How to Find a Quality Solar Installer Near You
What’s the best way to find a high-quality solar installer?
Great question. Before you commit to installing solar you want to know you’re working with a quality company.
Like finding any other product or service it’s just a matter of knowing where to look. But there are also a few important factors that can influence your choice of solar installer, most importantly whether you want to pay cash or lease a system. We’ve written about this before here so you may want to take a look before reading this: The Advantages of Paying Cash for Solar Systems.
If you’re looking at a solar leasing offer you may want to go with a big, national, reputable solar company. On the flip side if you’re paying cash it may make sense to go with a smaller but reputable local installer.
We’d also recommend getting at least 3 quotes before making a decision, so you can get the full picture and evaluate all our options.
Either way, here are a few suggestions on where to find a good solar company:
#1 – Get Solar Estimates from your living room
The easiest thing to do is fill out an online signup form with information about your home, utility bill, and location, and let the installers come to you. It only takes a minute or two and once processed you’ll have several companies to talk to. This let’s you compare estimates and feel out the top solar installers in your area without having to do a lot of legwork on your own.
You should be able to get a good mix here of leasing options (if you qualify) from top installers as well as potential cash options.
If you haven’t already you can get a few estimates by clicking the link above or the signup box at the bottom of this post.
#2 – Talk to your friends and neighbors who have gone solar
This is always the best way to get the nitty-gritty details from someone you trust. Ask your friends who they went solar with and how the overall experience was.
It’s still worth getting a few solar estimates from different companies–you never know how much research your friend/neighbor did before going solar–but this is a great way to get a few company names to add to the list (or cross off!).
#3 – Access local contractor listing sites and reviews
There are several good websites with contractor reviews that you can use to find quality solar companies.
Review sites can give you a lot of great feedback from real customers who have already purchased. I don’t know about you, but 99% of my buying decisions–from trivial to big ticket items–hinge on actual customer reviews.
These sites can give you some real feedback on the companies you’re interested in working with:
HomeAdvisor (Free) – General solar installer listings in your area.
Angie’s List (Membership) – Pre-screen solar contractors complete with ratings and reviews. Also offers local discounts and offers to some services.
Yelp (Free) – Always a good option if available, although reviews can get a bit messy with spam reviews for and against a particular company.
Google Reviews – Not always complete or well used but you can sometimes find additional information here.
Simply google the company in question and look for “## reviews, which look like this under search listings:
You can also use this as a way to find new installers, which brings us to our last tip:
#4 – Google Local Business Listings
When in doubt it never hurts to ask Google.
But this can be a tedious way to go about things since you’ll be bombarded by Google Advertisements and non-installer websites mixed in with real information.
That being said, you can still find a lot of great information here if you want to get your hands dirty and wade through the listings.
That completes our list of where to find high-quality solar installers in your area.
Other thoughts or ideas? Feel free to ask as in the comments.
[Photo Credit: US Navy via Flickr under CC License]