Solar energy adoption has rapidly grown over the decade as more people search for a solar company near them. Entry costs have significantly dropped, while new financing models are making solar access more inclusive. As a result, more Americans have access to solar energy than ever before.
However, choosing solar is a considerable decision and understanding the basics of this energy is key. Furthermore, choosing a solar company near you is important as you explore your options, and engage solar professionals. This should help you get well-positioned to make the right decisions.
So, while multiple solar power companies exist with well-trained and experienced staff. It can get overwhelming to make a firm choice of where to start. So, this step-by-step guide should prove helpful.
So, What Types of Solar Companies Exist
Solar Financing Companies
A solar financing company exclusively focuses on providing different financing options to help both homeowners and businesses acquire financing to install solar. They usually partner with solar dealers and installation companies.
Solar Lead Generation Companies
Lead generation companies typically focus on generating leads and sales for other solar companies within the solar power sector. They put together contacts or solar sales appointments that are later sold to dealers, installers, and full-service providers.
Solar Panel Equipment Manufacturers
Solar equipment manufacturers produce solar equipment used to install solar PV systems on homes or at businesses. Particularly, these equipment manufacturers make the physical photovoltaic (PV) panels and other associated solar equipment essential for installers to sell to individual solar shoppers.
Solar Panel Installation Companies
Solar installation entities buy solar panels and other vital components necessitated for installing panels from solar equipment manufacturers. These specialized experts install solar equipment at clients’ home rooftops or businesses.
They also set up the photovoltaic panels produced by the manufacturers. And before installation, their solar engineers first conduct a site evaluation to examine a client’s roof and take measurements. Throughout the site visit, they also determine if your installation dictates any special considerations.
Solar Panel Dealers
Solar dealers are people who receive permission to sell a specific manufacturer’s solar products. Some solar panel and equipment dealers maintain an in-house installation team. While others only outsource installations to third parties.
Full-Service Solar Providers
Full-service solar providers do everything to get clients set up with the solar, outside of making the equipment. They sell panels, provide financing, and also perform the installation, handling every single aspect of the solar process.
Tips to Choose a Solar Company Near Me
Choosing the right solar power company could be the most challenging part of one’s solar buying process. And it is essential to evaluate a solar installer thoroughly, to find the right one for your needs. But how does one choose from hundreds of solar providers in their country?
1. Ask for Multiple Quotes
When dealing with different solar companies near you, you have to be aware that they all charge different rates for installations. Despite the different existing billing structures companies use, the most conventional one is the cost-per-watt. Typically, solar companies should charge a flat rate depending on the size of the system.
By asking for multiple quotes, you get a clear baseline to compare the best solar companies near you. Since most solar companies offer appointments to visit homes, ensure to ask questions like:
- Have you installed any solar system on a home near me?
- Do you have the permits that my city or state requires?
- Based on my energy usage, how many panels shall I need?
- Do you offer a warranty? If so, what’s covered?
2. Check their History, Track Record, and Experience Levels
The Solar industry draws multiple professionals from diverse backgrounds. This means that finding a solar panel installer with applicable experience and good history can be a challenge.
Ideally, you’d want to ensure that your chosen solar company won’t drop your project before it’s completed. And even more importantly, you’d want a company that offers support after project completion. As such, ensure that you investigate their track record and experience with handling previous clients.
3. Check their Certification and Expertise
A great solar company near you should have passed the test of NABCEP and have at least 2-years of hands-on experience in the solar arena.
Essentially, the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) offers the most reputable national standard certification program for solar installers. Ensure to also carefully check solar company reviews, especially solar companies near you without NABCEP certification.
4. Check Licensing and Insurance
A dependable solar company near you should have all the required business licenses and insurance policies. Or at the bare minimum, hold a C-10 license, or a general electrical contractor’s license.
Overall, ensure that they are licensed to handle the wiring and electrical components with standard licenses, including general contracting, home improvement, electrician, or home performance contracting licenses. Furthermore, reputable installers should also maintain general liability insurance and be OSHA certified.
5. Check their Warranties and Maintenance Skills
Workmanship warranty acts as a cover for all problems that could arise because of a wrong installation. For example, if a solar panel comes loose, the workmanship warranty will then cover the repairs. Most solar contractors offer warranties anywhere between 1 to 25 years of coverage.
However, be very careful as some unestablished companies tend to unrealistic extended warranties. This is done to attract clients, but there is no guarantee that they’ll stick around long enough to follow through.
Remember, after receiving multiple solar quotes to compare, pick the installer and system that’s right for your precise needs. Ensure that the company is reputable with a good track record, appropriate licenses, and certifications.
Furthermore, the right solar company near you demonstrate the following characteristics:
- Use the best grade of silicon to make solar cells. The higher the silicon grade, the longer the solar cell will last, and perform better.
- Produces great performing solar panels at a reasonable price.
- Makes their own solar cells and wafers
- Heavily invests in R&D and innovation.
For a company that confidently ticks all these boxes, consider MySolarWatts to help you shift to renewable energy sources and reduce your energy costs.