Yardley Voice/Newtown Gazette — The home improvement season is back again. Some conscientious homeowners will try to do more than repair things. They are ready to take advantage of the economic and environmental benefits and the great energy savings that come from installing solar panels on their home. Like other improvements, they may not take action out of fear from the seeming complexity of it all.
What if there were a solar Sherpa, of sorts? Well, there is. A good and reputable solar installer will provide you more than a contract and the parts and labor. They will inform you from the start, guide you through the process at your comfortable pace, and provide you with personalized service both during and long after the installation. And the first step you should take down the path to solarizing is to ask questions to qualify and choose an installer you can trust.
Before the sale, a good installer should be clear about how they will provide you with the best fit for your needs. Today, more projects are surprisingly initiated and designed over the internet with minimal personal contact or knowledge of specific homeowner needs. It’s a bad practice in our view. Some tips we offer as you qualify an installer:
- Discuss the entire energy picture for your home – don’t simply buy the biggest system possible.
- View past installations – Do they look tidy and professional to you?
- Request a proposal and an explanation of terms, especially warranties and system monitoring.
- Ensure assumptions made about incentives, productivity, and electricity rate growth are realistic and accurate and ask how they affect payback and ROI estimates in the proposal.
- Measure their patience no matter what you ask.
During work on the project, a good solar installer should be professional and communicative. Beyond setting dates and being punctual, there should be a plan for safety, neatly staging materials, minimizing daily disruptions, and making sure you are satisfied.
After installation, a good solar installer will have a plan to help you keep your system operating at top efficiency, giving you the best return on your investment. Find out if the installer assists with SREC setup, proactively monitors system performance, and provides unlimited truck rolls if service is required.
Most importantly, a good solar installer prioritizes customer satisfaction. Spend the extra time reading online customer reviews and ask for references to increase your confidence before taking the plunge to go solar.