Once you’ve decided to invest in solar power for your business, the next step is to choose a solar installer to do the job. With more than 500 solar power companies in New Jersey alone, there is no shortage of options — and chances are good that every one of them will tell you that they are the best. So what’s a business owner to do? Look for experience, great workmanship and professionalism from start to finish and beyond. Here are five tips to help get your search started:
1. Seek out referrals and reviews. One of the best ways to get this process going is to talk with friends, family members and other business owners who have already made the move to solar. Find out who they used and whether or not they’d use them again. Once you get a few names to work with, check them out online. A reputable company will almost certainly have a website and presence on social media. Plug the names into Google and see what you find. There are also other online resources that you should check out, such as solarreviews.com. Not only will you find a list of companies by state, but you can see customer reviews, compare prices and even calculate your return on investment.
2. Interview at least three companies. While the first one you meet may very well be the winner, don’t rush your decision. Take the time to interview at least three different companies. Arrive with a list of questions and fire away. A good installer should be knowledgeable about the various types of panels, and be able to explain the entire installation process. The installer should also ask some questions of his or her own in order to properly assess and understand your needs, as well as make sound recommendations. Always ask for a free quote. If more than a few days go by and you still don’t have it in hand, keep searching. Responsiveness, or lack thereof, says a lot.
3. Check for warranties. Your solar panels should carry a warranty of at least 25 years. Anything less is a bad sign. Make sure you also understand exactly what the warranty covers. Another tip is to hire a company that works with panels made in the U.S., otherwise your warranty may not be valid if the installer goes out of business.
4. Confirm certifications. In the United States, certification from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is the one to have. According to the NABCEP website, the non-profit organization was founded in 2002 with a mission “to support and work with the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries, professionals, and stakeholders to develop and implement quality credentialing and certification programs for practitioners.” The NABCEP is the most widely recognized and well respected certification organization in the industry. It is considered the “gold standard” and should be a requirement for the solar installer you choose.
5. Look for flexible payment plans. While many businesses choose to purchase their panels outright, others prefer to lease or finance. Make sure the option you’re looking for is available from the solar company your considering before signing on the dotted line. There are advantages and disadvantages to each and part of a solar company’s job is to make your move to clean energy as cost effective as possible.
About TerraSol Energies, Inc.
TerraSol Energies is a family-run business that has served the Tri-State area (PA, NJ, DE) since 2009. We have one of the area’s most knowledgeable teams of solar specialists. When you work with us you can count on making a smooth transition to clean energy. We provide a turnkey approach, quality products and services, professional advice and expertise, and financial flexibility. To find out more about us and see feedback from our customers, visit our website, or contact us today.