Have you always wanted to switch to solar? If so, you’re not alone; 39% of US homeowners had the same thoughts, according to a 2022 survey. That’s on top of the 8% who said they’d already installed home solar panels.
So, your next question is likely, “which solar installation company near me should I choose?” That’s understandable, especially since the US is home to over 10,000 solar companies. These firms, in turn, employ over 255,000 Americans, many of whom are solar installers.
To that end, we created this guide on choosing the best solar installer for your home. Read on to discover tips on finding them and what makes them the right choice.
Google “Certified Solar Installation Company Near Me”
In the solar industry, certification is often voluntary for professional installers and contractors. However, they still acquire it because it proves their knowledge, experience and professionalism. It also demonstrates their commitment to upholding standards and providing quality services.
As a result, certified solar installation companies are more credible to consumers.
So when searching for solar installers online, include the keyword “certified.” These certifications are accreditations often granted by non-profit organizations, such as:
- North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP)
- Underwriter Laboratories (UL) Solutions
- Association of Energy Engineers (AEE)
- Roof Integrated Solar Energy (RISE)
Most solar installers have at least the NABCEP PV Installation Professional certification. So if you come across a few installers without this, you should cross their names off your list.
Choose a Company Using High-Quality Panels
The best solar installers use black monocrystalline (mono) panels. They may be the most expensive of all panel types, but they’re the most efficient. Their being black also makes them look very aesthetic.
Choose a Full-Service Solar Company
A full-service solar company handles every part of your solar setup. They do everything, from initial consultation to permitting and switching on your system. The only thing they don’t do is manufacture the high-quality panels they install for you.
When you hire such a contractor, expect them to be with you from the start until the last day of your warranty. This is an ideal setup since you’d only need to get in touch with thiscompany instead of multiple ones.
Here’s an overview of what a full-service company can do for you, making them the best choice.
Initial Consultation With On-Site Valuation
The best solar installers won’t say you’re a good candidate for solar without seeing your home. They must first check your roof to see if its orientation exposes it to adequate sunlight. They also have to inspect its condition to ensure it’s strong enough to support the system.
Remember: The average 60-cell solar panel weighs over 18 kilograms (40+ pounds). So if you need 15 panels, your roof must be in top condition to support the extra 600 pounds. If not, the experts may recommend fixing or replacing it first.
However, the pros will also survey the rest of your property to look for ground areas with lots of sunshine. If they find any, they may recommend ground-mounted solar panels.
Solar installation experts must also check your home’s electrical status and average usage. They need this information to determine how many panels you need to get the most energy savings.
Designing the System
After verifying you’re a good candidate, the solar company will present an offer. This includes your system’s design, how it will look, and the number and type of panels it will consist of.
The company’s representatives will also inform you of the project’s total cost. If you agree, the contract signing can then take place. If you don’t like the offer, you can negotiate or tell them what you need to think about it.
Don’t worry about paying solar installer fees for the on-site visit. Reputable companies offer this service for free.
Acquiring Permits for the System Installation
Before installing your solar panels, your chosen installer must apply for permits first. These include electrical, building or construction, and solar permits. The payments for these documents are often already part of your bill.
Helping With Solar Incentives
One of the perks of hiring a local solar installer is getting access to tips on local solar incentives. These may include state tax credits, rebates, and exemptions.
Your local utility provider may also offer money-saving programs for switching to solar. Lastly, don’t forget the federal tax credit of 30%, extended in 2022 and will run until 2032.
Finding and figuring out which ones apply to you is part of the job of full-service installers. They will assist you throughout the application process, too.
Installing the System
Depending on the weather and the size of your system, installing panels may only take a day. However, it may take a couple of days if it’s too hot or raining.
The installation process generally includes the following steps:
- Installing the mounts and solar panels
- Connecting the electrical wires
- Connecting the system to the solar inverter
Before switching on your system, the solar installers must schedule an inspection first. This involves a local government representative inspecting the system installation. They must ensure it’s safe, properly installed, and meets building codes.
If the final inspection goes smoothly, the representative will provide documentation. Your solar installer will then show this to your local utility company. Once approved, the solar installer can connect your solar inverter to the grid.
The only thing left to do after that is for the installer to switch on your system. From there, you can start enjoying your savings.
Go Green and Start Saving With Solar
Start your search for a “certified solar installation company near me” today. Don’t forget the keyword “certified,” as you don’t want to hire someone with no credentials. Instead, you need a reliable partner to ensure you get high-quality solar panels.
From there, consider hiring a full-service solar installation company. In this way, you have fewer people to correspond with, making communication easier.
To read more guides like this, check out our recent blog posts and how-to guides!
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