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8 Tips For Choosing The Right Solar Contractor For Your Needs

Investing in solar panels is a significant financial commitment with considerable returns, including long-term energy cost savings. 

Since solar panels are valuable assets, you need to choose a competent and trustworthy installer. The quality and expertise of your solar installer significantly affect your system’s efficiency and longevity.

Whether residential or commercial, this guide offers tips for choosing the right solar contractor for your needs. 

We’ll help you evaluate the best practices and navigate the complexities of choosing a solar company.

Let’s get started!

Tips For Choosing The Right Solar Contractor For Your Needs

Why do you need a solar contractor?
Hiring professional solar energy contractors equipped with the right tools and expertise is essential for a successful solar panel installation. Local, licensed installers prioritize customer satisfaction and professional standards, making them indispensable for safe and effective solar energy system installations.

1. Choose Locally-Owned

Contact a local solar contractor familiar with your area’s specific regulations, permits, and grid connection requirements. 

A local installer’s expertise in navigating local processes can streamline paperwork and ensure compliance, potentially reducing the cost of your system. They often have established relationships with local suppliers, which can lead to material cost savings. 

Additionally, local contractors typically have lower overhead costs compared to national companies, allowing them to offer more competitive pricing. 

2. Ensure That They Are Licensed

Choose a solar contractor that is licensed and certified to operate in your area. 

Trustworthy solar installers will readily provide documentation of their credentials, including certifications from respected industry bodies like the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). 

A NABCEP certification indicates that the installer has passed stringent exams and has substantial experience in the field, marking them as a reliable choice. 

A solar contractor with complete qualifications and proven industry expertise will guarantee a safe and professional installation.

3. Review Their Work History

The best contractors have the best project and client histories. 

Beyond professional-looking websites, delve into reviews and feedback from previous customers to gauge the quality of their installations. Review the solar installer’s portfolio to evaluate their expertise and the aesthetics of their work.

Look for both positive and negative testimonials to confirm the contractor’s reliability and quality of work. Positive feedback enhances your confidence in the solar company, whereas consistent complaints or issues should be a red flag.

Check online reviews, especially those with videos, as they are more likely genuine. If possible, contact past clients who can provide insights into their customer service and professionalism in fulfilling commitments and effectively resolving any issues. 

4. Evaluate Years Of Experience

Choose a solar contractor expert in handling the complex details of solar installations, not just their ability to mount panels. Consider their technical proficiency to manage diverse installation scenarios and potential challenges.

Prioritize installers with a substantial track record and several years of industry experience. Remember: experts have the right training and knowledge. Focus on companies known for their extensive history of successful installations rather than just their longevity in the business.

Even if a company is relatively new, its performance record is crucial. Look for firms that consistently complete a significant number of installations each year—fewer than a dozen projects may indicate inexperience. 

Not only do seasoned solar installers work fast and safely, but they also ensure the proper setup of your system.

5. Check The Quality Of Materials

High-quality materials, like premium solar panels, inverters, and robust mounting systems, are crucial for optimizing system performance and longevity. 

The right solar contractor should have industry-leading materials to maximize your system’s output, which enhances energy production and ensures durability.

Thus, ask about the brands and models of all components used. Research these products to confirm their reputation for quality and efficiency. 

Also, inquire about the installation techniques, such as the type of mounting systems and wiring practices used. 

But proper installation goes beyond quality products, this also involves using specialized tools and equipment to avoid potential issues and optimize the system’s performance. 

By ensuring high-quality materials and equipment, you’ll enjoy a greater return on investment and the long-term benefits of a solar-powered home.

6. Inquire About Available Warranties

Since solar panels are a significant long-term investment, a reliable installer will provide comprehensive warranties that cover both the equipment and the installation work. 

Inquire about the duration and scope of these warranties to ensure they meet your expectations. Additionally, it’s important to understand the details of their after-sales service, including response times for addressing potential issues.

Warranties should typically span 5–10 years for parts and workmanship to guarantee that any installation-related problems are resolved without additional cost to you. Examine what is specifically covered and what might be excluded to avoid misunderstandings. 

A contractor who provides reliable warranty protection secures your investment and gives you peace of mind. Remember that DIY installations are not eligible for warranties; only certified professionals can ensure them. 

In addition, a reliable installer will possess general liability insurance to protect you and yourself in case of any accidents during the solar panel installation. Whether for a home or business, hire a contractor with appropriate insurance to avoid potential legal issues if an accident happens.

7. Ask For An On-Site Evaluation

Ensure that your solar contractor conducts thorough on-site inspections before proposing a system. A reputable contractor will assess crucial factors like roof space, shading, and property orientation to design a system that meets your needs and optimizes performance.

The contractor should provide a thorough site plan outlining the proposed placement of panels, inverters, and other elements. This plan will prepare you for the installation process so that the execution aligns with the initial proposal. 

Top solar installers will avoid high-pressure sales tactics and, instead, will provide you with a quote after a comprehensive site survey, allowing you to make an informed decision without undue pressure. 

If a provider doesn’t offer to evaluate your property, consider looking for another company.

8. Look For Those With Financing Options

Solar installations can be a significant initial expense, but financing can make them more manageable and result in substantial savings. 

While many solar companies have financing plans, smaller, local firms often provide more flexible financing terms than larger national companies, which might push leases without fully explaining the benefits of buying. 

Always inquire about the different financing plans and any incentives that could help tailor the costs to your budget. This careful evaluation of all financing options is essential for making the best decision for your solar installation needs.

Benefits Of Hiring A Solar Contractor

  • Cost Savings

Homeowners looking to install solar panels consider not only the quality of products and craftsmanship but also the cost. While solar installations are a substantial upfront investment, the long-term savings and return on investment are key factors in the decision-making process.

  • Efficiency In Installation

Professional solar installers can execute the installation much faster and more efficiently than inexperienced contractors. Their expertise ensures that solar panels are installed correctly, whether for residential or commercial applications.

  • Dedicated Expertise

Local contractors employ full-time professionals accountable directly to the company’s owner, unlike larger firms that may use subcontracted crews. This direct accountability means that local teams are likely more committed to delivering high-quality work on every project.

  • Safety And Security

Professional solar installers prioritize the safety of your home by ensuring proper panel placement and electrical connections. This minimizes risks such as electrical fires or electrocution that result from improper installations.

Final Thoughts

These 8 tips for choosing the right solar contractor for your needs are crucial for maximizing the effectiveness and longevity of your solar power system.

Ready to go solar? Contact Panel Upgrade Experts today, your local solar installer in Calgary.

Our approach is tailored to each client’s unique needs, considering the positioning of roofs and angles of sunlight to propose innovative solutions. 

Trust us to deliver exceptional service and quality products that fit your unique needs.


How to choose a solar company in Calgary?

To choose the right solar company in Calgary, consider:

  • Local Expertise
  • Warranty Options
  • Customer Feedback
  • Flexible Financing
  • Tailored Solutions
  • Commitment
  • Quality

Is solar investment worth it?

Beyond lowering energy bills and offering feed-in tariffs, solar investment can also increase a home’s or business’s value.

What to consider when choosing the right solar panels?

Evaluate the PTC rating, review past utility bills, and calculate needed panels based on peak sunlight hours and wattage. Consider daily power load, panel efficiency, minimum warranty, and site suitability. Also prefer panels with lower temperature coefficients and longer warranties for better performance and reliability.

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