The US is now home to more than 2 million solar installations. This number is expected to double by 2023.
There are a variety of other benefits of solar energy. That said, not all solar panel designs are created the same. With such a large investment, you want to be sure to weigh all the options.
Keep reading to learn about important considerations you should take when picking solar services for your home.
Solar Installation Experience
It’s a good idea to check how long a company has been in business. A longer span will point to a higher experience level and greater customer satisfaction.
This does not mean newer companies with less experience will not provide a great service. It simply means it will be riskier than going with an established operation.
Some smaller construction companies just throw in solar services without full training. This will likely result in cheap products and poor installation.
References and Reviews
It can be good to check with family, friends, or community groups for contractors they endorse.
There is also a wealth of information available online between search engines, pages like Yelp, and local blog sites. Trusted companies should have a variety of recent, positive references and reviews.
For example, someone living in Colorado Springs could search “solar providers near me” and quickly come up with a well-reviewed company in the area.
Specifics will vary on solar panel designs, but there are generally two main pieces of equipment: modules and inverters.
The efficiency of modules can help distinguish good equipment from poor equipment. Generally speaking, less than 16 percent efficiency is poor.
You also may want to check the performance testing conditions (PTC) rating of a panel. This will inform you of what the panel produces in real-world conditions, rather than in standard testing conditions (in a lab).
Comparing Installation Costs
The best way for comparing installation costs is to divide the cost by the total wattage of the project. This will tell you the price per watt of the system and installation.
This should be calculated using the gross cost, meaning no incentives are included. This way, comparing quotes is more accurate and the numbers are not skewed by incentives.
Warranties will vary, though most last five to 10 years from installation.
However, some contractors will offer warranties as long as 20-25 years from installation. These options will likely cover the lifetime of the system.
Although, extended warranties and will likely increase your overall costs.
Buying vs. Leasing Panels
Buying may be more beneficial in the long run, as you will own the panels for their entire lifespan.
This way, the installation company cannot place restrictions on the panels. This comes in handy for government or utility company-backed incentives that may otherwise be forfeited if you do not own the panels.
However, leasing requires less money upfront. This might be a better path for those without enough capital to buy them outright but would like a head-start in the industry.
Picking Solar Services for Your Home
When comparing solar panel designs and installers, be sure to shop around for the best value.
This does not necessarily mean the lowest cost. Rather, select the company that provides the best bang for your buck. Keeping the above considerations in mind will ensure picking solar services to benefit your home for years to come.
If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out more of our home improvement guides!