By Holly Glem
As the demand for residential solar power increases, the number of solar power companies likewise continues to rise. If you are like most consumers who are interested in bringing this green energy alternative to your home, you may not know which provider to choose or which one will ultimately have your best interests in mind.
Instead of banking on any random solar provider knocking on your door, let’s take a look at the important qualifications that will help you select the best solar energy provider.
- Find a company that offers solar financing
As you consider the local solar power companies in your area, you should also decide whether you want to own or lease your solar power system. When you want the most value and freedom of use, you would do well to buy rather than enter a PPA agreement for your solar power setup.
Deciding if you want a PPA or a loan (ownership) will already start to eliminate some of the solar providers on your long list.
You reap the biggest savings to your energy expenses when you own rather than lease or use a PPA agreement to obtain your solar power system. Buying your system outright lets you take home all the benefits of solar (especially the federal and state tax credits).
Buying your system is easy when you choose a solar energy company that offers financing. Getting financed through the same provider that will install and maintain your home’s solar power capabilities ensures that you cover your costs without breaking your own personal budget.
If a solar company tells you to go to your local credit union for financing it’s just not the best option. There are great solar loans that help you take advantage of low payments as your tax credits monetize. It’s going to save you effort and money.
2. Look for a provider that is an educator and a resource
You should also look for solar companies that will go above and beyond when it comes to teaching you everything you need to know about solar power. As this technology evolves and changes, it can be difficult for people outside of the industry to keep up with all of the latest innovations.
You want to do business with a company that will show you how to use your system and what benefits await you as a homeowner once your solar power technology is installed in your home.
3. Never dismiss a site survey as optional
Your home’s layout and integrity may differ greatly from other homes in the area. You want to choose a company that will come to your home and conduct a full site survey of the exterior, particularly your rooftop, before installing the panels.
This site survey should include a close inspection of your roof’s slope and durability so that the panels can be customized to fit and function specifically to your home.
Avoid any solar providers that are unwilling to conduct a full site survey and to avoid problems with your panels in the future.
4. Find a committed customer service team
Even with a full site survey and the best upfront explanation of how the panels work, you may still run into questions with your solar power system. Solar is a complex process and part of your purchase includes the level of expertise your company provides.
Whether you have questions and concerns or you need to schedule a repair, you want to know that the company’s customer service team will answer your call for help. The best solar power provider will have a team of fully committed project coordinators who know how best to resolve your issues through every step of the process.
5. Find efficient power inverters
One of the major reasons that you’re investing in solar panels for your home is to save money on your utility costs, right? Before you select a provider, you will want to examine the efficiency of the power inverter of the panels offered by each company.
Most solar panel power inverters are designed to consume between 4-8% of the energy that they convert while giving out a 92-96% efficiency rate. Choose a provider that sells panels with high power inverter efficiencies, inverters like SolarEdge or SMA.
6. Keeping up with the tax incentives
The IRS gives a number of tax incentives to people who install and use solar power in their homes. If you purchase your solar panels, you qualify for the federal tax credit and potentially state and local credits as well, depending on your location.
Claiming your tax credits can feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. A good solar provider helps you identify those exemptions and provide any documentation you need to enjoy these savings on your tax returns.
The amount and types of credits for solar power can change from year to year. It’s worth finding a company that keeps up on tax changes and educates you on how to take advantage of them for the next tax season.
7. The right size operation
When shopping for a solar power provider, think about the size of the company. Large solar power businesses have the economies of scale to offer better pricing than some of the smaller shops, but they often get caught up in the red tape bureaucracy and regulations.
Alternatively, small providers do not have the efficiency or the amount of resources that you want as a solar power consumer.
A midsize company may be your best bet, one that can offer the intimate and helpful service you want as well as the resources and information you need to make a sound decision about your home’s solar power. A company like Blue Raven Solar can meet your expectations and provide a good price as well.
8. Most importantly, look for in-house services
Finally, when you want the highest level of service, you should choose a provider that has in-house services for installation, repairs, and customer assistance. Companies that outsource these services often have little control over their speed and quality. They risk their reputation and the quality of services that they can offer their customers.
A company that offers in-house services offers a higher level of commitment and help to its customers. It also can offer a faster and more thorough response to your questions and concerns.
Blue Raven Solar offers high-quality solar power products and services. Give us a call or visit our website at blueravensolar.com to find out more today, because you’re ready.