NOTE: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.  Learn More.

solar energy questions

8 Questions To Ask Your Solar Power Company Before Buying

Solar power has ever been valuable, and now it is more cost-effective and accessible than ever.

You've done your research, determined that going solar is ideal for you, and you're ready to speak to solar contractors on installing solar panels on your rooftop.

It is of the utmost significance to ask the appropriate questions, and we have put together the best eight, which will help you do precisely that!

The following questions could break or make your solar installation project. Let us take a look at the most crucial questions to ask your installer.

1. Which solar panels are on YOUR roof?

This is a great question because any credible solar installer can explain the value of solar power - inside and outside.

So if they do not have a solar panel system on their own roof, it could be a red flag. 

After all, if they genuinely believe in solar energy's advantages, it makes sense for them to get the benefits, too - right?

2. What Size System Should I Get For Maximum Savings?

Note that sizing a solar system is a lot more complex than looking at your electric bills and choosing one that will produce enough power to meet your usage.

A reputable solar power company rep first wants to collect the following information:

  • Your home energy use & patterns
  • The angle and orientation of your roof
  • The excess energy that you'll send to the grid; and
  • Which utility you use, your average cost per kWh power, and their net metering rate.

This data is necessary to determine the perfect system size for your house and then develop a financial forecast based on that.

We suggest steering clear of contractors that assert that sizing your system is just a very simple calculation. 

3. Are you accredited as a solar unit installer? and who, exactly will be doing the installation?

The solar installation firm you hire must obtain a permit from the county/city and the condition in which they're working.

The contractor needs to be bonded and insured, as well.

Be sure to ask how long the company has been in operation. You don't want to be their guinea pig.

Additionally, it's a good idea to ask who will be working on your dwelling.

Will it be a builder with the solar company, or do they subcontract the job?

If a subcontractor is handling your work, you will want to do the extra legwork to be sure they're licensed, insured, and experienced, too.

4. Is my roof in good enough condition?

solar energy questions

Not only does your solar contractor need to asses your power needs, they also should thoroughly inspect your roof. 

Based on your roof's age and overall condition, you may need to replace the roof before installing your solar system.

It's also important to keep in mind that if the contractor installs racks on your roof (to support the panels), they will be drilling holes.

Be sure you ask which kind of equipment and materials will be employed to make sure you won't have a leaky celing when it rains.

5. What if my new solar system does not create as much power as expected?

If the contractor promises your system will make a particular quantity of energy annually, make sure you ask what will happen if the machine or panel efficacy does not meet your expectations.

There are several possible scenarios.  

Perhaps the company will add extra panels at no cost to make up the difference.

Or maybe they will reimburse you for your system's underperformance.

Determine upfront what you can expect in this circumstance. Ask for a guarantee.

6. What If My Condition Changes Over The Next Few Years?

Life happens, and because of this, your solar needs can change over time.

For example, your family may wind up expanding, or you could add extra rooms to your home. In such instances, what will happen if your installed system layout ends up not being large enough?

The best thing you can do to avoid this from happening would be to buy a solar system that's big enough to cover possible future usage.

7. What Will Happen If I Choose To Move While Leasing A Solar System?

Not to worry.

As a rule of thumb, you can transfer your lease to another homeowner after being approved for the house (after a credit check).

If they don't qualify, the leasing company can remove the system, and you'll no longer be bound to the contract.

8. How Are Solar System Warranties Processed?

solar energy questions

Solar systems include output guarantees and product warranties. 

These are in addition to the workmanship warranty a builder might offer. 

Because of this, it's a great idea to inquire about both kinds of warranties, as well as what each cover.

Be skeptical of solar installers who need you to hire them to maintain your system frequently -- for instance, every few years -- to keep your installation warranty intact.

The reality is that you will need to service your solar power system every five years to maintain its functionality. 

You should also consider cleaning it once a year.

To save money and time, stick with solar companies that don't force you to get your solar system serviced more frequently than you actually need .

About the Author David Roberts

I'm a Mechanical Engineer who's obsessed with solar energy and sustainable living.

follow me on:

Leave a Comment: