Tips for Navigating the Purchase & Installation of Solar Panels

Tips for Navigating the Purchase & Installation of Solar Panels

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Making the swap to photo voltaic power could be an effective way to economize in your electrical energy payments and scale back your carbon footprint. Current tax incentives can even reward people who make the dedication sooner quite than later. But there could be pitfalls in the event you don’t do your analysis and ask the proper questions earlier than you decide to the acquisition and set up of photo voltaic panels.

Numerous client critiques on photo voltaic firms have uncovered subpar or insufficient providers, with companies reportedly fabricating the savings their shoppers would expertise from switching to photo voltaic power. They might lure prospects with lowball quotes that later develop into too good to be true, require them to signal unclear contracts, or carry out subpar photo voltaic panel set up.

That doesn’t imply that every one photo voltaic firms are unethical, but it surely does level to the necessity to inform your self. What do it is advisable know forward of time, what questions must you ask, and the way do you negotiate points you encounter earlier than – and after – you enter into an settlement with a photo voltaic firm?

Aggressive Sales Tactics

Set boundaries with pushy salespeople. When speaking with salespeople, ask for an in depth rationalization of the system and its parts, in addition to the corporate’s set up and upkeep procedures. If a salesman is pushing you for an instantaneous dedication, it might be a crimson flag. You ought to at all times inform a salesman you want extra time to contemplate your choices.

Make certain you get at least two or three bids from licensed photo voltaic contractors. This means that you can examine the proposed photo voltaic system, prices for gear and set up, warranties, and financing that will help you make the proper choice. Take your time, ask questions, and thoroughly overview the phrases of the contract, together with the fee and any warranties or ensures, earlier than signing.

Be cautious, however there’s no have to be pessimistic. Many owners have reported constructive experiences with educated, clear, and useful salespeople who have been capable of present detailed details about the system, prices, and contract phrases.

The takeaway – totally analysis the potential firm, get a number of bids, and don’t low cost your intestine emotions when you’ve got considerations a few salesperson’s credibility.

Fluctuating Prices

Fluctuating costs quoted by photo voltaic panel set up firms are a typical grievance from customers. Solar customers have complained that the ultimate value of the system was completely different on the time of set up from the preliminary quote:

“Our month-to-month funds weren’t $80 as the salesperson informed us. They put in 15 panels for $120 a month as a substitute of the 18 panels for $80 a month that we had mentioned.”

And others say that they have been straight-up misled:

“…the gross sales rep along with his aggressive gross sales tactic had acknowledged they might give the 1.9% curiosity that it’s no drawback, we additionally requested if we will cancel at anytime which he indicated sure. […] After the set up, I used to be notified by the financer that my rate of interest is 2.9% and that the gross sales figures and cost determine […] is just not the true numbers…” 

Get an in depth breakdown of the prices and a written estimate. Prices will seemingly differ primarily based on the kind of panels, the dimensions of the system, or the placement of the set up.

Here are some inquiries to ask earlier than making a purchase order:

  1. What is the worth of the photo voltaic panels and are there any reductions or promotions at present obtainable?
  2. How does the worth examine to comparable merchandise from different producers or suppliers?
  3. Are there any authorities insurance policies or incentives which will have an effect on the worth of photo voltaic panels?
  4. Is the worth mounted or topic to alter? If it’s topic to alter, what components may trigger the worth to alter from what you’re quoting me now?
  5. Are there any extra prices corresponding to transportation, set up, or upkeep that haven’t been factored into the general value?

Home Insurance Coverage

Companies might not point out that photo voltaic panels can impression the price of your private home insurance coverage coverage. The set up of photo voltaic panels can increase the value of your home, leading to increased residence insurance coverage premiums, though increases to premiums are generally modest.

Make certain to examine with your private home insurance coverage supplier earlier than putting in photo voltaic panels to make sure that you’re coated in case of any points.

Roof Condition

It’s essential to examine the situation of your roof earlier than putting in photo voltaic panels. Knowledgeable roof inspection can determine any issues that might have an effect on the set up of your photo voltaic panels, corresponding to leaks, lacking or broken shingles, or inadequate structural help.

If your roof is previous and can have to be changed quickly, replace the roof previous to the photo voltaic set up. If you wait till after the photo voltaic panels are put in to interchange the roof, the panels should be eliminated for the roofers and reinstalled after the brand new roof is finished, so it’s sensible to plan forward to keep away from that additional expense.

installing heavy solar panels

Faulty Panels

The many photo voltaic buyer complaints relating to  issues with poor installation or technical issues illustrate the significance of selecting respected producer and installer, and making certain that your photo voltaic panels are coated by a guaranty.

Faulty photo voltaic panels can scale back power manufacturing and pose a security danger. If you discover seen injury to the panels earlier than or after set up, or the power generated by your panels drops for no apparent motive after set up, report the problem to the producer if the panels are nonetheless below guarantee.

If the panels are not below guarantee, name the installer. The firm’s customer support consultant ought to be capable to direct you to the proper contact for help. The service consultant will seemingly ask for info such because the serial quantity and the date of set up, in addition to particulars about the issue. They can also ask for images or movies of the problem. Once the producer or installer has assessed the issue, they’ll present directions on the right way to proceed, which can embrace arranging for a restore or substitute.

Monitoring your panels is vital. Apps like Enphase Enlighten (Android or iPhone) and EMA App (Android and iPhone) help you observe the efficiency of particular person panels. Some photo voltaic panels will not be suitable with sure apps. Before you get a monitoring app, be sure that it’s suitable with the panels you bought.

If you tried all of the above and your challenge nonetheless hasn’t been resolved, you’ll be able to file a grievance with your local Attorney General’s office. You will discover the required contact info or a grievance kind on their web site. Depending on the Attorney General’s authority in your state, they could require the photo voltaic installer firm to conform together with your grievance.

Customer Service

Getting customer support after the acquisition is one other drawback customers report. In this video, a house owner shares her irritating expertise with a photo voltaic set up firm, citing, poor communications, which resulted within the firm getting a allow accredited for the set up with out her settlement.

“…they didn’t return our telephone calls… the one reference they gave us was horrible… nobody ever answered, nobody ever referred to as us again…”

Head off buyer challenge before you purchase — at all times overview the gear and set up warranties, learn the advantageous print of the contract, and be cautious of high-pressure gross sales ways. Getting a number of bids from completely different firms permits you examine prices, phrases, guarantee, and firm repute.

Before making any dedication, it’s sensible to learn on-line critiques on web sites corresponding to to examine the corporate’s service and after-sales repute. Many individuals have had a great experience with their solar installation, together with clear communications and good customer support. So, take your time, analysis fastidiously, and don’t be disheartened.

Is Getting Solar Panels Worth it?

Investing in solar panels is usually a sensible alternative for a lot of owners. With correct analysis and planning you could find a good photo voltaic power installer and a system that works for you.

The query of whether or not or not getting solar panels is worth it in the end comes right down to your particular person circumstances, corresponding to your power utilization, location, and price range. Be certain to seek the advice of with an expert, examine the corporate’s repute, and get a number of quotes earlier than making a dedication. With the proper info, you can also make an knowledgeable resolution that can profit each your pockets and the atmosphere.

About the Author

Joanna CJoanna writes for the buyer advocacy web site While doing her job, she analyses client expertise and will get a greater understanding of customers’ conduct. Using this information, she supplies customers with recommendations on the right way to keep away from typical client points and make knowledgeable buy selections.