Resources for Solar Customers
The following resources can help guide you through the process of going solar. If you’re just getting started, taking a look at the
GO SOLAR GUIDE from Solar United Neighbors. (However, be aware that in Kentucky some of the options discussed in SUN’s Go Solar Guide - in particular, solar leases and power purchase agreements (PPA’s) - are generally not available to most customers.)
CHOOSING A SOLAR INSTALLER:
GET THE RIGHT INFORMATION AND WATCH OUT FOR SCAMS
Watch Out for Scams and Hard Sell Tactics
1. Do they push you in to a quick signing? Be sure they allow you time to think.
2. Are they offering false freebies? Instant “Rebates” may just bring rates down to the price of competitors, or hide the fact that their rates are above market and will cost more in long term.
3. Are their incentives time limited? Suggesting that a special financing rate or incentive is only available for a very short time (e.g., 48 hours) is designed to pressure you into signing on the spot. THAT IS A DANGER SIGN!
4. Watch out for excessive charges for getting out of the contract or making changes in the contract.
5. Watch out for attempts to over-inflate the projected return on investment (for example, they may overestimate future utility rate increases). Get details on how the return on investment is calculated.
6. They should not imply that a solar system with battery storage or a single brand of technology is the only option available. (There are actually many brands and designs to choose from.)
To learn more, read "How to Spot a Solar Scam” from Solar United Neighbors.
Watch Out for Misleading Advertising
1. Ads may look like an article from an independent publication with a picture of a politician or government official appearing to sign legislation.
2. Ads might exaggerate the up-front costs of a solar installation and make it look like getting financing is the only option.
3. Ads may put false time or area limits on their financing, or falsely claim government sponsorship. To learn more, read “How to Spot Misleading Solar Ads” from Solar United Neighbors.
What To Find Out from A Potential Installer
1. Certifications and Organizational Memberships
2. Electrical Expertise
Ask if your installer has Journeyman or Master level electrician expertise and certification in-house. You might prefer to avoid companies that subcontract installation rather than doing it themselves.
3. Roofing Issues
Ask if your installer uses approved solar roofing products to protect against leaks for the next 25 years. Ask for specification sheets on the products they use to get more information.
4. Training of Company Employees
Ask if the person designing the system is fully trained in the technical, electrical, design, and regulatory aspects of solar. NABCEP Installation Professional (PVIP level) certification for the designer is good.
5. Determining your Suitability for Solar and Likely Production
6. Return on Investment Calculations
Ask for detail of how the installer calculates the return on your investment. For example,
7. Permits, Inspections, Connections
Will your installer handle all permitting, inspections, interconnection, and net metering applications?
8. Background Checks
Will your installer provide background checks of all installation, sales, and office staff?
Three types of warranties can be associated with a solar panel system:
10. Track Record
Does your installer have a history of successful projects? Ask for a list of local references.
ALWAYS GET MULTIPLE QUOTES!