Deciding whether or not to install a solar energy system on your home or business is a big decision, one with a number of factors you should consider. Cost, system size, reputation of the contractor, and the return on investment are just a few of the issues that need to be weighed before going solar.
At Brilliant Harvest, we don’t just want to sell you a solar system – we want to provide you with all the information you need to make an informed, confident decision. We believe in our product and work to back it up with the high quality of service necessary to make the process as painless as possible.
Here are just a few of the questions you should ask before embarking on your solar energy adventure. And if you think of additional questions, please feel free to ask us! Just email email@example.com and someone will get back to you quickly.
1. Is the company / are the companies I’m considering reputable?
This is quite possibly the most important question you can ask. There are a number of factors that can help guide you in hiring a trustworthy company. Question number one: is the contractor licensed and insured? If the answer is “no,” run away!
Also, does the contractor employ the workers who will install your system or is the installation subcontracted out? It’s very important to know the answer to this question as you simply can’t count on the level of training, experience or skill of installers if they are subcontractors. How long has the company been in business? Did a prospective company employ high-pressure sales tactics, such as offering pricing that’s only available if you sign a contract immediately or a proposal that is less than transparent?
Finally, are you able to get names and numbers of past clients in order to seek references? Be firm about collecting references – and then call them!
2. How can I make a decision on my solar system when I don’t know anything about the technology?
You should be able to find out the names of and do research on the kinds of equipment the contractor will use in your system. You should learn a bit about the brand of solar panels before having them installed on your home. If you don’t recognize the name or can’t find any information about a brand, you may not want to use them – or the company – on your job.
Other considerations include asking about how the contractor will handle wire management. You should learn a little about cable ties vs. cable clips. What about string inverters vs. DC optimizers or micro-inverters? What about system labeling – will the contractor provide stickers/signs that assure you of quality workmanship and ward off any possible confusion for yourself or future contractors? All of this may sound like a foreign language to you now but any contractor you consider should be happy to talk you through every facet of the design of your system.
3. Is your return on investment going to justify the expense of installing a solar energy system?
There are a number of factors that will impact your return on investment with a solar energy system. The first consideration is your roof capacity. Ideally, your southward-facing roof will accommodate all or most of your solar panels, as that will maximize power collection and output. Sometimes a solar system can be installed with panels on multiple roof faces. Contractors should be willing to come to your home or business to do a site review that will inform a custom proposal.
The design of your system and your budget will determine how much power it can optimally produce. By looking at your monthly power bills and the proposal for your solar system, it will be fairly easy to tell how many years it might take to recoup the cost of the system.
Brilliant Harvest’s financing plan makes it possible for you to make money on installing a solar system – your monthly payments will likely exceed the monthly payments. Plus, through at least 2019 the federal government has extended a tax credit of 30% of the total cost of your solar system. That means thousands of dollars of your outlay will be returned to you.
Add to the above considerations the fact that there are few controls in place when it comes to increases levied by utility companies … that your home values will rise after installation … and that the cost of materials are coming down sharply every year, and you should find that the return on investment easily justifies installing a solar energy system on your home or business. Plus, it reduces your carbon footprint so it’s an environmentally responsible thing to do!
4. Are there any warranties and/or guarantees on the quality of my system and its materials?
Before hiring anyone to install a solar energy system on your home or business, you should be assured that there are warranties on the installation and products used. A qualified contractor should be able to craft a proposal that is fairly accurate in reflecting the actual power output after flipping the switch.
As for materials, solar panels should last and produce an output of more than 80% of the rated power for at least two decades. The lifetime of solar panels varies depending on quality of materials and the manufacturer. If a panel has a warranty of less than 10 years, you should exercise caution – 10 should be the minimum.
5. What about maintenance?
At Brilliant Harvest, we’re proud to say that we will be there for you for the lifetime of your solar system. We offer 24/7 online monitoring and if something doesn’t look right, you can make an appointment for one of our technicians to come by and make sure everything is functioning properly. Concerned about possibly selling your home in the foreseeable future? Even if you do, we’ll continue to provide support on the system. How’s THAT for peace of mind!
Generally, solar panels are self-cleaning (let it rain, let it rain) but it doesn’t take much grime, dust or foreign materials like bird droppings to affect the output of your system. If there are visible signs of dirt or you note a downturn in energy output, you should look into having your panels cleaned. Please consider safety issues – such as whether or not you can reach the panels from the ground, or your access to the appropriate safety gear – before tackling the job yourself.
If you would like to know more, please do not hesitate to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (941) 359-3700.