Best Traits to Look for in a Solar Installer
Tax incentives, cash rebates, and a widespread shift in attitudes favoring cleaner energy is driving up demand for residential solar. We have seen it coming for a long time. As the demand increases, we are noticing a corresponding increase in solar installation companies popping up, all around the country.
With that, we have noticed how, for many homeowners, the sheer number of options available leaves them in a state of analysis paralysis. We get it—there is so much to learn about, read, and decide on. Fortunately, there are reliable resources providing information and answers to many questions homeowners have, you just need to find them.
To give you peace of mind, we want to clear up the first and most important question:
What makes a good solar installation company?
In our opinion, these are the traits making the biggest difference, and we hope you will consider them when making your decision about who to partner with when going solar.
1. IN-HOUSE INSTALLATION TEAMS
It is common in the residential solar industry for the company who sells the idea of going solar to be different from the company who completes the solar installation.
Many companies will contract their installations out, which can cause confusion, miscommunication, and/or errors affecting the homeowner. Helping customers go solar is a process — a series of steps, from consultation, design, building permits, to installation, inspection, grid interconnection, and finally, permission to flip the switch for operation. The full, start-to-finish project might involve three separate entities—four if including the homeowner.
The solar provider, municipal government, utility company, and homeowner all have a large stake in making the solar process gets done well and in a reasonable time. Installing a reliable solar energy system built in accordance with governing structural and electrical codes, meeting at least 100% of the user’s energy demand for decades to come is the goal. There are several steps and moving parts, which can be tricky when working with multiple companies. And, if sales and installation are done by separate companies, you will now have to get an additional party involved, which adds to the complexity and creates more opportunities for miscommunication and errors.
Choosing a solar company who combines sales, design, and all parts of installation results in one seamless installation project. When you choose a solar company like Blue Raven Solar, paperwork and red tape related to building permits, inspections, interconnection, tax benefits, local solar incentive programs, and the moderation of communication between you and all other parties involved is taken care of. This can become a more efficient process and create a vastly superior customer experience.
Blue Raven Solar has the process steps perfected, with fully in-house departments that prioritize clear communication with one another. One of the sub-values of our main three company values is “Close the Loop,” meaning whenever a request is completed, the entire team involved is notified so nothing slips through any cracks and each team can continue moving through the process efficiently. This is a big part of the reason Blue Raven Solar can have homeowners installed quickly—each project is always moving through our pipeline and will never sit idle.
2. CUSTOMER FRIENDLY FINANCING
Of all the solar options available, full solar ownership is the undisputed best deal. Owning your solar array means you pocket the tax benefits, monthly energy savings, and net metering energy credits as well as state, city, or utility company cash rebates. Plus, the increased home equity belongs to you, and if you live in a state like Ohio that has a market for Renewable Energy Credits, you own those too. However, there is an option to sign them over to your utility company or state energy trust in exchange for more cash rebates and to help them meet their Renewable Portfolio Standards. As the solar panel system owner, the choice is yours.
It is understandable not every homeowner is in a position to own a solar array. With other payment options like solar leasing, you still get to power your home on clean energy but the company you lease from is the one pocketing all those benefits. A solar lease also makes you miss out on the most exciting tax credit—the 30% Federal Solar Incentive Tax Credit (ITC). If you are leasing your system, the company will receive the credit, and you will still be paying taxes you otherwise could have avoided.
Curious homeowners we speak to do not know owning a rooftop solar array does not require a lot of cash up front. In fact, our solar financing options BluePower Plus+ and SmartStart call for $0 down. We handle the paperwork on all tax benefits, cash rebates, and will apply them directly to your solar loan so it gets paid off faster. Meanwhile, from day one, you can start enjoying the benefits of having:
- All tax credits and financial benefits land straight in your pocket.
- Monthly power expenses turn into a growing asset.
- Monthly financing payments that stay fixed for the life of the loan.
- Years of clean energy production for free once the loan is paid.
If you can afford your current utility bills, it is highly likely you can afford to go solar, especially with one of Blue Raven Solar’s exclusive financing products.
3. EXPERTS AT COMPLEXITY
The electric energy infrastructure in each state is made up of a unique combination of publicly owned municipal utilities, nonprofit rural utility cooperatives, and for-profit, investor-owned utilities. The policies and regulations governing each state’s energy market are unique and a combination of economic and political influences.
From one state to the next—even from one town to the next within the same state—the details of going solar can be complex. Even among utility companies within the same state, billing practices, net metering rates, and grid interconnection policies may differ. If you are considering going solar, it is best to find a provider who can articulate the finer points of the process, who stays up to date on the laws in place regulating the solar energy market as well as municipal, state, and federal tax incentives helping make an investment in solar energy the most equitable deal.
Blue Raven Solar works hard to ensure our entire team is updated on any changes made in policies across markets, especially special rates only lasting for a few months. We want our customers to take advantage of every program available, so we make sure we know exactly what is going on with utility rebates and incentives.
4. PRODUCTION GUARANTEE
We hear questions like this frequently:
What happens to my solar energy production in bad weather?
Are solar panels effective in places that are not always sunny?
We answer those questions more in-depth here and here, but to summarize, the answers to these two questions are:
- Yes, they still work in bad weather, just not necessarily quite as efficiently.
- No, you do not need to live in extremely sunny places like Nevada or Arizona for solar to meet your monthly energy needs.
In either case, all you need is a system designed through careful analysis and an in-person site survey to generate a reliable supply of electricity to cover 100% of your energy demand, year after year, regardless of local climate conditions.
Blue Raven Solar goes beyond by offering a two-year production guarantee. We use the highest-quality panels and inverters, both of which come with manufacturer’s warranties. Additionally, if any equipment we install fails because of a manufacturing defect, we will facilitate the warranty claim on the customer’s behalf and take care of the replacement labor fees.
How Our Production Guarantee Works:
After one year, Blue Raven Solar schedules a check in with our customers to audit the production of their solar array. We will do it again two years after installation. During both audits, if any of our solar energy systems are found to produce less than 50% of original estimates over any three-month period or less than 85% of original estimates over an 18-month period, we upgrade the system by installing more panels free of charge.
We wait for a full year so the seasons can fully cycle through, and we can see an average production for all types of weather and any kind of net metering that has taken place from excess production.
There are additional ways to know what companies to trust: social media, reviews, asking friends and neighbors, and more. Do not make the mistake of going with a random solar provider who comes knocking at your door, pitching whatever business model that will make them the most money. Conduct your own research, read customer and employee reviews, ask questions, and make price comparisons. That way, you will have the information needed to start the conversation with a solar installer company.
At Blue Raven Solar, we provide the best products and services to our customers. By having a team of highly trained and capable solar experts, we can service you and your home.
Request a free quote or explore our website and social media platforms. We look forward to helping you make the switch to clean, renewable energy, and to bringing you solar savings for decades to come.
Experience the future of energy, today.
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