You want to get solar quotes from multiple solar companies in Durham and compare them before finalizing a contractor that meets your needs and budget. But you don’t know how to go about doing it.
Worry not. We are here to help you. Let’s get down to business right away.
Start With a Background Check on the Company
Before you approach a solar company, research them. A quick search on the internet will get you reviews from their previous customers, their opinions of the contractor on social media, and even news articles on them.
Find out what the general sentiment is regarding the contractor. If something sounds like a red flag, it probably is.
Review the Terms
Dive into the solar quote provided by the contractor and read everything, especially the fine print. When you compare the terms and conditions with those of other contractors, you begin to notice what’s different and how that difference works out in practice. If you have doubts, you can always ask the contractor.
Communicate Your Energy Requirements Clearly
Long before you start hunting for solar contractors, collect all your power bills from at least the past 2 years. Use them to calculate your average monthly and annual power requirements. Your solar contractor’s quote will depend, to a large extent, on your power needs.
Ask the Contractor to Spell Out the Equipment
If the quote doesn’t already specify all the equipment the contractor will be setting up for you, ask them to do it. If they refuse to do so, go to a different solar contractor.
Ideally, your solar quote must specify the brand/manufacturer name and the model number of each component of your system. That includes solar panels, inverters, battery storage, bi-directional meters, and a racking system, among other things.
Discuss the Cost Differences
The solar quotes from different contractors will deviate significantly from one another. So, it’s your job to find out why?
Is one contractor using more expensive equipment, or are they charging more for the same equipment?
Are they charging you a high installation cost? If yes, can they offer a genuine explanation for that?
Why did they choose a product over its competition?
Questions like these help you understand more about the solar contractor and the system they are offering you.
Review Power Production Estimates
Your quote will include a power production estimate, which will be based on your installed PV cells capacity, and energy generation efficiency, among other variables. Compare the power production estimate with your average monthly power requirement. It should be a close match.
Dig Into the Warranties
Warranty information is one of the most important items in your solar quote. Check out the warranties on all the components. Solar warranties often include two types of warranties – a warranty against product failure, and a power production guarantee. The former protects you against any manufacturing defects or failure of the solar panels during the warranty period. The latter provides you a staggered estimate of the PV cell’s power generation efficiency over its lifetime, as it deteriorates in a predictable way.
Review System Design
If you don’t want to end up with sloppy wiring visible on your front-facing wall or poor planning that compromises your system integrity, ask the contractor to share the system design, down to the minutest details, including electrical wiring, precise layout of the panel installation, and so on.
These are the key considerations that will help you compare solar quotes and find the right solar contractor for your needs.