Choosing a solar installer
Last updated 6/9/2021
Once you’ve received multiple solar quotes to compare, it’s time to pick the installer and solar panel system that’s right for your needs. When you select an installer, you want to know that it’s a reputable company, with a strong track record, that has all the appropriate licenses and certifications required in your state, and with the expertise to design the custom solar energy system that’s right for your needs. Quite the long list!
Choosing between different installers can be a daunting task, but EnergySage is here to help. We thoroughly vet the installers in our Marketplace, present installer-specific differentiators in the quotes you receive on EnergySage, and have created an installer-tiering badge system that helps you find the top solar installers in your area.
How EnergySage vets solar installer partners
We have high standards for the solar installers that we partner with throughout the country. When bringing new installers into the EnergySage Marketplace, here’s how we ensure our partners are the best of the best:
- At least 3 years of experience installing solar
- Licensed and insured for solar installations
- NABCEP certified
- Reputation for excellent customer service and quality solar installations
- Installs high quality solar equipment
What distinguishes the best installers
When you’ve already narrowed down your options to reputable installers, and are trying to decide which quote to move forward with, here are three final considerations that distinguish the best from the rest:
Workmanship warranties: what's covered and for how long
In the unlikely event there’s an issue with your solar panel system, it’s important to know who to call if something goes wrong. There are multiple different warranties that come with your solar energy system, from manufacturer warranties for different components to workmanship warranties from your installer.
The workmanship warranty is specific to the work the installer performs, and is typically somewhere between 1 and 10 years. Be sure to check with your installer to see what’s included in the warranty, if there are any exclusions, and if there’s any cost to you in the event they have to come out and check on or replace some equipment.
The use of sub-contractors: which crew will install your system
In some instances, solar installers will rely on subcontractors to perform some, or all, of the work included during your solar installation. Don’t be put off by this: it’s entirely standard procedure in the industry. What is alarming, though, is a lack of transparency from installers about who will install your system and why they use subcontractors.
When you’ve narrowed down your list of potential solar installers, be sure to ask who will install the system–their own crew or subcontractors–and, if they use subs, ask why they do, what portion of the install the subcontractors will complete, and what oversight the company you purchase your system from has over the subcontractors. At the end of the day, the most important question is who will stand behind the quality of your installation.
Expertise: how does each installer tailor their system to your needs
Beyond ensuring that your solar installer has all of the appropriate licenses and industry-specific certifications, it’s important to work with a solar installer who has experience custom designing systems to fit their customers’ needs.
When you’re comparing your options, the best installers will work with you to understand your needs, as well as how solar fits your overall energy plans. Make sure your solar installer provides a consultative, professional solar experience.
How to find reputable solar installers
By doing the legwork for you, EnergySage makes it easy to find reputable solar installation companies in your area. We’ve already vetted all of our installer partners, and keep a close watch over their performance to ensure their installations and customer satisfaction are up to the levels that you–and we–expect. Get started receiving quotes from reputable installers in your area by creating a free account on the EnergySage Marketplace today.
EnergySage is the nation's online solar marketplace: when you sign up for a free account, we connect you with solar companies in your area, who compete for your business with custom solar quotes tailored to fit your needs. Over 10 million people come to EnergySage each year to learn about, shop for and invest in solar. Sign up today to see how much solar can save you.