For over two decades, Arizona has had one of the most successful solar energy rollouts in the United States. Today, our state ranks fifth in the nation in solar-powered electricity generation, with over 5,743 Megawatts (MW) installed, nearly 200,000 solar customers throughout and over $250 million saved on utility bills, according to both the U.S. Energy Information Administration and Solar Energy Industries Association.
Though more Arizonans are thinking about making the switch to solar power every day, jumping in without any prior knowledge can make for a challenging and complicated process if you are unsure of what to look for. When it comes to confidently going solar, doing your research and asking the right questions will help you get the best system for your needs and the most savings possible.
Use these tips to help you navigate through the solar installation process from start to finish.
1. Choose The Best Solar Company for You
Most homeowners will either make the mistake of going with the first provider they meet, or go with a big-name national installer. Finding the right solar installer will be one of the most crucial parts of your solar experience, because not all solar solutions are created equal – and neither are solar companies.
While most of the national installers are household names, they are typically more expensive and tend to subcontract their work, making the installation process more complicated. There are advantages to having your solar panels installed by a local company, such as Solar Topps. The advantages include getting lower prices on premium products, providing more “tailor-made” systems that are scalable and fit your needs, and faster response times to system issues. National installers can sometimes be inefficient and leave customers to figure things out on their own.
Here’s how to find the right provider: Look into how long they have been in business, as most reputable companies have been performing this work for close to a decade, under the same name. Recognize how they rank with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and understand how they operate and treat their customers. Lastly, confirm if they are certified by the NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) and are committed to implementing the best practices in the solar industry.
No matter which solar company you choose, trust an installer who knows what they are doing and has the right qualifications before working on your home. Even with the highest quality solar products, if your system is installed poorly, it will end up costing you.
2. Assess Your Solar Proposals
Once you narrow down your list, start obtaining quotes from multiple solar companies in your area. Do your due diligence by taking the time to review each quote and understand what will go into your solar system and installation.
When analyzing them in detail, consider whether or not you are getting a good deal by calculating the price per watt of your system. With a fair price on a typical system being between $2 – $3 per watt, you can determine this cost by dividing the total cost of the system by your system size. When doing your research, it’s important to know how much energy you use to ensure the system size meets your needs. Be sure to ask how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) your system will generate in the first year of operation and in total over the course of 25 years.
Ask your solar provider what kind of equipment they are using and …….