How Much Should Solar Installation Cost
There are many factors that go into the cost of your solar system. Everything from your roofs solar capacity, the solar panel quality and brand, installer demand, your location and more will impact the overall cost of installation. That said, generally speaking, for a standard rooftop solar PV set-up, youll pay somewhere between $3,000 and $11,000. The prices below take into account average solar installation costs, as well as the Governments Small-scale Technology Certificate Scheme applied.
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Tips For Making Your Home More Energy Efficient
Aside from, or in addition to, solar, there are numerous ways in which homeowners can make their home energy efficient. Whether you have solar energy powering your home or not, it makes sense to cut down on the amount of energy being used, or more to the point, wasted. These tips should help you consume less electricity, for the benefit of your wallet and Mother Earth.
Energy-efficient light bulbs such as halogen, LEDs, and CFLs can drastically reduce the amount of energy consumption used for lighting. Although they might cost a bit more than regular light bulbs, the savings will add up quickly and, as a bonus, theyll last up to 25 times longer than regular incandescent bulbs.
Energy Star appliancesare touted as independently certified to save energy, save money and protect the climate. Thats because saving energy in your day-to-day tasks can make a huge difference when you add it all up.
Regulate the temperature in your home by fixing any problems with insulation, windows, or doors. A drafty room can make your heater work overtime and an unsealed window can let cool air from the A/C out. Sometimes something as simple as caulk can seal a leak and dramatically change the temperature control in a home.
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Warranties And Cooling Off Periods
As mentioned above, any company which is signed to the Clean Energy Council’s Retailer’s Code of Conduct MUST offer a whole of system cover warranty for a minimum period of 5 years. This means that no matter what happens, the company must cover parts AND labour on any component in your system.
Outside of the CEC Approved Solar Retailers, solar systems are generally covered by two types of warranty, known as the product and performance warranties.
Performance warranties for the solar panels generally last for 25 years and guarantee that solar panels will produce a minimum percentage of their rated capacity, which slowly reduces as the panels degrade over time.
The solar panel product warranty covers physical and electrical problems in a PV module, that either cause it to fail or under perform. Examples include moisture ingress, breakage of the glass, frame or back-sheet, and diode failure in the junction box.
Blair Pester says that the industry minimum standard is a 10-year product warranty, with some manufacturers offering longer guarantees, such as the 15 years offered by WINAICO.
Pester says, “In addition to that, some manufacturers cover the removal of the PV module as well as the replacement. Some will only provide new modules and not the reinstallation. That can be up to the consumer.”
Read your warranties to check if they include the labour and transport costs of removal and reinstallation.
Read Online Reviews But Be Careful
With online reviews, a good place to start is the Better Business Bureau. The BBB differs from other online review sites. It collects consumer complaints about a company and works to mediate the complaint between the customer and the company. A complaint might identify poor practices by the company, or it simply might be a misunderstanding between the client and the company, so be sure to read it closely to understand whether it represents a concern. A listed complaint may also be resolved or unresolved. Resolved complaints are less of a concern, and itâs also inevitable that a larger company that does a large volume of business, no matter how good the company is, will eventually have some dissatisified customers. The BBB also allows users to post more traditional reviews, but those are not mediated by the BBB.
Itâs worth looking up the company on other online review sites, but take those reviews with a grain of salt. Online reviews are a less reliable indicator of quality, and are susceptible to manipulation. In particular, avoid websites that have a history of âpay-to-playâ, which includes popular sites such as Angiesâ List and ConsumerAffairs.com Also be careful to avoid websites dedicated to reviewing solar companies, as they also have a history of pay-for-placement. We think that Yelp and Google reviews tend to be a little more trustworthy than these other sites.
Check the Further Reading section below for more about this issue.
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Do Your Own Research About Bbb
If you have found some reputable roofing companies, the next thing you want to do is to do your research about their Better Business Bureau ratings. This bureau has the ratings given to different companies that could be your homeadvisor roofing pick. Find as much info as possible on the internet or through people you know about companies you are interested in.
What Happens If My Solar Company Goes Out Of Business
Choosing a solar installer can be hard for many reasons, a big one being that youll be relying on sometimes decades of service from the same company. Any good installer will conduct maintenance on your PV system during its life, whether thats scheduled or necessary due to complications. So, what do you do if your solar installation company goes out of business in the meantime? Here are some steps you should take:
- Make sure the company is actually out of business: Unfortunately, there are quite a few shady businesses out there that may avoid contact attempts years down the track. Check to see if your installation company is still registered with an ABN before proceeding. If it is still in operation, take action through your appropriate fair trading agency.
- Directly contact your solar installer: If a company is genuinely out of operation, the individuals that installed your panels may have more information for you. The Clean Energy Council has a comprehensive list of accredited solar installers with contact details on their site.
- Have a solar electrician assess any problems: Founder of SolarQuotes, Finn Peacock, told Choice that a consumers last option is to find a solar specialist to diagnose the problem with the system. He suggests that if the issue is with the panels or inverter, the warranties then pass on to the manufacturer.
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How To Find Reputable Solar Installers
EnergySage is the nation’s online solar marketplace: when you sign up for a free account, we connect you with solar companies in your area, who compete for your business with custom solar quotes tailored to fit your needs. Over 10 million people come to EnergySage each year to learn about, shop for and invest in solar. .
Enter your zip code to see solar quotes near you
Fast Never Equals Better
The super-fast install was introduced by a well-known, national solar company that never turned a profit and lost millions of dollars every year. Their work is shoddy and their customers disappointed. In spite of this, many small installers adopted this selling point of a super-fast installation to compete with bigger installation companies. The practice puts both the homeowner and installer at risk of mistakes due to rushing installations. Above all, dont fall for this pitch.
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The Federal Investment Tax Credit
The Federal Investment Tax Credit , also called the solar tax credit, has been hailed as one of the most successful clean energy policies in history, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association . It provides up to a 30% tax credit for the solar energy systems cost, applicable to residential and commercial properties. Customers can even roll the tax credit over to the following year if not used.
This tax credit, in place since 2005, has greatly impacted solar costs, driving down prices as more and more people go solar. Because of this, our experts agree that rooftop solar has passed a threshold and that its adoption will keep growing.
The ITC is set to decrease from 30% to 26% in 2020 and 22% in 2021 before disappearing in 2022. However, Fitch does not see the step down or eventual elimination of the ITC as a big shock on the industry or even an existential threat to rooftop solar. Leon echoes this sentiment by stating that even though its conceivable that there will be fewer installations in 2022, there will be ups and downs, and the industry will continue to grow.
Still, lawmakers can find ways to extend or come up with new federal solar incentives to stimulate growth in the industry, which is something worth keeping an eye on.
What Should Customers Expect Of Their Solar Contractor And The Solar Panel Installation Process
- As with most major purchasing decisions, good customer service is important. A quality solar installer should ask what your goals are and review your electricity bill . They should also ask for other pertinent information, such as whether youve made any other energy-efficiency upgrades or major changes over the last year.
- Once they have this information, they should perform a thorough analysis that, depending on the company, may include reviewing historical data, using laser imaging and conducting a radiance test where the arrays are being installed.
- After the analysis, the installer should walk you through the results and answer any questions you may have. If solar is a viable option for your home whether its solar panels on your roof or an array on a parcel of land they should provide a proposal that outlines the recommended equipment . They should also review financing options like Michigan Saves Home Energy Loan Program and other incentives that are available, including the 2019 30 percent federal tax credit. As a customer, you should feel empowered to ask why they recommended specific equipment or request additional information that may not have been in the proposal.
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The Top 3 Solar Manufacturers
Currently the top 3 solar manufacturers in the world are JinkoSolar, JA Solar, and Trina Solar based on market share among panel manufacturing companies. The biggest solar installation companies in the U.S. are Sunrun and Tesla.
There were some major changes over the past few years, including some new leaders in solar manufacturing who were once no names in the PV industry. JA Solar is grabbing market share with a passion while Hanwha Q CELLS has slumped. The question for you as a solar shopper: should you care if your solar panels are made by one of the big 10 manufacturers in the world? Are American made solar panels truly the better product when the majority of manufacturers are located elsewhere? Heres our breakdown of the best solar manufacturers around the globe.
Solar Pv Panel Installation: Whats Involved
Depending on how many solar panels youre having installed, the installation could take between 1 to 3 days and will involve:
- Scaffolding being erected around your property
- Roof hooks and frames being fitted
- Attaching solar panels to the roof and then wired
- Connecting the solar panels to the solar inverter and grid
- Power up the solar PV system
- Register the system with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme
- Provide you with all documentation
Find our more in Solar PV Panel Installation: Whats Involved?
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If I Want To Finance My Purchase Does Your Company Offer That If So What Are The Terms
There are several ways to pay for solar projects. We describe here financing options for home-improvement jobs. In addition, almost all solar installation companies offer financing, usually through a third-party lender. When our undercover shoppers collected proposals for two local homes, the APRs the financing installers offered ranged from two to six percent loan length varied from 15 to 25 years.
Keep in mind that borrowing will increase your overall costs, in some cases adding thousands of dollars to the price of your system. And carefully read truth-in-lending statements before you sign especially watch out for super-high default interest rates that kick in if you fall behind with payments.
Do All Contractors Offer The Same Loans
No, they dont offer the same solar financing options. Contractors work with different solar financing companies. While most have the same loan options, some offer exclusive programs. Unless youre paying cash, flexible financing options are critical to your solar investment.
Lease options are offered less these days but are a good choice for those who dont owe taxes. Read more about solar financing and tax credits in our Solar Financing Guide.
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What Are Some Common Misconceptions About Solar Systems
- Going solar is difficult and unprofitable. Going solar is actually relatively easy, and it is a cost-effective, long-term energy solution. If you have high electric bills or live in an area with high energy rates, solar can help you save energy and money. Moreover, depending on how much energy your system produces and how much you consume, it can dramatically reduce if not offset your electricity use, which means lower electric bills. And because solar panels help control energy costs, your bills become more predictable, helping you plan for the financial future.
- Summer is the only time you should install solar and can reliably produce power. Theres never a bad time to install solar. Even though Michigans winter months tend to be cloudier, solar power systems can produce electricity even on cloudy and overcast days. In fact, planning for solar during the winter season will give you plenty of time to work through the utility and permitting approval process while also offering some of the best pricing.
Tips For Choosing A Solar Panel Installer
When youve decided to make a big investment in your home, in the form of renewable energy, youll want to make sure youve got the best people on the job for you. With solar fast becoming a more accessible technology,the marketplace has been flooded with companies claiming to be the best solar installers around. But how do you sort the cowboys from the quality installers? Here are some tips to help you decide.
1. Solar installers should be accredited
Look for solar installers who are MCS accredited as a bare minimum. A good solar installer may also be registered with Renewable Energy Assurance Limited , the Solar Trade Association or be members of the Renewable Energy Consumer Code . Importantly, your installer must be MCS accredited for you to qualify for the Feed in Tariff scheme and its payments.
2. Good companies dont need to use high pressure sales tactics
The consumer code for companies selling solar products says that they should not use high pressure sales tactics or any on the spot discounts to try and hassle you into making a quick decision. If you are feeling put under pressure by the company providing your quote, its probably best that you dont go ahead with them anyway.
3. Get at least three quotations
4. Research the companies and ask for references
Green MPs / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
5. Ask your neighbours
6. Know what you want
7. Expect them to come to your home
8. Expect additional advice and recommendations
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The Steps Of Solar Installation
Here are the basic steps in a solar installation:
Be Home For Your Site Evaluation
Great installers perform excellent site evaluations in person after you sign the contract, and this will reveal possible roofing or electrical issues. Certainly, be present for the site survey and talk to the technician about your project. Therefore, dont choose a company that does a remote or satellite image-based survey. Similarly, drone-based surveys can be incomplete since they never physically examine your roof. A solid survey sets your project up for success, with no surprises at installation.
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