractors hold valid licenses and insurance policies.
Do you have an in-house master electrician, who oversees the installation?
2. Solar Panels and Other Products
Who manufactures your panels and inverters?
Does the manufacturer have an office in the USA?
This way, even if your solar installer goes out of business, you can directly contact the panel manufacturer for replacements and to make warranty claims.
3. Commitment to Quality
All solar installers claim that they are quality providers. It’s up to you to verify this claim. Check if they hold internationally recognized certifications like the ISO 9001 and others. This way, you can be assured that you are getting high-quality products for your money.
Do you hold any product certifications?
4. Customer Reviews
You can find what other customers have to say about the installer by visiting their site. Check for authentic reviews from previous customers to know more about the installer – their commitment to the project schedule, work ethics and more. Check out third-party review sites like TrustPilot to know about the ratings, opinions and other discussions of previous customers.
Can you connect me with previous customers?
5. Business Experience
The longer a solar installer is in the business, the better is their installation and knowledge of the products. An experienced installer will be able to handle all problems that crop up during installation.
How long have you been in the business?
How many clients have you handled in my state or city?
6. Future Upgradeability
Your energy requirements are likely to change in the future. You may add another wing to your home or have plans to expand your family and so on. Your solar installer must be able to handle all your future requirements and integrate it seamlessly with your current solar system.
Will you be able to extend my solar panels in the future?
7. Payment Terms
Most solar power installers help you find the right financing for your rooftop solar installation. Additionally, they must be able to help you avail the various subsidies and incentives offered by local, state and federal governments.
Do you require full-payment before the installation or part-payment?
Do you help with financing and availing incentives?
Have you included all the costs in the quote or are there any additional costs I have to bear?
8. After Sales Services
What is the warranty claim process?
Find out how long they take to respond to after-sales enquiries?
Do you have an in-house dedicated customer service team?
Going Solar is a Long-Term Decision
A solar installation, when done the right way, will continue to power your home for decades. So, make sure that before you sign the contract, take your time, do your research and find out more about the installer. Get all your queries cleared and choose the installer who makes you feel confident and comfortable.