So, you’ve decided to explore having a solar array installed on the roof of your home. This is a big decision, so you want to do plenty of research before you pick an installer here in Rockland County. How do you narrow down your choices with so many solar companies in NY? Start by asking these five questions and choosing the company that gives all the right answers.
How much experience do you have?
Ask different solar companies in NY how long they have been in business. You want to know you’re choosing a company with at least a few years of experience as a solar installer.
Remember, number of years in the business isn’t as important as the total number of installations the company has performed. Ideally, their past work should be similar to the project you have in mind. That way, you have confidence in the installer’s ability to feel comfortable designing and installing a solar array that will perform at its maximum potential for many years to come.
How satisfied are your customers?
Any company can claim their customer satisfaction rates are through the roof, but you need some proof. Here’s what to look for:
- Testimonials: Start by reading reviews listed on the company’s website. Look for situations that sound similar to yours where customers were satisfied after working with the company. Testimonials are a powerful way to set your mind at ease when picking between solar companies in NY.
- Third-party reviews: It’s a hard fact to swallow, but some dishonest companies fabricate testimonials to make themselves look good. That’s where third-party review sites come in handy. You can double check a company’s claims by visiting Yelp.com, Angie’s List and others. These sites are careful to weed out fake reviews so you can feel confident about their legitimacy.
- References: Reading reviews online is incredibly helpful, but you can get answers to personalized questions if you call up references who have worked with the company in the past. Ask how professional the company was, whether they stayed on budget and how well the solar array is performing now. If you’re on the fence about one company or another, calling up references can be the tie breaker.
What solar panel brands do you install?
Ask this question and jot down the answer different solar companies in NY give you. Then you can do your own research to see how various brands compare.
Consider the benefits of choosing an American-based brand, like SunPower. Higher efficiency ratings deliver better performance and help your investment work harder for you. SunPower boasts the highest efficiency of any solar panel brand, making it a top pick for maximizing roof space.
Customers have many positive things to say about SunPower solar panels:
- Their sleek appearance makes them stand out from ordinary panels.
- The unbeatable warranty delivers peace of mind.
- The cost to efficiency ratio is very impressive.
- Their incredible longevity means they perform just as well four or five years from now as they did on day one.
Do you guarantee your work?
There’s nothing worse than getting excited about a solar installation and having the job performed only to learn a few months or years later that one of your panels is a lemon. It’s a rare occurrence, but it could be enough to make you hesitate. Learning an installer offers a great warranty puts your mind at ease when you begin the switch to solar. The warranties you should look for include:
- 25-year solar panel warranty.
- 10-year power inverter warranty.
- 5-year workmanship warranty.
What financing options do you offer?
It may work for some people to pay for a solar installation with cash, but if you don’t have the savings in place to purchase your panels upfront, you need a financing option that will work for you. Two popular alternatives to a cash purchase include:
- Leasing solar panels: This gives you the option to switch to solar with no money down. Then you begin making fixed monthly payments to “rent” the system and the energy it produces. Agreements typically last 20 years, and if you decide you want to expand your solar array a few years down the road, you can do so at a discounted price.
- Taking out a loan: If you’re looking for a different no-money-down solar financing option, you might decide to take out a loan from the installer. You choose the loan period and have the freedom to pay it off faster without penalty. Most of the time, the combined cost of the loan payment and the residual electric bill is lower than the bill was before switching to solar.
Now that you know what questions to ask – and what answers to look for – you can start comparing different solar companies in NY with confidence.