From choosing the right solar electric system to determining the correct size of the photovoltaic solar panels and obtaining the necessary permits, going solar is complicated. You need a company that knows their stuff well and cares about your investment as much as you do. A solar electric system is a substantial investment and something that you’ll be living with for a long time.
Finding solar electric specialists is easy, but choosing a good one that meets your needs and expectations is a different story. To thoroughly vet potential solar companies, check if they fit the following criteria:
Obviously, the very first thing to check is whether the company has correct and valid licence and is appropriately bonded. In addition, you want to ask straightforward questions about the type of system that they think will suit your property and power consumption. You want to make sure they are going to install a customized solar array configuration that maximizes the amount of sunlight available in your location to save you the most money possible, not a cookie-cutter one.
You often get what you pay for. So if you are quoted a price that’s substantially less than most other similar sized systems, the equipment and/or the installation work you’ll receive might be of poor quality.
To check for quality, you can ask the company for similar projects they have done before and ask for client references. Are their clients satisfied with what and how the company delivered for the price they paid? A good company won’t find any problem providing client references, because they are confident about the quality of their work.
Solar panel certification
A certification indicates that the solar panels have met their advertised specifications. This can be done by an independent laboratory or by the company itself. If the solar panels are self-assessed, you can only rely on the company being honest with their claims.
Many companies will say what you want to hear in order to get your business. What you need is someone who can and will explain to you all the nitty-gritty of going solar, like how much you can save with a particular system or if your property is appropriate for solar.
Speaking of transparency, here are some important questions to ask potential solar system providers:
- How does the system work in extreme weather conditions?
- What are the solar panel efficiency and degradation rates?
- How long will I recoup my investment?
- What types of solar power systems do you carry and how do they differ?
- Which system would you choose for your own property and why?
- What’s included in your quote?
- How does your warranty work?
Length of Warranty
Most solar power systems will last around 25 years. So you can expect your solar system to last a long time – typically long enough to pay for itself and give you returns. The industry standard for most installers is five to ten years, but some will offer up to 20-25 years workmanship warranties covering the lifetime of the system. These extended warranties will add cost to the installation.
Solar systems require minimal maintenance, and very few things can go wrong since there are few moving parts. However, if something does happen, you need that warranty to cover for the maintenance and/or repair costs. But for a warranty to be honoured, the installer must still be operating. That said, you need to ensure that the company will remain in business for as long as your warranty is valid. How? The best way is to choose an established company that has a good track record and reputation because this is the type of company that will stay around for a long time.
People leave reviews on companies for two reasons: they were disappointed or they were very pleased with the quality of product/service they received. If a company gets a lot of positive reviews from verified customers, you can take that as a good sign.
Of course, there are also those who leave nasty comments just because or use fake accounts to polish the image of the company. So you have to be discerning and intuitive when reading reviews.
If you need reliable solar electric specialists, you’re already in the right place. Ask us any questions and we’ll help you sort the best solar energy solutions for your home or business. Call our NZ-wide hotline 0508 449 274!