As the solar industry continues to grow, options for installers are becoming more abundant. In fact, in some areas (like California) choosing a contractor
might seem overwhelming. We’ve put together a simple checklist to help you make your decision.
1) Make sure you know who your contractor is. Many solar companies (even very large ones) subcontract the labor out to other companies who work under their name and install the panels. Ask whether the company uses its own crews or subcontracts out the labor. If they subcontract out the labor, ask about the subcontractor’s experience.
2) Ask how long the contractor has been in business. If a contractor has been in business for decades, it is an indicator that they likely resolve issues with their clients proactively and that their workmanship warranty will be meaningful.
3) As you comparison shop, ask careful questions about financing. Yes, you can go solar for zero down and most contractors will offer that option, however what do you lose in the long-term by committing to that plan? On the flip side, with all the financing options that are available, cash-only may not be the right choice either. Check out our financing article to get started.
4) Check to make sure the company you are researching has a contractor’s license number that is current on their website. Check credentials here.
5) Ask the company(ies) you are interviewing to evaluate your roof for problems before installing solar panels. Also make sure they know the age of the roof. Many solar companies do not have roofing expertise, which could leave you with a deteriorating roof underneath brand new solar panels… an expensive conundrum.
6) Ask to speak with a customer that has worked with the company before. Most reputable companies will be able to give you a phone number or two.
7) Once you’ve narrowed down your options, check Yelp, Angie’s list, etc. to be sure other’s feel you’ve made a good choice.
At Solar Roof Dynamics, we use a similar process to vet roofing contractors for our Signature Dealer Network, ensuring only the best installations reach the consumer. A little homework goes a long way when you go solar!