Article originally posted on zillow.com on April 27th, 2022
Considering residential solar installation for your home? Ask these questions to help avoid common pitfalls.
Solar power can be an attractive prospect for homeowners and shoppers. Home solar technology offers resilience, electricity bill savings and more energy independence. For the environmentally conscious, it provides an eco-friendly alternative to existing electricity sources. What’s more, Zillow research indicates listings that highlight eco-friendly features sell up to 10 days faster, and homes with solar panels can sell for 1.4% more.
But shopping or even researching home solar installation services can often feel daunting. Aggressive, misleading advertising and predatory practices abound, some of which even bear official-sounding names and exploit government programs meant to incentivize green home improvements.'
1. Is my home suitable for home solar?
While exceptions to this rule exist (more on that later), you’ll enjoy the most benefit from home solar if you’re a homeowner who lives in a single-family home and has access to roof space or land that’s not shaded from trees or other obstructions.
There are other considerations. South-facing roof surfaces or ground arrays will generate energy most efficiently, but you can utilize solar energy regardless of the direction your roof surfaces face. Your climate matters — the more sunny days your roof sees, the more electricity you can generate — but solar can be viable in even the most overcast skies of the United States.
Takeaway: Homeowners of single-family homes that have unshaded roof space or land are in the best position to benefit from a professional solar system installation, but other options exist.
2. How do I find a reputable installer?
The experts we talked to repeatedly pointed to installers as the vanguards of a quality system installation and results. It pays, they say, to find one with a quality reputation.
A reputable installer should be able to answer all of your questions and concerns, whether they’re about incentives, storage and batteries, your potential return on investment, or financing. Do the due diligence: Read the fine print and get everything in writing. With solar energy system installation, the old saying holds: If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
“The number one thing is to look at installers’ experience,” says EnergySage’s Aggarwal. “Number two is the quality of their team. What kind of training do they have? Do they have in-house installation teams, or do they outsource it to someone else? Do they carry the industry-leading certification from an organization called NABCEP? What kind of insurance do they have? Do they have all their licenses up to date?”
Then, just like you would any other business, check their online reviews. “Check the reviews on Yelp or any other trusted, third-party platform,” says Aggarwal.
Other things to assess, says Aggarwal, are the warranties that installers offer and the quality of equipment they install. “Is it top of the line, middle of the line, or economy class? And are they a recommended dealer for the major manufacturers?”
“The number one thing is to look at installers’ experience.” – Vikram Aggarwal, CEO and founder of EnergySage
Lastly — and this is a big one — can your installer provide references? At the least, their website should show testimonials from real people. But better yet, they should be able to connect you to happy customers who’ll vouch for them.
Takeaway: Evaluate an installer before you agree to work with them. Get at least three quotes to compare. Here’s a short list of factors to consider:
- Team training (team should be in-house, not outsourced)
- Team experience
- Third-party reviews
Click on the link below to see all 4 other considerations and the full article: Link