26 April, 2023 < 1 MIN READ

12 Questions to Ask a Solar Installer

Investing in solar energy is a significant undertaking that requires a comprehensive knowledge about the entire process before fully committing. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of pivotal questions to ask a solar installer when weighing your options:


1. What type of system do you recommend for my home? 

Typically, companies will most likely recommend a grid-tied solar panel system, grid-tied with energy storage, or off grid. Let’s dive into the pros and cons of each. 

Homeowners often opt for grid-tied solar panel systems since it allows them to take advantage of the sun’s energy when available, as well as draw from their electricity grid whenever needed. With this setup, you can also earn credits on your utility bill by selling excess power that adds up meaningfully in savings over time.

If a reliable backup is desired during outages or interruptions in service however, investing in a system with battery storage may be most suitable – though more expensive than just going off-grid alone.

Those seeking a reliable, renewable energy source for essential health or safety needs might consider going off-grid. While it’s the most expensive option with fewer incentives available than other systems, an off-grid solar system provides peace of mind and independence from power grids.


2. How long will my solar panels last? 

Typically, the lifespan of solar panels ranges from 25 to 30 years. Once the system’s production quality drops to 80%, many installers consider the system less practical. Before making any commitments, its essential to ensure that the solar company’s average aligns with your expectations.


3. What will be the inverter type?

With solar power, your appliances won’t be able to use the same electricity that comes directly from the panels. That’s because home devices typically operate on AC while a panel produces DC energy – which means you’ll need an inverter for conversion purposes! You have two main options when it comes to selecting this important component of any solar system: micro-inverters and central or string inverters. Educate yourself about each one with your installer so you can make an informed decision. 


4. How much will it cost to install the equipment?

Investing in solar power for your home can be a wise decision, but it’s important to understand the costs associated with installation. Prices range from $17k – 32k depending on factors such as your house size, energy consumption and panel type. To get the best deal possible you should always compare quotes between three different companies before making any decisions.


5. What factors contribute to overall cost?

To gain clarity on the overall cost, its crucial to comprehend the source of the expenses. Requesting a detailed breakdown that includes the expense of the equipment and labor costs is essential for comparing with other options available on the market. 


6. How long have they been in business? 

Unfortunately, not all companies are reputable and experienced. To make sure the job is done right, dig into their years in business and number of successful installations to help determine if they can provide a quality set up. 


7. How long will the installation process take?

To ensure a successful installation, it’s important to inquire about the project timeline and procedure. A dependable installer is capable of outlining each step in advance, allowing you to stay informed in the case of any setbacks or difficulties that may emerge throughout the process. For more detail, we’ve compiled a few things you can expect during installation.


8. Can you provide references?

Requesting references or referrals is an effective way to evaluate a company’s credibility. If the company takes pride in its past projects, obtaining access to this information shouldn’t be a problem. In addition, seeking recommendations from trusted family and friends is highly recommended, and online resources that showcase the company’s work are a good starting point to gather more information. 


9. What problems have other homeowners had with their solar equipment, if any?

It’s crucial to have the full picture of specific issues you could potentially run into with solar, and the process for solving them. Along with testimonials from customers on the positives of their solar system, it’s worth asking about any roadblocks to be aware of before fully committing. 


10. Is my roof right for solar?

It’s beneficial to consider your roof before installing a solar system. A qualified contractor will need to inspect the condition of your roof and determine whether it can adequately support the panels. For example, if there are any repairs that must be made then these should take place prior to installation in order for you not risk leaks when it rains due to drilling holes from putting up racks! Asking what materials and equipment is being used will help guarantee an optimal result so don’t forget about this important step!


11. Can you calculate my projected savings?

Comprehending the financial advantages of installing solar is crucial. Potential installers can offer estimates to help you compare the benefits of a cash purchase versus loan financing. This information will provide insight into your future energy bill savings, as well as anticipated monthly payments if you choose to make this investment. 


12. What financing options are available?

While shopping for a new product can be thrilling, selecting the appropriate financing options is equally as important. It’s crucial to research any incentives and rebates offered by the company to find an option that seamlessly fits into your budget.