10 Common Mistakes with Choosing Solar Companies and How to Avoid Them

Written by Chad

May 17, 2023

Are you thinking about converting to solar energy for your home? It may seem like a lot of work to find, compare, and decide on solar companies to do the job.

After thinking of the cost, environmental impact, and ability to increase the value of your home, a residential solar system is something to consider.

With these things in mind, you can feel more confident that you are dealing with a reputable solar company offering the best options for your home. So, read on to learn the mistakes with choosing solar companies and how to avoid them!

1. Neglecting Proper Research

Neglecting proper research is a common mistake when it comes to choosing a solar company. People often choose based on price. They neglect to look into the expertise of the contractor.

It is important to research a contractor’s track record and reviews to ensure they are qualified to do the work and are certified in their area. Customers should also look into the quality brands and materials used to ensure they get a high-efficiency system.

Doing your research can ultimately save you time, money, and a headache from unqualified installation or warranty coverage in the future. Here are a few tips on researching solar companies:

Online Research

Conducting online research can be a great way to make informed decisions.  Even though reviews are a great place to start, they don’t provide a complete picture, and other factors should be taken into account.

Industry Associations

They provide certifications, education, standards, and regulation. This protects customers from third-party vendors and provides assurance of quality services. 

When seeking a solar company, confirm that the company is part of a credible and legitimate industry association.

In-Person Consultations

When it comes to choosing a solar company, in-person consultations are essential. It’s important to make sure that the company you choose is reputable and qualified. Another mistake to avoid is not researching the company before committing to the consultation. 

Trust Your Instincts

Don’t be enticed by offers that seem too good to be true. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Be sure that the company you choose has good customer service and stands behind their work.

2. Failing to Verify Credentials

Failing to verify credentials can be one of the biggest mistakes when choosing a solar company. It is easy to get caught up in price, product offerings, and other factors. But trusting a potential solar partner without doing adequate research should be a red flag.

When researching a potential solar provider, make sure to check their customer reviews, ratings, and certifications. Ask for references from other customers and verify the company’s licensing and insurance coverage. Avoid companies that are reluctant to provide customer references.

Inquire about background checks for all their employees to ensure they are all trustworthy. Taking the time to verify the credentials of a solar company before signing any contracts can help you avoid costly future problems.

3. Poor Communication and Responsiveness

Poor communication and responsiveness are common mistakes when choosing solar companies. It’s especially important to ensure that the solar experts you hire have a strong track record of communication and completing projects on time.

Before signing any contract, thoroughly review the provider’s customer reviews to get an idea of the customer service they provide. Talk to the provider’s customer service team to ask any questions and gauge their response time.

In some cases, it’s possible to ask the provider to present customer references. Verifying the company’s customer service can save you from problems down the road.

Check the contact information and response times provided in your contract and make sure you are comfortable with the team you are dealing with. Be sure to set deadlines in the contract and keep checking on the progress from time to time. Companies that don’t respond to customer queries in a timely manner may cause costly delays further down the line.

4. Falling for Unrealistic Promises

When considering solar companies, one of the common mistakes is falling for unrealistic promises. The reality of going solar is that it takes time and resources to plan, install and maintain your solar energy system.

It is important to find a company that is realistic when it comes to timelines, project costs, and maintenance time. Taking your time to find the right company may result in a better solar installation experience.

Ensure that they have certified technicians, as this could increase the longevity of your system. Finally, make sure you understand the return on investment of your system. Be sure to get more information on this link about solar installation!

5. Overlooking Warranty Details

One potential common mistake people make when selecting solar companies is overlooking warranty details. It is important to carefully evaluate all warranties from the start of the project in order to plan and compare accordingly.

Potential customers should look into the warranties the company offers and determine their coverage on the panels, roof mounts, and inverters for an extended period of time to truly understand the coverage provided.

When selecting a solar energy provider, customers should pay attention to the warranty specifics, including where and how long it covers costs and labor, components, and any associated fees. Understanding the warranty details economically can be vital if something happens before, during, or after the installation process. 

To avoid making this mistake, potential customers should read thoroughly and discuss any questions with their chosen company before committing to any agreement. Doing so can help in the long term and save money over time. Here are the types of warranties to look for:

Equipment or Product Warranty

This warranty covers the solar panels, inverters, and other system components against defects in materials or workmanship. It typically ranges from 10 to 25 years, depending on the manufacturer.

Equipment warranties guarantee that the components will perform within specified parameters and replace or repair any faulty equipment during the warranty period.

Performance or Power Output Warranty

Performance warranties guarantee that the solar panels will maintain a certain level of power output over a specified period. For example, a performance warranty might state that the panels will retain at least 80% of their rated power output after 25 years.

If the panels fail to meet the specified performance levels, the manufacturer may replace or compensate for the loss in energy generation.

Installation Warranty

This warranty covers the installation work performed by the solar company. It ensures that the installation is free from defects and that the system operates as intended.

The duration of an installation warranty varies but is typically around 1 to 5 years. If any issues arise due to improper installation during the warranty period, the company will address and rectify them at no additional cost to the customer.

Roof Warranty

As solar panels are on the roof, it’s essential to consider the impact on the roof’s integrity. Some solar companies offer roof warranties to protect against any damage caused by the installation process, such as leaks or structural issues.

Roof warranties vary in duration and coverage, so it’s important to understand the terms and conditions.

Inverter Warranty

Inverters are a critical component of a solar system, converting DC power generated by the panels into usable AC power. Inverter warranties typically range from 5 to 15 years. Similar to the equipment warranty, the manufacturer will repair or replace a faulty inverter within the warranty period.

Workmanship Warranty

A workmanship warranty is provided by the solar installation company and covers the quality of the installation itself. It assures that the installation is performed according to industry standards and best practices.

Workmanship warranties usually last 1 to 10 years, depending on the company.

6. Limited Consideration of Financing Options

The primary common mistake when choosing a solar company is limited consideration of financing options. Many people forget to research different financing plans. They don’t fully understand what they are signing up for.

To avoid such a mistake, it is crucial to research the different financing plans from the various solar companies and compare the rates and the entire cost of each plan. This includes the total cost over time, the annual cost, and the interest rate.

It is also important to closely examine all terms and conditions of the agreement, which could have hidden costs or fees. Taking the time to research and compare financing options before selecting a solar company is essential for finding the best deal. 

Here are financing options for solar installation:

  • Solar loans
  • Solar leases
  • Power purchase agreements (Ppas)
  • Home equity loans or lines of credit
  • Property-assessed clean energy (Pace) Financing
  • Solar rebates and incentives

7. Not Comparing Multiple Quotes

Comparison shopping is an important part of selecting the right solar company. Not comparing multiple quotes could result in purchasing an inferior solar system, higher installation costs, and longer wait times. One of the worst mistakes is to select a solar company solely based on the price of the system.

Many solar companies offer the same equipment and services but may price them much differently. It’s important to look at the experience of the solar panel installation company, the quality of their products and services, customer reviews, and electrical contractor licensing for the state in which you live when looking for a solar company. 

Researching and reviewing multiple quotes will ensure you find the best solar company to install your system quickly and safely. You will also get the best value for your investment.

8. Disregarding Maintenance and Service

Disregarding maintenance and service is one of the most common mistakes homeowners make. When it comes to solar energy systems, maintenance and service plans need to be built into any long-term plan.

When you choose a solar energy company, make sure they offer both a warranty and a maintenance plan. This will ensure that your solar system will always be functioning optimally.

Do your research on the company and inquire as to what kind of maintenance plans they offer. Check their practices for customer satisfaction with solar system maintenance and repairs. Never sign a contract without including maintenance and service as part of the ongoing plan.

9. Lack of Consideration for Local Expertise

One of the most common mistakes is that they do not take into account the company’s local knowledge and experience. A company that has a good understanding of the area and climate. This helps ensure that the installation is optimized for their specific region.

Do your research. Find a solar company with extensive local knowledge and experience. Make sure their employees are certified in their field and check to see if they have any credentials proving their expertise.

Local installers are likely to be more familiar with infrastructure regulations. Local solar owners can help provide insight into their experience with a particular company. It may lead to identifying a suitable local installer.

10. Not Asking Questions

When choosing a solar company, it’s important to not make the mistake of not asking questions. Not asking questions can cause many issues later on down the line due to miscommunication and misunderstanding. Be sure to research and ask questions to ensure the solar company understands your needs.

When researching companies, be sure to ask questions regarding  the following:

  • Installation costs
  • Warranties
  • Performance guarantees
  • Confirmation of certifications

Double-check the quotation they offer to ensure it includes all of the components and services you require. With these precautions, you can ensure that you find a company that provides the service and products you need.

Avoid Mistakes With Choosing Solar Companies Today

Researching thoroughly and comparing quotations can confidently help you choose the best solar companies to achieve their energy goals. To maximize the cost, make sure to hire trusted professionals.

Avoid common mistakes with choosing solar companies. Make the most of your solar energy investments. Start today by researching accredited options for solar companies in your area and get your energy efficient!

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