6 Questions to Ask Your Solar Contractor
Installing a solar energy system on your home is a big financial decision. We want everyone to be educated in choosing the best solar company for their project. These are the 6 questions you need to be asking the solar companies you meet with, that way you can make the best choice for your situation.
1. How Long Has Your Company Been In Business?
This is one of the most important questions you should be asking every solar contractor. Over the last 15 years, we have seen many solar companies come and go from our industry. The reality of this is, 80% of those companies are no longer around to honor their customers’ warranties. Make sure that the company you choose has a long history in solar and can honor their warranties going into the future.
SolarTech has been installing Solar Energy and Solar Pool Heating systems since 2001. As one of San Diego’s longest-standing solar companies, we have over 15 years of experience designing and installing quality solar for customers throughout Southern California. As a stable and profitable business, we have excellent bank, credit, and insurance references, and bonding capacity to handle even the largest commercial jobs.
2. What Warranties / Guarantees Do You Offer?
Not every solar contractor provides an additional warranty along side what is provided by the product manufacturer. Asking this question will help you in weeding out the contractors that may not have as much confidence in their quality of work.
In addition to the standard product warranties that come with the purchase of your solar equipment — typically 25 years for PV panels and 10-25 years for inverters — we offer a 25-year Workmanship Warranty for solar energy systems and 25-year Production Guarantee. SolarTech’s Workmanship Warranty includes all service calls for warranty-related issues, so you’ll never pay anything out-of-pocket for warranty service claims. Our 25-year Production Guarantee ensures that the system will produce as expected, or we will compensate the customer at $0.12/kWh of underproduction on an annual basis.
3. What Equipment Options Do You Offer?
Not all solar contractors are created equal, neither are the products they offer. Asking a solar contractor what products they offer will give you insight on the working relationships they have built over the years. Take SunPower as an example; it is a premium solar panel product, and they don’t allow just any solar professional to install their products. Instead, SunPower has a dealer network in place consisting of only the top certified professionals in the nation.
SolarTech only offers quality solar equipment options. We are a SunPower Elite Dealer and offer all the premium products such as SunPower’s new all-in-one Equinox systems. We also offer other quality options including panels by LG, Suniva, and Canadian, and inverters by SolarEdge, SMA, and Enphase. We assess every option to ensure that the products, warranties, and company will provide performance and confidence for our customers long into the future.
4. What Financing Options Do You Offer?
The decision to go solar is not a matter of just forking over a few Andrew Jacksons — installing solar is a large financial decision. That’s why this question made the list. Talk to your solar contractor to make sure they offer financing options that work with your ideal budget.
Knowing that every customer’s situation is unique, we offer a variety of financing options to accommodate your financial outlook. Our most popular options include $0 Down, low-interest energy efficiency loans through San Diego Metropolitan Credit Union, leases and power purchase agreements, and PACE financing options such as HERO, CaliforniaFirst, and Ygrene.
5. Do You Subcontract Your Solar Installations?
You found the solar contractor that you want to work with — great — but they sent out John Doe Solar to do the installation for them. You know nothing about the company they sent to do your installation — this is not the company that you were comfortable and confident with. Talk to the companies you meet with, then ask to make sure they handle all of their own installs.
In order to maintain our commitment to the highest quality installations, we do not subcontract our work. SolarTech’s installers are clean, polite professionals who have passed background checks and drug tests. Crews arrive on the job in a timely manner in SolarTech vehicles and uniforms. They speak English and are always available for questions about the work in progress. You’ll also have a dedicated Project Manager and office team to help manage your project and answer any questions.
6. Do You Have A Good Reputation & References?
Similar to your decision on where to order pizza from, make sure to do reputation research for each of the solar contractors you’re getting bids from. Find Yelp pages, Google reviews, Facebook reviews, etc., and really get a feel for what their customers are saying about their services. Be sure to also ask your solar consultant for a list of references, that way you can contact a few to get a detailed response of their experience with the company they chose.
As an established solar contractor with over 15 years serving San Diego, our commitment to quality shows itself in our reputation and reviews. We maintain an A+ Rating as an Accredited Business with the San Diego Better Business Bureau. We have a 5-Star Yelp reputation with 70+ reviews. We’re also recognized as a top-tier contractor on Google+, Facebook, EnergySage, and SolarReviews. We offer 30+ references to call so you can hear it directly from our satisfied customers. Hiring a contractor for home improvement projects can feel like a gamble, and we want you to move forward with confidence when you choose SolarTech for your solar project.