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Do's and Don'ts of Hiring a Contractor

Get the facts and understand your responsibilities before you sign a contract.

Contractors installing solar panels

Do Ask Questions:

  • How long have they been in business, and how many solar installations have they done?
  • Do they use subcontractors or do the work themselves?
  • Are they bonded and insured and licensed to do business in your state?
  • What is offered as part of the standard package, and what is “added” on?
  • What size is the system, and does it comply with state and local regulations?
  • Who is the equipment manufacturer? And what is their reputation?
  • What warranties apply on the equipment? Labor?
  • When will installers start work, and what’s the estimated finish time?
  • Who is responsible for permits and tests?
  • Who is responsible for removal and proper disposal of the panels if you wish to no longer have them on your property?

Do get several estimates, and make sure you’re comparing apples-to-apples.

Do check references, review their work on nearby homes, and check with public resources like the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints about your contractor.

Don’t ignore energy efficiency improvements you can make to your home. They help reduce energy use, and perhaps even the size and cost of any solar panel system you install.

Don’t rush to sign a contract without thoroughly reviewing it. Make sure you understand if your costs for the system will remain constant or will increase over time.

Don’t rely on one source of information regarding assumptions on returns on your investment. Check things like estimates for electricity cost increases over time, compensation (if any) for electricity returned to the grid, and other assumptions that may impact your potential return on investment. Make sure to compare those estimates with other independently-sourced estimates.

Note: The information contained in this list is intended to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice.

Getting started with solar power Transition to a clean energy future.
How residential solar panels work Reduce your home energy use.

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