Looking to save some money on your home energy bills?
Maybe you’ve heard about the benefits of a solar energy system but wouldn’t know the first question to ask a professional solar installer.
Just like any other smart homeowner, it’s best to pre-interview some residential solar experts to hear what they have to say. Here are some questions you should ask a solar installation company. Get the answers before you drop a single dime.
Can Solar Panels Work With My House Design?
Solar energy systems work best on a house that faces the south, southeast, or southwest direction in sunny states. A residential roof should measure no less than 200 square feet in area. Rooftops must also be clear from any tree shadows or chimneys as well.
Many installers in the solar industry offer specialized services to help homeowners design a system that works best for their house. For example, click for more information here on how this company gauges solar feasibility for its customers.
Questions to ask an installation company could include:
- How many solar panels will I need? What solar panel makes/models will work best on my house?
- How much sun does my state receive? (Some pros will check on the website Energy.gov and let you know what your solar energy potential is.)
- What kilowatt system size will my house need?
- How many kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year will I see from this system?
How Much Does Solar Panel Installation Cost?
Be prepared to request a free, detailed quote from more than one installer. This will help you find the right system and price that fits your budget.
These work quotes can also give you an indicator of whether the price of the new system today will be higher or lower than what you predict your electric bill will be further down the road.
Questions to ask an installer on price should include:
- Are there any governmental solar incentives that I qualify for? (The best solar installation company will advise you on federal tax credits that amount up to 30% off of their solar installation expenses. They’ll also make sure to look up if there are any statewide credits and incentives available to you from this database.)
- What’s the full project cost (before and after governmental incentives are included)?
- Does your price include costs per panel or multiple inverters? Does it include a solar battery fee?
- Can I get a discount if I pay with cash?
Solar Installation Company Qualifications
Try to find a solar company that’s licensed to work close to where you live. Try to confirm that they have liability insurance. Check to make sure that these professionals have their North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certification.
Questions to ask the solar installation company about their employee qualifications should include:
- How long has your firm been in business?
- Do your installers have their NABCEP-certification?
- What is your business license number?
- Do you have references from previous customers?
- Will you hire any subcontractors for my project?
If you’re ready to hire a solar installation company, you’re your first step is to calculate your long-term savings. Head to the Energy.gov website and use their online solar calculator to find out your state’s energy potential.
When you’re ready to ask for bids, call more than one installation company. Compare each quote to find the plan that best fits your budget.
Ask these companies those questions above. When you know their answers, you’ll know which system works best for you.
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