How to Select the Right Solar Contractor

87017057_mHave you ever had a poor experience with a home or business contractor? Did it drain you of your time, additional capital, and decision-making capacity? Maybe it left you with an unfinished job or worse, in litigation with no end in sight. Nonetheless, choosing the right contractor can be a delicate dance; comparing bids, company statistics, quality of the experience, and work performed. This can be even further compounded when looking at solar contractors because the industry in many states is still reaching a balanced maturity, meaning firms still regularly come into and exit the market. This blog will identify the critical points to weigh when choosing a solar installer for your home or business. 

The company itself

When selecting a solar installer, or any contractor for that matter, it is important to evaluate the company you are seeking to partner with here are some attributes that should specifically be considered:

    1. Experience: How long have they been installing solar? How large an area do they service? Do they only serve one market or do they service multiple market segments? 
    2. Size: How large is the company? Do they have the overhead to resolve problems without seeking additional payment? Do their employees have core competencies, or is one person responsible for the design, installation, and service? 
    3. Licenses & Insurances: Does the company have a builder’s license? Electrical contractors license? Do they carry general liability and umbrella insurances? Workers comp insurance, company vehicle insurances? Most importantly are they willing and able to provide proof? 
    4. Continuity: Are you contracting with Company ABC just for them to hire Company XYZ to do the work? Do they have on-staff engineers, electricians, and foremen? 
    5. NABCEP Certification: Does the company you want to partner with have NABCEP certified engineers and installers? Click here to read about NABCEP certifications and why it is so critical. 

The work they perform

Now that you have considered who the company is and how established they are it is important to consider what they do and how they do it:

    1. Quality of work: Are they willing to provide references? Pictures of their work? Has a 3rd party verified their work? Are they factory trained by the manufacturer of the product that they install? What kind of workmanship warranty do they offer?
    2. Communication: Work begins when you first reach out to a solar company; how were they in their communication from the get go? Did they establish trust by meeting time frames and being to meetings on time? 
    3. Transparent Plan: Can they clearly articulate the plan to accomplish the work once you decide to move forward with them? What is their expected timeline? 
    4. Service department: Do they simply install products or do they support you beyond the install? Solar assets can live well into 35 years, choosing an installer with staff dedicated to after install service is critical to mitigate warranty and system malfunction headaches.
    5. Customer Reviews: What do their customers say about them? What does the Better Business Bureau say about their company? 

The products offered

Finally, it is important to consider what products a solar company is recommending and offering, it should be a red flag if a company only offers one product as a solution as your situation is certainly unique and should be treated as such.

    1. Diversity of Products: Do they offer multiple products for the various pieces of equipment they install? If they only offer one product is it to your benefit or their benefit? Do they offer economy and premium products? 
    2. Customization: Do they allow you to have a say in the products recommended? Do they allow you to recommend products; minimally entertaining the conversation of using the products you would like? Do they ask the questions that allow the system to be custom-tailored to meet you and your family’s needs? 
    3. Solutions: Are they willing to offer multiple solutions and allow you to be the deciding party? Are they willing to go outside their normal offerings to deliver the best solution for you? 

It is always important to vet a company you plan to partner with, whether it is a lawn service company or a solar installer it is important to have a sense of comfort rooted in trust and belief in their ability to perform. Don’t get left in an uncomfortable arrangement, do your due diligence in choosing a quality solar installer like Michigan Solar Solutions. 

 

Michigan Solar Solutions is a commercial and residential solar installer and electrical contractor that has served the lower peninsula of Michigan since 2007. We have installed thousands of panels and have a happy customer near you, check out what our customers think of us Guild Quality

If you or another business is interested in having an undeniable impact on your triple bottom line, give us a call for a free consultation to see if solar is right for you! Call (248) 923-3456 or request a Free Online Solar Analysis for your business.

Have a comment? Let us hear from you!

 

John Jevahirian, Commercial Solar Consultant

Written by John Jevahirian, Commercial Solar Consultant

John graduated from Xavier University in ’17 with a degree in Sustainability; Economics and Management and a Minor in Environmental Studies. John represents MSS as a professional stakeholder in the Detroit 2030 District and as a member of the Detroit Green Task Force.


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