Solar Buying Considerations

Is Solar Right for You?

For Homeowners: Key factors to take into account when deciding if solar makes sense for your home.

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Is Solar Right for You?

There are a few key factors you should take into account when deciding if solar makes sense for you: your electricity costs, local solar incentives, climate and the size and position of your roof. We have prepared a short list of questions to help you evaluate your decision:

1. How much do you currently pay for electricity?

The more you spend on electricity each month, the quicker your solar investment will pay off. Generally, homeowners who pay $50 or more each month on electricity find that solar makes financial sense for them.

2. What incentives for solar are available in your area?

The Investment Tax Credit enables homeowners across the U.S. to reduce their solar costs by 30%. By combining Federal, state, and local solar incentives, it is possible to cut the cost of your installation in half. The best way to learn more about solar incentives in your area is through your local SunPower dealer. Or you can check out the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.

3. Do you live in a climate suitable for solar energy?

While clear, sunny skies are ideal, you can still generate substantial amounts of solar power on overcast days. If you live in a part of the country with a lot of cloud or fog, ask your installer to recommend solar panels that produce the most solar energy in a range of conditions.

4. What size and orientation is your roof?

The layout, orientation, and size of your roof help determine the best solar technology to install. South- and west-facing roofs are ideal. Regardless of your roof orientation, higher efficiency panels will require less roof space. Find out more about why solar efficiency matters.

5. Will a solar installation affect the aesthetics of your home?

Solar innovation has come a long way to ensure that your system does not detract from the design and architecture of your home. If aesthetics are important to you, ask your installer to recommend a product that will blend harmoniously with your roof, such as SunPower signature™ black solar panels and the low-profile SunPower Smart Mount mounting system.

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Top Five Questions to Ask Your Solar Installer

For Homeowners: To help you select the best residential solar energy installer, we have prepared a list of questions you should ask.

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Top Five Questions to Ask Your Solar Installer

With more homeowners switching to solar energy each day, the number of companies offering solar installation services is also on the rise. To help you select the best installer, we have prepared a list of questions you should ask:

1. How much experience does your company have?

Because of the many new companies entering the industry you’ll want to ensure that you select an installer with experience and training. Find out how many years the company has been in business, how long they have been installing solar and the number of solar systems installed.

2. What licenses and insurance does your company possess?

Another way to evaluate a company’s level of experience in solar is by the licenses and certification the company and its staff have attained. Make sure you choose an installer that has the required local and state licenses (such as solar, electric and general contractors licensing). The best solar installers have staff members that are certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).

3. Is your company accredited by the Better Business Bureau?

If a business has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau, it means the BBB has determined that the business meets accreditation standards which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints.

4. Will your company handle all of the work required?

Some installers hire sub-contractors to complete certain parts of the job, making it difficult to track accountability. Simplify the process and have peace of mind by choosing a company that can manage your project from start to finish, including design, installation and permitting and system maintenance.

5. Can you please provide me with customer references?

Your best way to screen a contractor is to ask them to provide two to three references. Contact these customers to make sure they are happy with the work performed.

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