California Solar Installers: What to consider when choosing an installer
The Sunshine State of leads the nation in solar installation – the combination of financial incentives, plentiful sunlight, and green-thinking residents has made California home to more solar projects than any other state. Increased competitions amongst solar installers in California has made prices go down, but it's also made it difficult for consumers to know who to go with.
What to consider when choosing an installer:
1- Big Solar Installer versus Mom-and-Pop Shop:
There are benefits to both. Big Solar companies can often offer a lower price because they are buying bulk. Generally they offer better warranties and nice features such as detailed online monitoring of your energy usage and savings. However, consumers sometimes complain about cookie-cutter projects and lower quality PV panels.
Mom-and-Pop Solar Installers usually provide higher quality panels and can give you a range of products to choose from to fit your budget. The projects are more customizable to fit your needs and it is nice to have personal and local customer service.
2 - References, warranties, and training:
Any installer you go with should provide references and customer testimonials. (Big red flag if they don't). You may want to ask how many systems similar to yours they have installed and how they have been trained. It is best to go with a NABCEP certified installer. This is the most reputable certification one can get in solar installation. Lastly, all systems should be warrantied for 20-25 years. It's another big, red flag if they don't provide a warranty.
California Statewide Solar Installers (aka “The Big Guys”)