Questions to Ask a Potential Solar Panel Installer

Cost & Energy

  • What is the total installed cost of the system?
  • Do you propose a roof mount or ground mount system? What are the differences in cost, maintenance, space, etc…?
  • How much of my energy use would my solar system cover?
  • How much would my monthly energy bills be after installation?
  • How long would my payback period be on my solar system? What are the key assumptions associated with my payback that may impact that result?
  • How will solar affect my homeowner’s insurance?

Hardware & Installation

  • If my energy use changes, will I be able to add more panels later?
  • Will I need a new roof for any reason to install and utilize these solar panels i.e. weight?
  • If these panels or the installation damage my property, who is responsible?
  • In which country are the solar panels and inverters you are selling made?
  • What kind of warranties do the solar panels and inverters have? When does equipment typically need to be replaced?
  • How long will the installation take?

Vendor Verification

  • When was your company established and how much solar has it installed to date? (Ask for references.)
  • Does your company have a standard insurance certificate with adequate general liability coverage of $1 million or more? (Ask to see it)
  • Does your company have professional liability insurance? (Ask to see it)
  • Are your solar installers North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Electric trained and certified?
  • Do you have a licensed professional engineer and master electrician on staff to review and approve drawings, obtain permits, and supervise electrical work? Will you handle that paperwork?
  • Are you accredited with the Better Business Bureau? If so, what is your rating?
  • Will you complete all of the paperwork associated with financing, tax credits, and/or grants? Does that cost extra?
  • Do you work with any affiliated companies or sub-contractors?
  • Do you offer any warranties or guarantees on your installation work?