Harnessing the energy from the sun is great for the environment and your wallet, which is why Californians across the state are opting to upgrade their homes and businesses with solar panels. If you’re considering doing the same, then you’re going to need to find a California solar company you can trust.
Although the solar industry is still young, there are reputable companies out there that can provide great products and services. You can even find those that sell American-made solar panels, allowing you to help the U.S. economy at the same time you’re reducing your carbon footprint.
If you’re on the search for California solar companies, but aren’t sure which to choose, then allow the following tips to guide you.
Experience is Everything
Again, the solar panel industry is still in its infancy, but is quickly growing in popularity. This means there are a lot of so-called experts emerging that don’t have any real experience. The company you choose to install your solar panels should have a strong background in the industry. You’d be better off paying more with a company with over 20 years of experience than going with the cheaper guy with only two years of experience.
Ask for References
It doesn’t really count when someone boasts about their own work. This is why references are so important. If others will vouch for their work, then they’re a professional worth considering. Ask to see the past work performed by the company and/or to speak to past clients. Most established solar companies in California will have a portfolio and testimonials they can show you.
Consider Buying American-Made Solar Panels
Quality is hard to come by these days, especially since most factories have been sent overseas. Many solar businesses sell panels that come from China and other countries from around the world. Buying U.S.-made panels helps guarantee quality and helps support American businesses.
Determine if they’re Licensed and Insured
The company you decide to do business with should be licensed, bonded and insured. This is one of the first questions you should ask before considering hiring a business. Ask to see proof or inquire about their license number. Also, make sure their license is valid within the state of California.
Obtain At Least Three Quotes
Shopping around for the best deal is more than just about who can offer the lowest price. It’s about getting the best quality product from a quality installer at a price that won’t break your budget. The California solar company you interview should offer assistance with determining what you can afford. You want to be smart about the cost of the solar panels you purchase.
Check the BBB
The Better Business Bureau is still a great resource for finding out the quality of a company before you do business with them. Go to the website and look up the company names of the contractors you’re considering.
Go Over the Solar Warranty
This is where things can get pretty shady, so make sure you ask the company to shed light on the details of their warranties. Most will offer warranties for 20 to 25 years, sometimes longer. However, there are key components that may have shorter warranties, such as the inverter.
Consider Your Finances
Solar panels is a solution that can help drive down your electric, if not eliminate it altogether. However, you need to determine the monthly costs for both to ensure you can afford it. If needed, you can start off with a few solar panels, then work your way up.
Think Twice About Solar Leasing
The idea of leasing solar panels seems like a good idea at first, but when you look at the long-term aspects of doing so, you will see that this is a waste of money. When you lease solar panels, you’re never going to own them, which means you’ll have that bill forever (or two bills if it doesn’t offset 100 percent of your utility bill).
Find a Solar Company with Great Financing
The next best option would be to find a California solar company that offers financing options. You can find those that offer as low as $0 down and 0 percent interest rates for the first five years. Explore your options before signing the dotted line.