If you believe solar is right for your home, the most critical step is working with a reputable solar PV contractor. Your electric cooperative does not endorse a specific solar PV system type or installer, but they can recommend a solar PV contractor who is certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners in South Carolina. Find one here.
Ideally, the contractor handles most of the steps to install your solar PV system and connect it to the grid, but homeowners should take an active role in understanding each step of the process.
What a Contractor Should Do
- Help you select and install the most productive generating system for your home
- Work with your electric cooperative to ensure your system is properly interconnected to the grid
- Obtain all necessary permits from state, city, county, homeowners associations, architectural review boards, etc.
- Provide warranty information
- Set up a repair and maintenance schedule
Obtain at least three contractor bids to determine the best value for your home. Look for two important figures from your contractor:
- The amount of electricity the system will produce
- The installed cost of the system per watt
Your contractor should handle most of the steps necessary to install your solar PV system and connect it to the grid, but homeowners should take an active role. Understanding the key steps will help you communicate with your contractor more effectively.
Questions You Should Ask
- Does the contractor have a valid license?
- Can the contractor give a list of credible references? How long has the contractor installed solar PV systems?
- Is there a solar PV system the contractor has finished in your neighborhood?
- Does the installation contract clearly state what is and is not included in the price? Do you have insurance?
- Does a warranty exist for equipment and workmanship?