So you have made the decision to install a solar energy system in your home. Congratulations! It simply is one of the best decisions you will ever make. Not only will it save you money in the long run, paying for itself over and over again, but it will put far less pressure on the environment.
Now the first thing you need to do is identify a solar energy contractor that will come and consult with you on your specific power needs but also design the system and install it. During your initial meetings, it is up to you to ask the contractor a number of questions. As you may be new to the world of solar power, we have come up with a few you should definitely pose.
Let’s take a look.
- How many years have you been in business?
This one goes without saying. Of course, there is nothing wrong with someone who has only a couple of years’ experience but the longer the company has been in business, the better. You may even want to ask the company how many installations they have done before. If you are their first, look elsewhere, no matter how cheap a quote they give you.
- Do you operate with a solar contractor license?
Steer clear of any contractors that cannot produce state/county or city licenses. Also, make sure that the contractor has some form of insurance.
- Do you carry out thorough roof inspections beforehand? Do you guarantee no roof leaks afterward?
Now with people clambering up and down and around your roof, the chances of leaks increase significantly, especially if your house is older. It is for this reason that a thorough inspection should be carried out before any installation begins. This can help identify problem areas in the roof that can be pointed out to you. Check that the contractor guarantees no leaks after the installation. They are drilling into the roof to secure the panels after all. Many contractors have set plans in place to ensure that even after the drilling, leaks will not happen.
- What if my residential solar installation doesn’t produce as much power as you said it would?
This is a very important question. Now if the output is down slightly, then that is to be expected in some cases. But if there is a significant problem, it is important to find out if the company will add panels to bring up the output at their own cost or if you will be expected to cover the costs. Also, if you plan on going bigger in the future, plan ahead by installing a bigger inverter now already.
- Who will install the system?
Some solar companies only do the planning stages but subcontract the actual installation. This is important information to know beforehand. Again, if the work is subcontracted out, make sure the installer has insurance as well as the relevant licenses.
- Can I lease a system?
Some contractors offer the chance to lease systems instead of buying. This is of particular use if you rent and do not own a home, or if you are going to sell your property within the next couple of years. If the systems stay behind when you move, make sure you find out any associated costs you might have to pay.
I am sure you will have a list of your own questions to ask, but starting with these is never a bad thing. If you have any other queries about anything related to solar power, ask one of our experts.