Today, solar power is within the reach of any homeowner as solar installations have not only become affordable, but they can significantly decrease the amount of money you spend on energy each month. Nevertheless, installing solar power can be quite an investment and like any important home project, it’s important to ensure it’s done right.
If you’re considering solar power as an option for your home, here are some important questions you should ask solar companies.
What kind of solar installation is on your own roof?
When I first started working with solar companies some years ago, one of the things that I immediately noticed, which I thought was a great sign, was that most of the owners or sales staff who owned their own home had solar installed themselves. This is not something I’ve seen in all industries.
It’s always great to know a baker eats his own cakes! Not only did they believe in solar and their company enough to get their own solar installation, but it made financial sense at a personal level, which is what you as a homeowner want as well!
Now, if the solar consultant doesn’t have his own solar installation, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t a good company or that they will do a poor solar installation. After all, they could be working to get a new roof before they install solar, or maybe they don’t own the home they live in and so forth. But it’s always great to know that the person you are speaking to has their own solar installation and that they are themselves happy with it!
What Size Solar Installation Do I Need To Maximize My Savings?
This question not only tests the solar company’s ability to property plan your future solar installation, but it also gives you an idea of how much roof space you’ll need, if you can offset all your energy costs with solar power, and most importantly how much your solar power system is going to cost.
Unfortunately, I’ve seen many solar consultants promise away a 100% offset or that a certain number of panels will provide you with “more than enough” solar power.
To answer this question, the solar company is going to need to collect information and do their own study and planning. They’ll need to review:
- Your energy bills to understand your monthly and yearly energy usages and usage patterns.
- What parts of your roof receive the most amount of sun, at what angles to place solar panels, and how many solar panels can fit where.
- Any surplus solar power that you will create and feed back to the grid, that will in turn help you offset months where you use more energy.
- What utility you use and what their energy rates are so that they can properly project and predict your savings.
Watch out for solar consultants who give your home a quick look and tell you that they’ll be able to cover your energy needs with a solar installation.
Fortunately, at Ensolar we use a special 3D software that employs satellite information and artificial intelligence to plan your entire solar project as long as we have some basic information from you.
Are You a Licensed Solar Panel Installer?
This one sounds all too obvious, but you would be surprised! With a large consumer-level boom in the solar industry, many solar companies are not in fact licensed installers and are just brokers or sales companies who in turn employ a solar installer to do their solar installations.
A more direct version of this question would be if they are doing the solar installation themselves or are they going to sub-contract the work.
If they are not installing the solar panels themselves, no matter what guarantees they make, most of the actual work and equipment will not actually be guaranteed by them and should anything go wrong or should you need any help, or have questions after the installation is complete, you’ll find them unable to assist you and you’ll be stuck between them and the installer, or the panel manufacturer.