Solar energy is nothing new or revolutionary anymore. People have been using it for years now. But, it can still be tough to install a home solar energy system of your own.
If you’ve been considering having a home solar system for a while now, you might be wondering who can install solar panels for you. The truth is that there are quite a few mistakes you can make when it comes to hiring a home solar contractor.
Not Researching the Contractors’ Credentials
One big mistake when looking for options for solar contractors is not researching the contractor. Consumers should look into the history of the company, check references, and see if they have licensure. Verify if the contractor has insurance. It should include workers’ compensation, property insurance, and other coverage required.
Researching the contractor’s credentials may also help to determine the competency of the company and its reputation within the solar contracting industry. Ask pertinent questions to the contractor, and insist on using a written contract to ensure expectations are met. Make sure to compare and contrast all bids before committing to any contract.
Ignoring Customer Reviews and References
Hiring a home solar contractor is an important decision. It can be easy to forget the importance of examining customer reviews and references. It is important to take the time to read reviews, interview past customers, and ask for references. Neglecting to do so can result in costly mistakes. Not only will poor customer service be a problem, but the quality of the job may also be subpar.
If you take the time to investigate potential contractors beforehand, you can ensure the quality of the job. You can also gauge customer service. This is especially important if the contractor is across the country, as you won’t be able to check their work afterward. Thus, it is vital never to ignore customer reviews and references when hiring a home solar contractor.
Failing to Compare Multiple Quotes
Homeowners should be comparing solar installation costs. Making sure to get various contractor quotes not only about services and prices. They should also check the brand, warranties, installation timeframes, and customer service. By doing so, homeowners can ensure they are getting the best service for their money.
Homeowners should not hesitate to ask potential home solar contractors for references. It will provide insight into the contractors’ reputation. Failing to check the contractor’s background can lead to the hiring of a contractor who is ill-equipped to get the desired outcome.
Not Cleaning The Solar Panels
Purchasing home solar panels and hiring a solar contractor is a great way to go green and reduce electricity costs. Unfortunately not cleaning solar panels properly may result in sunlight being blocked, resulting in decreased efficiency and potentially higher electricity costs. You can also research online for more information on solar panel cleaning services provided by contractors.
To prevent this, it is essential to hire a contractor who is willing to commit to keeping the solar panels clean and free of debris. During the hiring process, ask the contractor what type of maintenance they plan to do, how often it will be scheduled, and how the cleaning process will be conducted.
Check reviews to make sure the contractor’s past customers have had a satisfactory experience. Doing this research ahead of time will help ensure one is hiring the best solar contractor and avoiding costly mistakes.
Overlooking Warranties and Guarantees
One mistake that many homeowners make is overlooking warranties and guarantees on solar systems. Some installers may offer a substandard or limited warranty on their services, or no warranty at all. When shopping for a contractor, read reviews, ask questions, and look for companies that offer warranties of at least five or more years on their systems and any workmanship completed.
Verify who will be responsible for maintenance and repair if anything fails to ensure that the company stands behind its product and services. Be sure to ask about the options the company provides for the latest technology in solar panels and other components.
Neglecting to Ask About Maintenance and Support
One of the most common mistakes people make when hiring a home solar contractor is neglecting to ask about maintenance and support. It is essential that you not only have purchased quality equipment but also that you have access to quality maintenance and support services. The solar system may malfunction or even stop working altogether.
It is important to ask questions about provisions for maintenance and support services over the lifetime of the system. Ask about specific details such as who will be responsible for the upkeep of the equipment and how the company provides maintenance and support services.
Investigate what maintenance and support services are available, ensuring there are qualified professionals available to diagnose and fix any issues. Always do your research so that you can find a reliable home solar contractor who provides quality products with excellent maintenance and support services. Click here for more information about cleaning your solar panels.
Not Assessing the Contractors’ Financial Stability
Without knowing their financial security, you can risk hiring someone without experience, insufficient resources, or less than satisfactory customer service. There are a few ways to avoid hiring someone who could potentially leave your project plagued with problems.
Make sure to get a complete overview of the contractor’s background, including past customer reviews, financial standing, and even copies of the company’s certifications. When looking for a good contractor try to find someone with references from people you trust, like a close family member or a friend. If you can, try to book a face-to-face meeting with the contractor and inquire about their levels of insurance.
Making a Decision Solely Based on Price
Making a decision solely based on price can be a costly mistake. It ignores other important factors that could potentially lead to subpar results. This could include contractors with inadequate experience, inexperienced installers, no references or reviews, deferred maintenance, or insufficient insurance coverage.
To avoid these mistakes, research potential contractors thoroughly. Ask friends and family for referrals, take your time reading online reviews, and ask for proof of their certifications and license. Request a record of installations that they are completed and a portfolio of their work. Get at least three written estimates for the project, then compare not only the cost but factors such as service contracts and warranties.
Forgetting to Review the Contract
Before you sign on with a specific contractor, it is important to look over the contract carefully. You should make sure that the installation requirements, timeline, warranties, maintenance terms, and costs are all clearly stated in the contract.
You should review cancellation policies in case you decide you need to terminate the services of the contractor before they finish. If there are any discounts or other incentives, make sure they are outlined in the contract before signing.
Not Understanding the Financing Options
One big mistake that people make is not considering the full cost of the project and how it will be paid for in the long run. In addition to the upfront costs of the project, there are also monthly payments and energy credits to consider. You should also ask how the financing works in order to get the best deal possible.
You want to make sure the home solar contractor is insured and that they have experience doing similar projects. Be sure to ask about warranties and read the fine print in order to ensure you understand the full consequences of the project.
Here are some of the common financing options when installing solar panels.
Paying with cash up front means not having to worry about interest rates or monthly payments. Cash also avoids costly loan and financing fees. Utilizing cash can help keep costs down, as savings can be invested in more renewable energy sources. It allows for more efficient solar panels to be installed.
Energy from the sun is abundant, free, and often available in areas where electricity is not. This provides another way for people to generate and use power without relying on utility companies or expensive installation fees. This opens the door to larger solar panel systems and better energy efficiency overall.
By taking out a solar loan, homeowners can lower their payments overall. They are often able to get the entire cost of their panel installation covered upfront. Solar loans require homeowners to make monthly payments with an interest rate.
Solar lenders will provide a fixed interest rate and offer payment options that may include either a fixed monthly payment or pay-as-you-go plans. Solar panel financing options such as solar loans are becoming increasingly more viable and accessible.
Solar Leases or Power Purchase Agreements (PPA)
Solar leases and PPAs are attractive to homeowners as they offer zero money down and guarantee maintenance and repairs. Solar leases can provide savings of up to 10% on monthly electricity bills. It may include an annual rate increase locked in upfront.
Solar PPAs offer savings in the form of a fixed-rate energy contract. It can include the option to prepay upfront to get even more savings. Both options require a long-term commitment of up to 20 years and could require you to pay a cancellation fee if you decide to switch to a different provider.
Cash-out refinance is one of the most popular options. It enables homeowners to access cash from their existing mortgage and use the proceeds to finance a solar installation. With this type of loan, the homeowner uses the equity they’ve built in their home to finance the solar project. The repayment of the loan comes in monthly installments.
The cash-out refinance loan can provide instant cash, along with long-term financing. This loan can allow homeowners to enjoy the immediate rewards of a more energy-efficient home. All the while reducing their long-term monthly electricity bills. The cash-out refinance loan will not require a large down payment. The equity built into the property can be used as the loan’s collateral.
With a HELOC, homeowners can take out a loan that uses the equity from their house. These loans work similarly to credit cards. It allows homeowners to use the funds as needed. One advantage of using a HELOC to pay for solar panels is the low-interest rate.
HELOCs have lower rates than typical loans, which can help keep the cost of solar panels down. Another advantage of a HELOC is the option of variable rates. Homeowners can benefit from the lower rates if the rate of the loan goes down. HELOCs provide flexible payment terms, allowing the homeowner to choose how much they want to pay each month.
By renting solar equipment, homeowners avoid the high upfront investment needed to purchase a system outright. This financing option is essentially a lease and homeowners are not responsible for the system maintenance and repairs. The homeowner pays a monthly fee in exchange for the ability to generate solar electricity for their home.
The monthly payments are typically lower than what a homeowner would pay for their regular electricity, and they are often protected from future rate increases.
Solar panel renting is also attractive for renters or those with limited funds, as no funds are needed upfront, making it a great way to start taking advantage of solar energy. With a solar rental, you can reap the benefits of solar without committing to a large investment.
Avoid These Common Mistakes When Hiring a Home Solar Contractor
It’s important to do your research thoroughly before hiring a home solar contractor. Verify the contractor’s references, read customer reviews, and verify their licensing and insurance.
Make sure you understand the estimate and the payment schedule. A good contractor should be able to provide you with the answers to all of your questions. Hire a reliable, professional contractor that can help you make the best decision for your home solar project.