Finding the right solar company for you can be tricky. To make sure you are getting the right one for your household, you will want to make sure you are getting the quality you deserve without scams that occur frequently when going solar. Here are our 9 questions you should be asking yourself before signing a solar contract, straight from our DC Solar Electric team!
- Did the company explain how solar works, what type of equipment you will receive, and what your expected electric bill is in the future?
Knowledge is power, and at DC Solar, we firmly believe in educating our community and being completely transparent. Make sure you get all of these facts, upfront! We offer free consultations and custom design a system for each of our customers- many of whom see annual tru-ups of less than $0.20 just a few years after going solar.
- Were you told you will receive a “free installation” and/or solar electric system or that you are eligible for a free installation?
Buyer beware: There is no such thing as a “free” solar installation. Most complaints we have received from clients who have been wronged by other companies is that they have been trapped into a 20-year binding agreement. This means having to pay the company through what is called a power purchase agreement (PPA). The average cost to a consumer is roughly $40,000 dollars more over the standard term than if you were to buy the system and use solar financing. Yikes! At DC Solar, we will never promote PPAs.
- Did the company who reviewed solar options with you tell you who would be installing the system?
This is absolutely critical to know when going solar. A third party sales company will make money on the sale, then sell the install to a third party contractor who makes money on the install- and you get caught paying double commissions!
In addition, who is going to stand behind the warranty of the system? The sales company that isn’t licensed, or the 3rd party contractor that got paid to show up and install the system? Maybe neither? We offer a 25-year warranty on all our installs, every time.
- Who is the company that is going to install the system, what kind of contractors license do they have, and how much experience do they have?
Like we said before, knowledge is power. Many companies have a C46 which means they aren’t qualified to touch anything besides solar. Make sure to use someone with both a general contractors license (B license) and an electrical contractors license (C10)- at DC Solar we have over 35 years of electrical and contracting experience. This way you know your company who is qualified to do anything needed on the project. Also knowing how long the company has been in business will help you gauge if they are trustworthy to successfully complete the installation.
- What is the warranty on three major parts of the system?
Having a warranty is absolutely essential when investing in solar. To make sure it’s worth your investment, make sure the solar panels, the inverters, and the roof are covered in your warranty. We pride ourselves on offering a warranty that provides full-coverage for 25 years!
- Are there incentives that would benefit me if I went solar?
The greatest incentive is the Residental Renewable Energy Tax Credit which provides a 30% tax rebate for all systems placed by 12/31/2019! Many cities have solar incentives if you go green! Companies such as Go Solar California, PG & E, and SMUD all offer amazing financial incentives for getting panels for your home or business. If you do your research, most likely you’ll find that your city offers great incentives by creating a cleaner city. The greatest incentive is the Residental Renewable Energy Tax Credit which provides a 30% tax rebate for all systems placed by 12/31/2019!
- Have you compared a purchase with cash, purchase with solar financing, and a Power Purchase Agreement?
Make sure to compare and contrast plans and most importantly, DO YOUR RESEARCH. Certain financing plans can trap you into long and costly deals and raise your interest rates due to lack of regulation on loans. Make sure you feel educated and secure in your solar decision.
- Do you care about the finish work on your home?
If you care about your house’s aesthetic, it’s important to take this tip into consideration when signing a contract. Is the company you’re choosing going to run metal pipe across your entire roof and down your walls? You should know this before going into the installation so that you are happy with the results. Make sure you know where your panels are going and what the finish work will be so you know what to expect!
- Did you get approved for a loan and were offered a monthly payment plan on the spot by a salesperson?
Always be on the lookout for dealer fees. These are hidden fees that can have you owing more than what’s expected! Being approved instantly can typically mean you’re being roped into a solar scam and will owe more interest than what you might have expected. Always be aware, ask questions, and read the fine print before saying yes. You’ll want a sales team you can trust, and our DC Solar team will make sure you’re only receiving quality for a fair price.
At DC Solar, we want you to feel safe, secure and trusting in your decision to go solar. With us, you are family. We promise that we will not beat around the bush, trick you with ridiculous hidden fees, and will only provide the best quality that you deserve. To show that we stand by our promise, we will sit down with you and offer a free solar consultation to best help you and your household or place of business. It’s our DC Solar promise, and this is what keeps our loyal customers spreading our name through our community!