Are you thinking of getting solar panels in the Bay Area?
With over 1.47 million solar panels in the US, you're not the only one making this smart investment. But to get the most out of a solar panel installation, you need to get it done right. And finding a trusted, local solar panel installer can be tricky.
Don't worry, we're here to help! Read on for these things to look for when choosing solar installers in Bay Area.
Check They're Licensed
Some states have requirements for specialized solar licenses for installers. Others cover solar installation within the standard electrician's licensing. Some states even only need an installer to have a general contractor's license, or no licensing at all.
Check California's requirements before you start looking for Bay Area solar installers. You must be informed and know the right licenses to ask for. California is they're a state that requires a specific C-46 Solar Contractor license.
Ask any company you're considering for their license number. In California, you can check this number online to verify they have the right licenses in place. You'll see if the license is up-to-date, and California also records more details. For example, you'll be able to see if a company has any license violations against its name.
What Do the Warranties Cover and How Long Do They Last?
If something happens to go wrong with your solar panels, it's important to know where you stand. There will be several warranties that come with your panels.
Some will cover parts and components from the manufacturer. Others will be workmanship warranties from the installer. Workmanship warranties cover the work your installer does.
Usually, you're looking at a warranty period of 1-10 years for these. Make sure to ask your trusted solar installer how long it lasts and what it covers. Find out if anything is excluded too, and if any extra costs could crop up.
Will They Tailor Their Systems to Suit Your Home's Needs?
When it comes to finding the best solar installers, you want one who is versatile and willing to work with you. If your home isn't conventional or has extra needs, can they accommodate this? Do they have the knowledge and experience to deliver high-quality customer installations?
When you're looking into your options, make sure you know what your needs are. Then find an installer who understands these needs, and is willing to work with them. A consultative, professional experience is vital, so you know how solar will work for you.
Don't Consider Price Alone
Saving money is something we all want to do, and you want to make sure you're getting the most out of your investment. But the cheapest quote for solar panels isn't always the best one.
There is a big difference in installation and equipment quality to consider. It's important to do your research into the equipment you'll get for the price they quote. Also, check the level of detail you can expect too.
Compare quotes and look into the companies online. The best installer could end up being the cheapest, or they might sit in the middle of your quote price ranges. Note that the highest price doesn't guarantee the highest quality.
Choose a Local Company With Experience
While everyone starts somewhere, it's better to choose a company with experience. You can find their experience by checking the California state licensing board. You can also check how long they've been in business.
The more experience a company has, the better they're able to handle the tech they're installing. And there is security, as it shows they're more likely to still be in business if you need to claim on your warranty.
In California, the climate and success of solar provided a mature solar market. So you're more likely to find companies with 10 years or more in the business.
Read the Reviews
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a good start for trusted reviews but it works differently from other sites. BBB collects customer complaints and will mediate for both parties.
A complaint could highlight serious issues with a company, or it could be an innocent mistake. Make sure you take care to read the complaints in full to check if it's a real concern or not.
You can also lookup the company website to see if they have any testimonials. Be aware though, that on their websites, businesses will often only show the best of their reviews. You can also look at other review sites like Angie's List and ConsumerAffairs.
But take these reviews with a pinch of salt. Online reviews can get manipulated, and some sites are "pay-to-play." This means the companies are paying to feature on those sites. More trustworthy sites to look at include Google and Yelp.
Don't Feel Pressured into Purchasing
If you see staff working on commission, this isn't a red flag on its own. Many honest, best-practice solar installers have staff that works on commission.
What presents a red flag is when the salesperson uses high-pressure tactics.
This is a sign that a company values the number of orders rather than providing a quality service. Here are some examples of tactics to watch out for:
- Telemarketing and door-to-door sales (especially focusing on older residents).
- Using no-money-down financing schemes to push a decision
- Pushing to sign a contract without letting you look it over or research yourself
- Telling you standard solar is a good fit for your home when other companies said differently.
When it comes to how to choose a solar installer, smaller local companies are often better. They're less likely to use high-pressure tactics as they care about local reputation. It's where all their business is.
The best solar installers in the Bay Area care about their community. They want to provide quality service and do right by all their local customers.
Solar Installers in Bay Area: Get It Right
So, there you have it! Now you know these tips, you'll be sure to find the perfect solar installers in Bay Area for your needs.
Make sure you shop around and get quotes. It's tempting to go with the lowest offer, but make sure you're getting the quality you want to be included. Check reviews and choose an installer with the right amount of experience. This isn't a decision to get pressured into, take your time, do your research, and pick the company that works for you.
If you're looking to have solar panels installed in the Bay Area, contact us today! At SimplySolar, we have the knowledge and experience to suit all your solar needs.