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Choosing a Solar PV Installer: Don’t Compromise on Customer Service

The challenges inherent in choosing a solar PV installer to design and mount a solar PV array on your home is similar to choosing any other home contractor. Who can you trust? Will they do the job right? Are they offering you fair pricing?

At EcoOutfitters.net, we ask these questions for you and literally check off which features each installer brings to the table so the comparison is easy and the legwork is done!

The pool to from which to select quality solar PV designers and installers is much smaller than, say, home painters, conventional heating and AC installers, or general contractors. And the industry is so new, there aren’t as many certifications established. But that doesn’t mean you can’t pick the best solar PV installer just by doing your homework.

Here are a few ways to push aside the clouds and find the brightest shining solar installer in your area. As with finding any contractor, one of the primary considerations is the level of customer service the solar installer is willing to provide.

Ask for references. – However you find your choices in solar PV installers (and we recommend starting here at EcoOutfitters.net), ask for references, and check them. When you ask to speak to some of the company’s recent customers, ask for the phone numbers of customers with projects similar in size and scope to your own. Finding a contractor who specializes in what you need brings you one step closer to success.

Look for recommendations or complaints online – Search the Web and see what people are saying about your top choices in solar PV installers. Also check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any reports or complaints.

Ask about the service agreement – Every solar PV installer should stand by the products they sell and install. Ask what is included with regular service and maintenance, and if a service plan is available so you can save money. Look for an installer who will visit your home at least once a year to make sure the equipment is operating as it should. Make sure to ask about warrantees, as well, and how you can make a claim if your solar array fails while it is still under warranty.

Consider their character – There’s a lot to be said about going with your gut when you choose any home contractor, including a solar PV installer. Take time to interview your top choices. Ask as many questions as you’d like. The best solar PV installer will be happy to take the time to explain both his products and services in plain language you can understand.

Post Written by
A full-time freelance writer, Dawn frequently covers energy efficiency, green living, and topics like LED lighting and whole home control systems for a number of blogs and technology trade magazines. Dawn is proud to live in New York as the state vies to beat out New Jersey as the East coast top dog of solar energy and is waiting for the Solar Renewable Energy Certificate legislation to pass before installing solar panels on her Long Island home.

1 Comment

  1. Jim Jenal says:

    There is one well respected credentialing body out there for solar installers, the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). They offer both an entry level credential as well as the full, Certified Solar PV Installer credential. The later is very difficult to attain, requiring designated educational and work experience as well as successfully passing a 4-hour written exam covering all aspects of solar installations and safety.
    You can check them out at http://www.nabcep.org where you can learn more about their certification process as well as locate NABCEP-certified installers in your area.
    I am proud to say that all three of the owners at Run on Sun are NABCEP Certified Solar PV Installers!