Are you ready to lower your utility bills and do your part for the environment? If so, you might be interested in solar energy. If you live in Rockland or Orange County, NY, it’s important to find a qualified solar power contractor to install your solar panels.
Finding the right installer is not something to take lightly. After all, proper installation determines how efficiently and safely your solar panels will work for the next few decades. As you sift through different solar power contractors in NY, ask these questions to ensure you pick the best one possible.
Do you have any customer reviews?
Companies are good at tooting their own horn, but if you have a chance to hear from real customers, you can get a feel for which solar power contractors beat out the competition. Ask the New York companies you’re considering hiring for testimonials to prove their worth. It’s also helpful to check third-party websites such as Yelp and Angie’s List for more reviews.
Can I have a few references?
While online customer reviews are helpful, you can ask specific questions if you get in touch with references who have worked with the contractor in the past. Ask about professionalism, knowledge, helpfulness and the ability to deliver on promises regarding price and timeframe. Speaking with references gives you the confidence you need to move forward with a contractor, or saves you the nightmare of choosing an unqualified company.
What solar panel brands do you offer?
With this information, you can then do your own research and compare different solar panel brands to determine if the contractor offers one of the better options.
SunPower is an American-made brand that boasts higher efficiency than common panels imported from China. In fact, it’s the highest rated brand in the industry at 21% efficient. Customers have plenty of good things to say about SunPower panels:
- They have a sleek appearance.
- They come with an unbeatable warranty.
- They deliver unbelievable savings.
- They have excellent longevity with efficiency rivaling day-one performance even after four or five years of use.
Do you offer free quotes?
It’s easy to get a generic quote online about how much a solar array might cost you, but a more personalized quote requires you to contact specific solar power contractors in NY. In order to comparison shop, you need the promise of a free quote with no obligation to buy.
The cost estimate is an important consideration, of course, but it’s certainly not the only one. After all, if you choose a low-ball quote, you could end up with sub-par panels and shoddy installation. Sometimes paying a little more for a quality installation pays you back with better efficiency and safety.
What warranties do you offer?
While breakdowns are rare due to the limited number of moving parts found in solar panels, it’s still important to have a good warranty. This protects you from the occasional lemon and gives you peace of mind when investing in solar panels.
Look for a 25-year warranty from the solar power contractor you select. Then, ask how long the panels are expected to last. The answer should be well beyond the warranty period; we’re talking 30 to 40 years with proper maintenance.
What are your financing options?
Purchasing and installing solar panels requires an investment, but one financing option doesn’t fit all. Ask potential solar power contractors in NY how they accommodate customers in different economic situations. Look for the following financing options:
- Purchasing solar panels directly is the quickest path to ownership. The initial investment is highest with this option, but it provides the greatest lifetime savings.
- Leasing solar panels involves paying a fixed monthly rate to use solar equipment and the energy it produces. You put $0 down and start saving from day one. With a long-lasting agreement, you can avoid fluctuating energy costs for decades to come.
- Solar loans are an affordable way to make ownership possible. Again, you put $0 down and start a payment plan you can afford. In just a few years, you’ll pay off the solar panel installation and enjoy the benefits of full ownership.
Do you offer solar panel maintenance?
Maintenance costs are a valid concern when making a new investment. Fortunately, solar panels are quite easy to maintain, requiring nothing more than a periodic rinse and scrub to remove dust, dirt and grime.
You may be able to complete solar panel maintenance yourself, but if you don’t feel comfortable climbing onto the roof, leave maintenance to a professional. It’s easiest on you if the installer also offers maintenance so you don’t have to find a new company to perform this related service.
Armed with these questions and the desired answers, you’re ready to start narrowing down the selection of solar power contractors in NY.