The process of finding the right contractor for installing solar panels is the same for finding contractors for your other home projects. You can ask for referrals, find one from friends, family or colleagues or approach your local business for recommendation. Listing on the interent can also give you an idea about some of the solar service providers available in your area, as can advertisements on the local newspapers. But you have to look for a different set of resources available to you, along with some concerns about things specific to solar installation.
First and foremost, if you are getting an austin solar contractor to install solar panels on your roof top, consider getting bids from at least three potential professionals. With tools available online, you can also calculate the return on investment derived from these bids and make a decision based on those results. Remember that, cost of installation is just one of the many factors that should influence your decision. There are other areas to consider, such as equipment, maintenance, roof layout, solar potential and durability. The contractor you choose should be able to provide a detailed assessment of your current needs and walk you through the installation or connection process. An experienced contractor should offer best quality panels with appropriate warranties – equipment, labor and maintenance as well. Certain states require that the solar installer be certified and qualified enough to handle the job.
Because choosing wisely means these solar panel contractors are better than the rest, you need to ask the following questions:
- Is the installer NABCEP certified?
- How many installation has the installer completed?
- How many years of experience does the installer have?
and so on.
Additionally, assessing your roof condition is an important criteria in determining the type of installation. Based on the age and condition of the roof, your installer will recommend appropriate panels for installing. Whether or not the existing wiring of the house accommodates the panels is another matter to be determined. How strong are the roofs and will your house need a structural upgrade? Will you be able to monitor the panel output? What are the warranties included along with manufacturer’s? What permits are needed for solar panel installation? These are some of things to find out before zeroing in on a contractor.
It is important that you make sure that the solar installer has relevant license from the state you reside in. You can verify this at your local city department. Most installers offer labor and material warranties for up to 5 years or more. Sometimes your roof layout may require customization especially when it is unusually flat or steep. If that is the case, make room for additional cost as well. It is usually cheaper to replace worn out roof or customize it before the installation is performed.
Solar panels also offer the additional benefit of protecting the roof underneath. Most solar panels come with minimum maintenance requirements. Keeping the panels clean will not only protect them from wear and tear but help produce more electricity at the same time. And do not forget to count in solar incentives to offset the cost of installation and maintenance. Most states as well as federal government offer incredible rebates (up to 30%) for installing solar panels.