7 Questions to ask California Solar Companies

May 14, 2022 2 min

7 Questions to ask California Solar Companies

Ask the right questions, find the right company

Most individuals who start solar companies are doing so because they believe renewable energy is something that is good for our society and planet. However, there are swindlers out there in every industry. The following questions will help you steer away from those less interested in providing you with the best solar system purchasing experience.

Be sure to contact at least 3 companies prior to cementing a deal. Ask the following questions and get a quote from each company that answers these questions to your satisfaction. Keep organized with our system by creating a free account with us!

  1. How much experience do you have? (How long have you been in business? How many installations have you done?)
    • The solar company should be able to respond with multiple years under their belt as well as pictures and referrals from successful jobs completed in the past.
  2. What kind of certifications do you have?
    • Solar installers should be North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) accredited. A list of all NABCEP accredited solar companies can be found on the NABCEP website.
  3. Do you deal with incentive paperwork from the Federal tax credit to State and local incentives?
    • As a solar installation company, they should be fully aware of the procedure for collecting rebates and acquiring the paperwork for tax credits. The burden of figuring out where you fit within the solar incentive structure is not a burden that should be placed on you.
  4. Is my roof fit for an effective solar array?
    • There are multiple points a company should touch on when assessing your property.
      1. Does your roof have the appropriate exposure to the sun? Most solar companies have access to software that can easily compute whether your roof is a good candidate for an efficient solar array.
      2. Is your roof in good enough condition to support a solar system? Is it in good enough condition to last as long as your solar panel’s will?
      3. Is your roof large enough to hold an array that will meet your energy needs?
  5. What type of products do you use and what kind of warranties come with these products?
    • The brands of solar panels and inverters a company provides should come with standard warranties. For solar modules, you should expect a 25-30 year power performance guarantee of 80% or more. The inverter should come with a 10+ year warranty. And, the company should provide a workmanship warranty of 2 years or more.
  6. Do you offer a maintenance service? Is it included in the purchase price?
    • Not all companies provide a maintenance service covered by the original purchase. Maintenance on poorly mounted systems is not cheap. So, if you come across one that does, know that providing free maintenance after installation shows confidence in their abilities.
  7. What kind of payment options do you offer?
    • Financing options are individual and companies will often offer different options from no up-front cost leasing agreements, to all up-front cash purchases and everywhere in between. A solar company should be able to sit down with you, discuss your financial situation and provide an option that makes you feel comfortable with your purchase.

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