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A Guide to Finding Solar Energy Contractors

​Over the past five years, the costs of residential solar systems have continued to steadily drop, helping more and more homeowners to save on their energy bills. Despite lower prices, however, investing in solar energy companies is still no small investment.
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There are thousands of solar installers in the US. Depending on various factors like your location, your roof, and your roof's age, local solar installers may be the better choice. Read on to learn more about different solar energy companies, different purchasing options, and what to look for when shopping.

Which Solar Energy Companies Are Right for You?

Today, homeowners have several different options in the residential solar market. If you do not want to buy a solar energy system, you can lease a system for your home. The US solar company Sunrun was the first to offer solar leasing—otherwise known as Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)—to solar seeking homeowners with smaller budgets. In most cases, third-party solar energy companies completely cover the cost of maintenance and installation for the system. These companies only charge you for the clean energy produced by your new solar panels at a lower and fixed rate that doesn't change, even if the electric company changes their rates.

A good solar energy company can help you save on energy bills. | © CC BY 2.0 / Wayne National Forest

What to Look for in Solar Energy Companies

When searching for a solar system for the home, there are several things to first know to make sure it is the right system for you.

It is important to ensure that the solar contractor installing your new investment is a licensed and reputable professional. All work should be bonded, insured, and done by a contractor with an accomplished portfolio and plenty of past references for you to check.

Solar batteries, which allow for the home to be disconnected from the power grid, tend not to be worth it. By remaining connected to the local power grid, homeowners will not only continue to draw power at night like usual, they will also continue to enjoy access to most rebate incentives.

Additionally, there are two types of warranties usually offered by solar energy companies. The panel and inverter manufacturer warranty covers the hardware, typically 20 to 25 years for panels and 5 to 10 years for inverters. The installation warranty covers the quality of solar energy companies' work. Generally good for 2 to 10 years, this warranty guarantees that no damage was done to your roof during installation. Homeowners should be aware that theft, fire, or other damage isn't covered by either of these warranties. Consequently, be sure to add a new solar panel to your homeowner's insurance policy after your purchase.

Lastly, it is a good idea to compare how long different solar panels last. While an average solar system can last 30 years or more, the lifespans of your solar panels can also be extended with regular maintenance from PPA providers or homeowners.

Summary: Shopping Efficiently for Solar Energy Companies

A knowledgeable consumer must also consider the importance of solar energy companies' installation quality, as there is potential for damage to the roof and solar unit itself during the installation. By spending the time to ensure that solar energy companies offer the best deal on a solar panel, your home can soon have lower monthly energy bills. SolarContact makes it easy for you to find quality solar contractors in your area. Check out our solar energy database to get started today.

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Written by: Ryan Mchugh, Editor