Solar Panel Buying Guide

Solar Panel Buying Guide
May 8, 2017 Kozco
Solar Panels

You have done all the research and performed the calculations. You have considered the environmental and financial benefits of converting your home to solar and calculated the potential increase in the value of your home. You have researched solar panel options and determined the best installation for your roof. Now it is time to pair with a professional installer who can bring it all together and make your solar dreams come true.

The Installation Process

The installation of a solar power system is not something to be taken lightly. Even the smallest solar power system is a significant investment, and you want to make sure the job is done right. When properly installed and regularly maintained, today’s solar panels can last for more than a quarter century. Choosing a quality Company to supply and install your system is the best way to achieve that longevity and minimise the impact on yourself and your family.

There are many national companies that specialise in solar panel installations and solar energy conversions. Some of these contractors lease the solar panels and sell you the energy produced at a low rate. Others sell the solar panels and related equipment outright, requiring a greater up-front outlay of cash but also allowing you to qualify for any tax credits, property tax abatements and other incentives.

solar-panels

Solar Panels must be installed correctly to ensure you get full benefit from them

Research Your Subcontractor

Whether they lease the solar panels or sell them outright, these national installers typically employ local subcontractors to do the installations. The quality of those subcontractors can vary widely, so it’s important to research the reputation of not only the national company but any local affiliates as well.

Many homeowners prefer to work with a local contractor for their solar panel installation. Having a locally owned and operated company can make it easier to complete the installation, and the local touch also makes researching the firm a simpler matter, with the benefits of local service and support as well.   

It’s a good idea to contact several Sales and Installation companies and research the firms carefully. Installing solar panels and the related equipment is a specialty process, and not all contractors will have the experience, the tools or the expertise to do the job. You will want to choose an installer with years of experience in the industry— one that has done dozens, or hundreds, of similar installations.

A good installer will also take the time to get to know your home and do the initial research to make sure the conversion makes financial sense. Many Sales and Installation companies now use satellite imagery and even drones to look at your home from the air. Before they even come out, they will have done a thorough evaluation of everything from daily sunshine to the presence of trees and fences that could impact the amount of light reaching the panels.

Choose the Right Solar Panels

The Company representative you interview should be able to clearly explain every step of the installation process, from choosing the right solar panels for your roof type and deciding which type of inverter to use to selecting the right framing materials and support systems for the panels. You may have done your homework and gained a good understanding of solar power, but an experienced Sales and Installation company can still provide valuable information as the project goes forward.

No matter what Sales and Installation companies you are considering, always insist on a proposal showing a fixed cost, names the brand and size of the inverter and panels to be supplied and installed, as well as showing you the systems projected yearly production and your return on your investment. The estimate should detail the support structures needed to hold them in place and the racks designed to put them in the proper position.

If the estimate you receive does not include this kind of detail, return it to the installer and ask for a more exact breakdown. Be very wary of installers who are reluctant to provide this level of detail or refuse to do it. These installers may not have the expertise or the experience needed to complete the installation to your satisfaction, or worse still, not be capable of supporting the product and system moving forward should you encounter any issues moving forward.

House with solar panels

Solar Panel Finance

If financing is a consideration, you will want to choose a Sales and Installation company that provides it. In some cases, it may be cheaper to use a home equity loan or line of credit, so always compare costs carefully before using the company to finance the purchase and installation of your solar system.

It can often be difficult to find leads on local solar installers, so you may have to do some additional homework before getting started. If your neighbours have already had their homes converted to solar power, finding a suitable Sales and Installation company could be as simple as asking them who they used and how pleased or displeased they were with the results. You can also check with your Power Company and local municipality for recommendations and start interviewing installers from there.

No matter who you ultimately choose, it is important to have a contract that clearly spells out the scope of the project and the responsibilities of the parties. Having a contract in place will protect you and help ensure the installation of your solar power system goes off without a hitch.

Kozco Energy Group Pty Ltd are the Solar Panel, Inverter and battery storage installation experts and can help ensure your new Solar Panel system is the best it can be for your budget. Contact them today for a free quote on solar panel installation for your Adelaide home or business.