Getting multiple quotes for solar is a crucial part of the solar shopping process. Just like you wouldn’t replace your roof based on one roofer’s quote, it’s important to compare different solar quotes to find the best option.
Solar companies provide various information in their quotes, but sometimes they might leave out important details that could impact your decision. So, how do you compare these quotes? Let’s explore the 8 key components of a top-notch solar quote.
1) Estimated Costs
The estimated cost is crucial when considering a solar quote.
Reputable solar companies should provide clear and simple cost information without any hidden terms. This should include information about equipment, labor, and additional services.
However, it’s important to remember that the initial quote is just an estimate. It may change after further analysis and discussion.
It’s advised to be cautious of excessively low-cost estimates and to consider factors like the company’s reputation, quality equipment, and future service.
Solar incentives should be discussed in every solar quote. These incentives encompass tax credits, rebates, discounts, and other benefits to significantly reduce the cost of adopting solar energy.
Most solar companies inquire about details like income, tax payments, business ownership, and other factors to determine eligibility for these incentives. Homeowners and businesses typically qualify for at least one incentive, and they can often be combined to achieve greater savings.
Certified or approved solar companies may offer exclusive incentives, which underscores the need to obtain multiple quotes.
It’s important to work with a company that can provide a comprehensive range of incentives. Additionally, it’s crucial to be aware of when incentive programs will end or decrease.
3) Warranty Details
Most solar panels have a 25-30 year warranty for both the product and energy production. This ensures that the panels will withstand wear-and-tear and maintain a certain percentage of their original energy production.
These warranties provide peace of mind for homeowners and businesses investing in solar panels.
The quote should also include workmanship warranties. Workmanship warranties detail the extent to which a company believes in its work. A good workmanship warranty might promise that the solar system will be free of deficiencies related to installation.
It’s essential to seek warranty information and request it in writing if not included in the solar quote.
4) Approximate Cost Savings
The main motivation behind most people’s decision to install solar panels is to save money.
By having solar panels installed, you can generate your own electricity. This not only reduces or eliminates your utility bill, but it also shields you from constant hikes in energy costs.
Your solar quote should accurately reflect these projected savings and illustrate the long-term financial benefits that come with the installation of solar panels.
However, it’s important to be cautious of the disparity in savings estimates provided by different solar companies. If you notice a significantly higher estimated solar savings from one solar company, it is advisable to inquire further to ensure that their savings projections are not distorted to secure the sale.
5) Customization Information
Every solar installation is unique, and as such, the solar quote should include a custom design that considers various variables. These variables, such as roof size, local policies, and budget constraints, affect the design and functionality of the solar panel installation.
It’s crucial to review the design with a solar consultant and ask questions to ensure it meets your specific needs. Comparing designs from different solar companies and seeking clarification from consultants can help you make an informed decision about installing solar panels.
6) Anticipated Energy Production
Solar quotes should include a calculation of the expected solar energy production. This refers to the amount of energy generated by the panels each year.
This projection takes into account various factors such as climate, panel type, and desired energy offset. By examining the estimated energy production, one can compare different quotes and identify any significant differences.
It’s important to inquire about any unusually high estimates, as it could indicate either a different calculation method or an attempt to oversell solar panels. Additionally, solar companies often review utility bills to determine the energy requirements of the household.
7) Equipment Details
Solar quotes should provide details about the equipment to be installed. This equipment includes the make and model of solar panels, as well as the make, model, and number of solar inverters.
Researching this information allows you to ensure good performance and warranties. If installing a battery backup system or EV charger, ensure the quote includes the necessary details or ask your solar consultant for a list.
8) Installation Time Frame
The installation of solar panels can be a lengthy process. It often takes several months from the initial call to the switch-on date.
Necessary steps include gathering information, analyzing the property, designing the solar system, and securing financing. Installers must also obtain permits, apply for incentives, and schedule installation.
It’s crucial to understand the timeline and communicate with the solar company throughout the process.
Industry experts such as Green Ridge Solar recommend starting the installation early in the year. This enables your solar panels to be up and running by the summer.