Locating a Reliable Contractor

Home | Insulation | Conserving Energy

Heating | Books | Links

To install a solar electric system you will need equipment, but also a permit in many locations, It’s a good idea to check out permit requirements before you order any equipment. A local supplier/installer should be able to help you with this.

While you are at it, be sure to check out financial incentives, too, before you order your equipment. They may come with some restrictions imposed by local utilities or by the state government that will affect the size of the system you can install, the type of equipment, and the installer.

To locate a reliable installer, it’s always good to ask around. Talk to people who have had systems installed recently. Get their advice on companies listed in the phone book or ask for references when talking to local suppliers/installers.

Professional credentials are one indication of a PV dealer’s knowledge and qualifications, so be sure to ask what courses they’ve taken, what certifications they’ve earned, and what licenses they’ve received.

Experience is also important. Be sure to find out how long they’ve been in the business and how many systems like yours they’ve installed. Ask to see the systems and talk to the owners.

Service is important, too. Be sure they will be there to take care of your system if you have any problems with it, Find out what services your supplier/installer will provide. Also, will your installer provide any performance guarantees What are the warranties offered by the manufacturers of the components of your system?

Finally, be sure to get a cost estimate up front, and ask that the dealer itemize all aspects so there are no surprises. Consider having a dealer supply, install, and warrant your system. That is ... go for the full-service approach!

Next: Why Install Solar Electricity

Prev: Buying a Solar Electric System

Top of page      Home