Once you decide solar is right for your Rockland or Orange County home, the next step is to buy solar panels in NY and choose a company to install them. Many brands and competing companies have cropped up in recent years to meet the high demand for residential and business solar panels. Unfortunately, not every company has the same dedication to providing high-quality workmanship and service.
Use the following key points to help simplify the process of finding a quality solar panel brand and installer.
Different Types of Solar Panels
The two main types of solar panels for residential applications include:
- Monocrystalline silicon (Si): These solar panels, which are black in appearance, are made from a single cell of pure silicon. Si panels are the most efficient option, though difficult manufacturing also makes them slightly more expensive.
- Polycrystalline silicon (poly-Si): As the name suggestions, poly-Si panels are made of multiple crystals. These panels appear blue and are less efficient at absorbing sunlight – but not by much. In fact, as technology improves, the efficiency gap between Si and poly-Si panels closes more and more.
Solar Panel Brands
The solar installer you choose should be able to answer questions you have about solar panel brands, including their benefits and drawbacks. Some of the most favorably-reviewed brands today include:
- SunPower: This brand is touted for its excellent warranty coverage, American-made quality and unsurpassed efficiency. In fact, at 21% efficiency, SunPower panels are the best in the industry. This means you can enjoy maximum electricity output on the smallest amount of roof space.
- SharpUSA: Based in California, this brand is known for its long life, ability to meet projected electricity production and low maintenance needs.
- SolarWorld: As the largest solar panel manufacturer in the US, SolarWorld is known for its reliability, good looks and long life.
How to Find a Reputable Solar Panel Company
After you buy solar panels in NY, the company you choose to install them should care about the community and provide high-quality equipment and service. To find the best solar installation company in New York, do the following:
Request recommendations and reviews.
First, ask around to friends and neighbors with solar panels about their experience with the installer they chose. Their feedback is a great place to start.
Then, look up the companies your friends recommend and access customer reviews online. Look for satisfactory experiences, good customer service, on-budget installations and speedily resolved complaints.
Seek multiple quotes.
Contact two or more New York solar installers and ask for quotes from each one. Along with comparing prices, you should also take the company’s track record and solar panel quality into account. The lowest bid may not be the best if it means sacrificing value.
Look into product warranties.
Installers offer warranties on solar panels and inverters to give you peace of mind when launching the installation. Look for the following:
- A performance warranty of 25 to 35 years, which covers silicon cell repair if these components fall below a given efficiency.
- A product warranty to cover other panel components, from the glass to the backing to the laminate.
- An inverter warranty lasting five to 10 years and microinverter warranty lasting 25 years to cover the solar array’s most vulnerable components.
Ask how long the contractor has been in business.
It seems just about anyone can become a solar installer these days, so look for a company with a strong history that stands apart from the rest. Number of completed projects is just as important as number of years in business, so find a contractor with a portfolio that includes thousands of installations in Rockland and Orange County.
Find out about financing options.
Perhaps the biggest reason everyone doesn’t have solar panels is because of the required investment. A reputable solar installer offers multiple financing options and explains the benefits of each so you can make an informed decision. Your options might include:
- Buying the solar panels outright.
- Financing your purchase with a low-interest, 5 to 20 year payback period.
- Leasing the panels for maximum affordability.
The Importance of Professional Solar Panel Installation
You may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of hiring a professional; why not just buy solar panels in NY and install them yourself? Hiring a professional is important for many reasons, including:
- Technical, pre-installation questions require the expertise of a solar installer.
- What size should the system be?
- Can the roof withstand the weight?
- How should the panels be positioned for maximum efficiency?)
- Installing solar wiring can be dangerous.
- Professional installers meet New York regulations.
- Professional installation is required to qualify for state and federal rebates.
This information about where to buy solar panels in NY should make you feel more comfortable about the process. The more you educate yourself about solar, the better prepared you’ll be to make the switch when you’re ready.