May 5, 2024

How To Pick Out The Best Local Solar Installers

Solar Energy

Picking the right local solar installers can feel like a big task. You want someone who knows their stuff, doesn't charge you too much, and gets the job done right. Think of it as finding a good mechanic but for your house's energy needs.

Solar panels aren't cheap; on average, they might set you back around $27,000. But prices swing wildly from as little as $4,500 to a whopping $54,000 depending on a lot of stuff like how big your system is or where your house sits on the map.

In places like Los Angeles and Asheville, NC, people have found some pretty top-notch companies based on what past customers say about them - talking about everything from how well they do their job to keeping costs under control with no nasty surprises.

And let's not forget that in California there are specific rules (California Title 24) you gotta know if you're thinking about getting solar panels for your new home.

Plus here’s an interesting bit: going with local folks for installing your solar setup might actually save you some cash—about 10% less than what the bigger national companies might ask for.

Before saying "yes" to anyone, make sure to check they’re allowed to do this kind of work (think licensing and insurance), see if other people were happy with their work and compare different quotes because knowledge about local stuff matters a ton.

Also? Ask loads of questions! Like how they talk to you when things are happening, what happens if something breaks down—who fixes it? Can they help make paying easier on your wallet? How do they track that everything's working A-OK and deal with power company headaches? Oh! And can they show proof they've made other folks happy?

Ready to learn more? Let's jump in!

Table of Contents:

Key Takeaways: 

✦ Start your search for solar installers online, using websites like SolaReviews and checking the Better Business Bureau.

✦ Review licenses, certifications, and insurance to make sure your installer is qualified. Double-check their credentials.

✦ Look at reviews from other customers to learn about their experiences. Choose companies with good feedback and a lot of experience.

✦ Compare quotes from several providers considering costs, quality of products, local knowledge, and services offered.

✦ Ask potential installers important questions about customer service, warranties, financial options available to you, how they handle issues with power companies, their team's expertise, and proof of success in past projects.

Identifying Local Solar Installers in Your Area

Finding the right company to set up your solar panels is a big step. You want the best team who knows a lot about solar power in your area. Here's how you can spot them:

  1. Start by searching online for "solar installers near me." Websites like Solar Reviews are great for this. They list many companies and give you a lot of information.
  2. Check out local business listings and directories. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) website is a good place to look for reputable businesses.
  3. Ask friends or family who have gone solar for their suggestions. Personal recommendations can lead you to great options you might not find otherwise.
  4. Look for trucks and signs in your neighborhood. Companies working nearby are often easy to talk to and quick to respond.
  5. Pay attention to reviews on websites like Trustpilot or even social media pages of the companies. This gives you an idea of what other people think of their service.
  6. See if they're listed with any professional bodies or have any special certifications, such as being NABCEP certified, which means they know their stuff when it comes to solar setups.
  7. Go to local home shows or community events focused on clean energy or sustainable living, where many solar companies show off their services.
  8. Use tools like the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) website to understand more about solar power and who provides it in your area.

These steps will help you find skilled professionals close by who can install your solar panels just right and make use of incentives available in your region, like the federal solar tax credit, that could save you money on installation costs.

Evaluating Solar Installers

Picking the right team to set up your solar power system is key. You'll want to check if they have the proper papers, know their stuff, and come with good feedback from other customers.

Checking Licensing, Certification and Insurance

Make sure the solar installer has the right papers. This means they should have a license, certificates, and insurance. A license shows they can work in your area. Certificates prove they know their stuff about solar systems.

Insurance keeps you safe if something goes wrong.

Always double-check the credentials of your solar service team.

Now, some might think all this checking sounds like a lot of homework. But hey, it's your money and house on the line! You want to be sure that these folks are up to snuff. So take that extra step: look them up, ask for proof, and feel secure in your choice.

Reviewing Installers' Experience and Customer Reviews

Checking out what other people say about a solar installer can guide you. Good and bad reviews give clues on who to trust with your solar panel setup. People often share if installers were on time, friendly, and knew their stuff.

They talk about how the work turned out and if it was worth the cost. This feedback is like a sneak peek at what you might get.

Companies that have been doing this for years tend to know more tricks of the trade. Experience matters because things seldom go exactly as planned. Look at companies' past projects to see their skills in action.

Sunpower stands out for its top-notch service and long-lasting guarantees, while Solar Price Discovery Inc offers great deals by keeping an eye on quality and costs 24/7. Trusting your gut after reading reviews can lead you to the right team for your sun-based energy needs.

Comparing Solar Quotes and Local Knowledge

Alright, so you're in the market for some solar panels, and you want the best bang for your buck, right? You're probably wondering how to go about comparing the myriad of quotes floating around out there. And let's not forget the local know-how that could either make or break your solar investment. So, let's get into the nitty-gritty of it.

Aspect Why It Matters Tips
Costs No one wants to overpay, especially when you learn the average cost to install solar panels in a city like Asheville, NC is $2.76/W. Get multiple bids. Use platforms like Solar Reviews to compare local and national installer prices.
Local Knowledge Local installers know your area's weather and roof types. They're like your neighborhood coffee shop; they just get you. Go for installers with solid experience in your community. They'll tailor the solution to your local climate.
Customer Reviews Hearing from folks who've already taken the plunge can guide you away from potential headaches. Read up! Not just on their website, but check out third-party review sites too for the unfiltered scoop.
Quality of Products Better equipment lasts longer and performs better. Simples. Ask about the brands of panels and inverters. Do a quick search on their reliability and warranty terms.
Service You're not just buying panels; you're entering a long-term relationship. You want it to be a good one. How's their after-sale support? Ask about maintenance, warranty claims, and who to call when you've got questions.

Wrapping your head around the multitude of quotes can feel like a chore, but it's key in making an informed decision. Remember, national solar estimates might be about 10% higher than the local guys. And considering that homeowners in Asheville can save an average of $17,927 over 20 years by choosing solar over the utility company, those numbers are nothing to sneeze at. Using tools like solar calculators can help simplify this process, making it easier to compare your options side by side.

And hey, don't underestimate the value of local knowledge. Those local installers? They've got the inside scoop on everything from the best equipment for your area's climate to navigating local permits (because yes, that's a thing).

So, armed with these tips and a bit of savvy, you're well on your way to picking the best solar installer for your needs. And remember, the sun is always shining somewhere; let's make sure it's on your solar panels.

Key Questions to Ask Potential Installers

Picking the right solar installer can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. You want someone who gets the job done well, without breaking the bank.

Here are some important questions to throw their way:

  1. What kind of customer service do you offer? You'll want to know how they handle questions or issues before and after your sun power system goes up. Good communication is key. Do they give you updates via phone, email, or maybe even a fancy app?
  2. Can you tell me about your warranties? This one's big because it deals with protecting your investment. Ask about what guarantees they have on their work and the equipment they install. This could cover anything from minor repairs to bigger issues with your sun panels or inverters.
  3. What financial options do you provide? Solar isn't cheap, and not everyone has the cash lying around. Check if they offer loans, leases, or Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). Each has its pros and cons, depending on what you're looking for.
  4. How do you handle power company challenges? Sometimes setting up new solar systems can get tangled in red tape with local utility companies. It's good to know how your installer deals with these issues when they pop up.
  5. What expertise does your team bring to the table? You're looking for quality work from people who have been there and done that. See if they can share stories of past jobs or customer reviews.
  6. Do you offer any proof of success with past projects? Testimonials or references from happy customers can give you peace of mind that you're making the right choice.

These questions help clear the air and ensure you team up with an installer who meets all your solar needs—from understanding incentives like tax credits to ensuring your panels keep soaking up those rays for years to come!

Closing Thoughts

Finding the best local solar power companies means doing a bit of homework. Make sure they have the right papers, know what they're talking about, and show you some love with good reviews and fair prices.

Ask them tough questions like how long they've been hooking up solar panels and if your roof gets enough sun for it to make sense. And hey, don't forget to chat about the money stuff - grants, loans, and payback times can all help make your solar dream a reality without breaking the bank.

Go on, get out there and give those local installers a good look!

If you live in the midsouth U.S. and want to go solar, Shine Solar can save you the trouble and get you the best solar installation for your home or business. We have all the Licensing, Certification, and Insurance you will need, plus an expert team with more than 7 years of experience and the support and good reviews of our thousands of clients. We assure you than if you are in the midsouth U.S., when it comes to local solar companies, we are the best local solar company for you.

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If you are considering going solar, the first step is to get a solar savings report to determine if solar is right for you and your home. Click the button below to get your solar savings report now!

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Nick Gorden

Nick Gorden is the Co-founder and CEO of Shine Solar. Nick’s energy, enthusiasm, and leadership is contagious and has contributed to attracting a talented and successful executive team. His time is focused on strategic growth, maintaining profitability and creating the optimal customer experience. Nick has started, managed and sold companies within the communications, mortgage lending, insurance and real estate industries resulting in tens of millions of dollars of market value to investors.

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