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Choosing the Right Solar Installer

Oct 24, 2019

Choosing your solar installer is an exciting step on any solar journey. But there are a lot of companies to choose from — and you’re probably wondering which one is right for you.

It’s important to pick an installer that’s experienced, reliable, and willing to meet your installation needs. Enphase wants you to be prepared and knowledgeable before you pick your installer, so you can be sure you’re getting the solar experience you deserve. Here’s a simple breakdown of what to look for when selecting an installation company for your solar project.

Credentials

We recommend solar companies that are certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). This certification is considered the gold standard, and these installers will provide proven expertise. Some companies have been around since before the NABCEP certification was introduced and may not have their certification. If this is the case, it’s important to refer to follow-up reviews from previous customers to make sure your solar installer provides top-quality installation.

Equipment

A solar installer may seem like a great fit by every other standard, but if they’re offering less than optimal equipment, you may want to consider looking elsewhere. Your solar equipment will be on your roof powering your home for decades to come — so ensure that the system they recommend is reliable and safe. Ask them to show you documented efficiency and quality ratings for the equipment they use, and feel free to ask about products offered by Enphase.

Service Quality & Experience

Longevity doesn’t always point to quality — a solar company should be able to prove their experience delivering outstanding workmanship and professional service. One of the best ways to ensure you’re getting a reliable company is to review an installer’s previous projects. Ideally, your solar installer should be able to provide information about past installations with references to homes and projects that might resemble your own. You can also turn to customer reviews. Keep in mind that the years of service under a company’s belt can be a good measure of a company’s reliability.

Licenses 

The right business licenses are crucial for an installer. These will vary by state, but you’ll want to look for companies that can provide general contracting, electrician, and home improvement business licenses. Also, keep warranties in mind. Your installer should have general liability insurance. Luckily you won’t have to worry about permits. The solar company is responsible for obtaining all the necessary permits and scheduling any required inspections for your project. A good installer will be sure to keep you informed as this process unfolds.

Product and Labor Warranties

High-quality solar panels and inverters are durable — built to last for years. But you may eventually experience some malfunction with your system. Basic performance warranties will cover the repair panels and inverters. These usually last around 25 years. The best installers will offer additional workmanship warranties which cover the design and construction of your system. These warranties ordinarily last up to 10 years and are important for the long-term support of your system.

Financing Options

Solar can be an expensive investment. Luckily financing options are available for just about anyone who wants to go solar. Your installer should have multiple financing options available to you to accommodate your installation needs. They should be able to clearly explain each payment option and assist you in finding the best one for your financial situation. Your installer may suggest using their preferred lender to finance your solar project. While this can be convenient for some homeowners, you can also choose your own lender.

Consider Your Options

Be sure to carefully consider your options before settling on an installer. We recommend getting multiple quotes from different installation companies and then choosing a company that’s willing to meet your needs. And don’t be swayed by extras thrown in for “value-adds” — your installer should focus primarily on high-quality core components and solid warranties.

Solar is a long-term investment, so it’s important to choose an installer you trust — one that’s responsive, flexible, and informative. When you look for these standards, you’ll be sure to find a great company that will install your system smoothly and ensure it runs well for decades.

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