When you start thinking about going solar, the cost is probably the first thing you begin looking into. Yes, price is important, but it should not be the only factor in deciding on a solar installer for your home. First of all, when you’re thinking about price, what’s most important is the price per watt, not the price of the system as a whole.
That’s partly because you should also be figuring out how much you want to cut your electric bill by—50%? 100%? More than 100%, so that you’re selling power back to your utility? (To learn more about this, see How Much Can Home Solar Save You on Your Electricity Bill?)
Beyond these considerations, and even before you’ve made a final decision on them, you’ll want to pick your solar installer very, very carefully. Despite all the obstacles put in its way by government (and by some electric utilities) solar is booming across Texas and across the nation.
In fact, solar photovoltaic energy is now the cheapest source of electricity, including natural gas. And it’s going to get even cheaper as the technology continues to improve. This means that new home solar installation companies have been popping up in Texas like mushrooms after rain.
Many are making amazing-sounding offers of deals and discounts. So, how to choose? Here’s a quick handy guide.
Remember—your home solar installation is designed to last for at least three decades. You’ll want your installer to be around to service it and deal with any problems. So, a primary consideration is the company’s stability.
How long has it been in business? Is home solar installation the company’s primary focus? What sort of internet presence does they have? Does their website have a portfolio of their past projects?
Do they use Tier 1 components for all their installs? And—while some review sites can be deceptive—how are the company’s reviews and ratings on trustworthy sites like Angie’s List? And how far back do they go? (Of course, a newer company may in fact be excellent—but in general, the longer a home solar installer has been around, the more likely they are to be reliable.)
In particular, look for levels of satisfaction with service and turnaround time on service calls. Overall, how easy do customers find the company to work with?
Once you’ve decided, based on the answers to these questions, check out a shortlist of home solar installers in your part of Texas. When you call, do you get a live human being rather than a robot phone tree?
How quickly are you connected to a solar salesperson? Is that person knowledgeable and able to answer more complicated questions, and do they refer you to educational resources like the Texas Solar Energy Society or provide you with their own accurate, up-to-date informational materials?
At least as important as their answers, does the salesperson ask you the right questions and give you an honest preliminary evaluation of your particular home energy needs? Does a company salesperson visit in person to look over your property and get back to you with a detailed, costed recommendation?
If an installer passes all these tests, chances are it’s the right company to meet your home solar needs. We invite you to test Universal Solar. Check us out. We’re confident we’ll pass with flying colors.