We at Renvu often have homeowners calling in looking for an installer. Since we’re a distributor and not an installer, we thought we’d provide a helpful checklist of information you should have handy for locating the best installer for you.
Before the questions to ask your installer, here’s the information that you should have ready first:
1. Consumption percentage
How much of your monthly bill will the system save? The best way to review this is by checking your monthly electrical usage and comparing production. See our article that goes over calculating solar system size to offset your electricity bill.
2. Production comparison between different solar systems
An easy way to compare different systems/equipment is to go through the Solar Kit Guide.
3. Potential ROI
Return on Investment: How many years will it take for your solar system to pay for itself and start saving you money. While the installer should be able to answer this, it’s also something you should have an idea of already, based on your electricity bill, the calculation you did on what system size you need and how much a solar system will cost you. With this information, you can then calculate the ROI based on the cost of the full system, which includes the cost of equipment and labor.
4. Know your roof
Do you have shading or is it completely open? If you have some shading, Enphase, APsystems and SolarEdge with optimizers are great options to mitigate energy loss issues. Learn more on how microinverters work here.
Questions to answer when vetting your solar installer:
1. Are They Qualified to Install Solar?
Ask what licenses, insurance and qualifications they have. One way to ensure your installer is well qualified to be installing a solar system on your home’s roof, check the NABCEP installer list. To be certified by NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners), they would have gone through a rigorous training and testing process.
2. Do They Have The Experience Needed?
How long have they been installing solar and how many systems have the installed? Also test their knowledge by asking questions that any solar installer worth their salt would be able to answer, and then compare their answers to that of other installers.
3. Reviews & Testimonials
What do other people say? Check their Testimonials page, Yelp and Google reviews. If they don’t have any, ask for references.