Sunday, November 1, 2009

Choosing a Solar Company

You have decided to install a solar power system in your home. Now, if you have decided which company you want to do your installation, you want to make sure you choose a good, affordable, and reputable company who will do it right the first time.
More people are putting solar panels on homes and on commercial buildings or in sunny remote areas to capture solar energy and to use it for heating water or producing power.A household solar-electric system can be as simple as panel that powers an outdoor light or as complex as a series of roof panels that provides electricity to an entire home.

But along with the growth in solar technology have come unqualified technicians. Many Certified Electrical Contractors complain that they often have to fix others, bad jobs related to solar because often what happens is they are uncertified and looking to capitalizes on the rapid growth of the solar industry.

What do you risk if you choose a sub-prime installer?
You risk damage to your roof. Mounting solar panels is an art, and without proper flashing and installation, water can creep into your roofing system through the mounting brackets. This can cause thousands of dollars in damage-damage your homeowners insurance probably won't cover. If you choose a panel installation company that's not insured, you can be held liable if a worker injures themselves. Plus, if something goes wrong down the road ( a roof leak or a fallen panel), a fully insured company will pay for damages their installation caused to your home.

The old saying that holds true today is: You get what you pay for
If you choose the cheapest company, you may not get everything you're promised, or the installation will be sub-standard. Look for a company that has a fair amount of experience (10 years or more), and is willing to show you past projects they've completed. A truly responsible company will even let you talk to previous clients.
You're dealing with the roof over your head here and electricity for your home. It's probably worth it to pay extra for the more experienced guy. $1000 dollars less may mean thousands more in repairs for leaks or blown inverters down the road. So again, go with quality over price. That being said, if they're all experienced, insured, etc, with helpful salesman, then go with price.

Here are some steps you can follow to choose the best company for you.
1.) Licensed, Bonded, and Insured in your State. In addition to this see what class and training provide for their worker's. The company should be insured for any accidents, and have a contractor's license, as well as worker's compensation insurance.

2.) Check withe Better Business Bureau. See if there are any complaints with company or the owner of the company. Contractors will always have complaints just like any business. You can't please everyone. But if there are more than three or four in a young solar company, you better think again.

3.) Last you want to get to know the company first hand. Contact the companies you have chosen. Voice your questions and concerns to see how knowledgeable and professional they are. If they are able to answer all your question and offer up information you didn't know before, it is usually a good indication that you have contacted an experienced and reputable company. Don't for get to ask for a quote on the price and service. If you get a company that has no patience in answering your question and just keep pushing for a sale, don't bother and move on to the next one.

This Article was by Michelle At People's Natural Living:

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