The way we power our homes is changing rapidly. Traditional utilities are slowly losing ground to solar power as more and more people choose to go off the grid.
What Is Solar Energy?
Solar energy is a form of renewable energy. In simple terms, it uses sunlight to generate heat and turn turbines to produce electricity.
The good news is that the cost of solar panels has been decreasing steadily for years. That’s because there’s been an increase in production, and more companies like Impact Solar Energy are entering the market every year. That means now’s the perfect time to go solar.
What Are the Benefits of Going Solar?
The primary benefit of going solar is saving money. You may have to invest some money upfront, but it’ll pay off very quickly since you’ll start spending less on energy.
Being environmentally friendly is another reason many people decide to switch to solar power. The technology used in solar panels doesn’t release harmful gases into the air, and using solar also reduces your carbon footprint.
Another significant benefit is that the state and federal governments provide good subsidies for those thinking of installing solar panels. You can save even more when taking advantage of tax credits, rebates, and other incentives.
You may have considered installing a home solar system as well. There are many considerations before leaping into solar power, but it’s one that more and more people are deciding to take every day.
The good news about it is that the process of going solar has never been more straightforward. When you decide that it’s time for your home to make the switch, here are ten considerations when choosing a solar company.
1. Make Sure They’re Trustworthy
The first thing you need to do is make sure that the company you’ll be working with has a good reputation and provides high-quality work. A simple Google search can tell you a lot about a company’s work and character.
There are tons of great resources readily available online customers share their experiences or opinions of different solar companies they’ve used. You can learn a lot from reading client reviews to get an idea of whether or not the company is trustworthy.
To establish trust on your end, always ask for references and see examples of their work. If they cannot provide you with any previous projects or testimonials, it might be time to go with another company.
2. Ask for Certification
Another noteworthy thing is that all solar installers are required by law to be certified. However, not all of them are. Be sure you know your solar company’s certifications precisely before working with them to ensure they’re legit and correctly get the job done.
You’ll also want to ask them about licensing in general, especially if you live in an area where licensing is required by law. Solar companies should provide you with this information quickly and any other relevant licensing.
3. Get Multiple Bids
The internet has made getting multiple bids easier than ever before. Solar companies are popping up all over the place, so you must take your time and get estimates from at least three providers before making a decision.
Just make sure that the quotes are all reasonably similar in terms of price, features, and other elements so you can be confident that you’re making your choice off of quality alone. For example, if one company offers a cheaper system but doesn’t offer as many panels or batteries as another company’s bid, go for the higher-quality system instead. It’ll cost you more upfront, but it’ll save you money in the long run when compared to a cheaper, lower-quality system that’s not as efficient or effective.
4. Understand How Solar Power Works
There are two types of solar technologies available: Photovoltaic (PV) and Thermal (T). PV panels create electricity by capturing the sun’s rays and transforming them into energy through a chemical reaction. T solar panels operate differently, but they’re still able to provide you with a reliable power source for your home or business.
There are also two types of batteries: Lithium-Ion (Li) and Deep Cycle Batteries. Li batteries are typically more expensive but are also smaller and lighter. They store a lot of energy in a compact space, making them ideal for devices like cell phones or electric cars that require more power in less physical space. Deep cycle batteries are bigger, heavier, and more powerful than Li batteries. They’re designed to be used over long periods without losing their capacity to store power. However, they’re not intended for high-powered devices like electric cars or cell phones.
You might be asked which type of battery you want your system to have when going solar. If this is the case, you must understand how each type works and determine which one best suits your needs.
5. Be Aware Of Extra Costs
You might be unaware of some costs associated with going solar. For example, some companies will not provide their system to you unless you also sign up for their monitoring service or maintenance plan. These can be expensive options, so it’s important to not agree to them sight unseen.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you’ll likely need to alter and update your home or business’s electrical system for it to work correctly with the solar energy that’ll be coursing through its veins. It can also require additional costs, so know exactly what those are before signing on the dotted line.
6. Know What Maintenance Is Required
Safety is essential for installing, maintaining, and using solar panels. Ensure that your company knows this and provides you with safe installations and thorough training so that their staff will learn how to handle any issues or emergencies that may arise surrounding them.
You should also ask them about the specific maintenance required to keep your system running in tip-top shape. This information will be different depending on the type of solar panels and batteries you choose, but it’s essential to ask about any special requirements that might exist.
For example, most solar panels require a specific number of hours in the sun each day to function correctly, while Li batteries need to be fully charged before use. You must know this ahead of time to plan accordingly and ensure your home is ready for operation.
7. Be Specific About Your Needs And Preferences
You should also tell them what you want and need from a solar company. Do you want a fixed-cost agreement, or do you prefer to pay for your power as you go? What about payment plans – do you want to make monthly, quarterly, or annual payments? Do you have a problem with a long-term contract?
When you’re speaking with your potential solar company, make sure to ask them about these issues and more. Be specific about what you want and let them know precisely how it’ll work when installing your system.
8. Know The Company Policies
Another significant thing to consider is finding out about all of a company’s policies before signing any deals. For example, some companies have minimum credit requirements that you need to meet before signing up for their services. It’s a valuable tool if they’re trying to ensure you’ll be able to make the monthly payments on time each month. However, potential customers could have this issue if your credit is poor and you’re trying to improve it by going solar.
Another policy to consider is the company’s cancellation policy. What will happen if something significant changes your financial situation and you can’t afford a solar power system anymore? Will they return any of your money, or will you be required to pay the entire balance even though you no longer have an active solar power system in your home?
9. Be Realistic About Your Power Usage
Solar companies can tell you how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity their system is capable of generating in a day. However, they can’t know how many kWh’s you need in a day since that’ll depend on your energy requirements.
For example, if the system is designed to provide 50 kWh per day, but your home requires 130 kWh per day, it won’t meet the demand. That doesn’t mean it’s an inherently flawed system – it simply means you’ll need to get an upgrade your system for it to function correctly.
It’s necessary to have a realistic understanding of your energy requirements to avoid over-estimate the system’s potential. Understanding limitations and expectations ahead of time will help everyone have a better experience.
10. Get Everything In Writing
Lastly, it’s always a safe move to get everything in writing. That includes all conversations with the sales representative, what you agreed upon, and any warranty information.
If anything goes wrong and you need to claim your solar system (which should be minimal), then you’ll want to have accurate information with evidence to back it up.
Some companies will offer guarantees for their solar systems, but others won’t. It depends on the quality of the team members you’re working with and what they’re able to offer in terms of valuable warranties.
Your solar company should go to great lengths to make sure you understand everything about your solar system, how it works, and what you can expect from its services. All information should be readily available for you to read through at your convenience. They should also provide you with detailed materials for even customers with no prior experience in the solar industry to understand.
The company that’s best suited for your home solar power system is the one you feel entirely comfortable with. By following this list of suggestions, you’ll be able to find the best solar company in your area that meets all your needs.