How to Choose a Solar Company

Bastian PVIn Recent years, the state of Utah has become saturated with solar companies.  There are 52 companies that are registered and listed with the Utah Solar Energy Association and approximately another 43 which are not. With 95 Solar companies throughout the state, it can be difficult to find which ones will give you a quality product, perform the installation properly, and be around to service the system for years to come.

With 95 solar companies in Utah installing different products, which each claiming they are superior to their competitor’s products, it is very important for the consumer to do their due diligence and research the products each company proposes to install. There are a few factors to consider when selecting a solar panel and inverter (or inverters) that will be on your home for 25 years. A question of growing importance for homeowners, as some manufacturers struggle to keep the doors open, is “Will this equipment manufacturer be around to honor their 20-25 year warranty?”. This question is hard to answer regarding many newer manufacturers in the industry, but it is a safe bet that manufacturers such as Hyundai and LG, who have been around for years, will likely not be going out of business soon. Also, as with any big purchase, it is important to research some specifications and reviews on the product the company intends to install on your home and make sure it is something you are comfortable having there for 25 years. Another consideration, regarding the product, would be the aesthetics of the product; panels can have silver frames, black frames with white in the panel, or be all black. Aesthetics is very important to many consumers because, once installed, you will be looking at this system on your home for the next 25+ years.

Finding a company that will install your system properly can also be a difficult task. No sales person is going to tell you that their installers are brand new and yours is the first install they have done. One very good way to make sure you are getting a qualified installer is by finding a company who has a NABCEP certified installer. While there are plenty of quality installers without this certification, you can be sure they are experienced and knowledgeable if they have this certification. You can find this out by going to http://www.nabcep.org/ and clicking on the tab called “certified locator” from their you can see all the certified installers within the state of Utah and what companies they work for.

Lastly it is paramount to find a company that will be able to honor their workmanship warranty. Here at 1 Solar, we get calls everyday from homeowners that got solar from a company that has gone out of business and cannot help them with issues that come up with their system. This can leave a customer not only not saving money, but now paying two bills; 1 for the electric company and 1 for their solar loan. It may seem difficult to tell which companies are going to last, but there are some ways to gain insight. It is important to know how long the company has been in business. An alarming number of Solar start-ups fail, so if the company giving you a sales pitch is still in its infancy (first year) it is a gamble whether they will still be around if your systems needs maintenance. It is also important to look at reviews the company has received to see what other consumers experiences have been in dealing with the company.

The solar market can be difficult to navigate given the volume of companies in Utah, but if you follow these tips you will be in much better shape. Remember to always do your due diligence, get bids from multiple companies, and research their claims/products.   

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