Once you decide you want to install solar panels and make your home sustainable in the long run, there is one more challenge you need to face – you need to find a high-quality solar panel provider near your home. Since the solar panel market is constantly increasing, choosing the solar panel that will match your requirements is not an easy task.
One thing is certain: you should choose a reliable installer that offers high-quality services, premium products and acts professionally.
And, today we will walk you through all the things you need to consider when choosing the solar panel installer for your home.
To help you make up your mind, we will categorise the solar panel installers according to different criteria and point out their benefits and reveal their downsides.
1. Compare quotes
One of the best ways to find out if a particular solar panel is the right fit for your household is to search for the quotes across the net. There’s no better way to find out about all the features, benefits and disadvantages of solar panels than read about other people’s experiences with a particular brand. Not only will you get a better insight into what features of solar panels you should focus on, but you will also save a lot of time and money.
2. Pay close attention to the solar panel installer’s experience
Apart from looking for relevant quotes, make sure you do an in-depth analysis of the solar panel installer’s competence and experience on the market. Besides the Microgeneration Certification Scheme, a solar panel installer should have extensive experience in producing and distribution of solar panels. The easiest way to do that is to go directly to the company’s website and read the customer’s feedback or any relevant information you can find about them.
3. Avoid dodgy solar companies
While there are many successful solar panel installers on the market, there are also those that fail to fulfil the customers’ expectations and fail or go bankrupt very quickly. Once you do in-depth research and compare quotes, you will know how to recognise companies with poor quality technology. You don’t want to invest money into solar panels installed by the company that disappears as soon as they are on your roof. To prevent this, ask for testimonials from former customers and discuss the warranty included with the panels.
4. Check the comprehensive solar panel warranty
Since buying a solar panel can be a huge investment, make sure you protect yourself with a warranty. Although warranties vary from company to company, most of them last between one and 10 years. Also, be mindful that the solar panel equipment has its own warranties provided by the manufacturer. For example, certain components such as an inverter can have short warranties of just a few years while others can be warrantied for 25 years. Understanding the differences between warranties is crucial when choosing your solar panel because it will help you get the best deal for your solar energy system.
5. Keep track of the licence and insurance
One of the things you should check before deciding which solar panel to buy is whether that solar panel installer has the necessary licences and insurance policies. All the installers should have both the licences and insurance policies which vary according to the state and occasional local jurisdiction. Typical licences include electrician, home improvement home performance contracting licences, general contracting. On top of that, installers should also have general liability insurance.
6. Make sure your solar panel installer is not a con
If you want to be sure that you have chosen a reliable solar installer, make sure your conversation with them is open and transparent. A reliable installer should provide you with all the necessary information about the solar panel that will meet your needs and not just sell you the panel to earn more money. Don’t sign up any contracts or make any agreements quickly before you have all the relevant information.
7. Ask for references
Besides checking your potential solar installer’s website and the quotes you should also ask the installer to provide you with references and testimonials so that you would have a deeper insight into the features and qualities of that particular solar panel. If they have been in business for some time and have a good reputation they should not have a problem with giving you references. Also, sometimes the best sources of information come by the word of mouth. Ask your friends or neighbours which solar panel installer they chose and find out how their installation process was handled.
8. Do in-depth research on financing options
In general, the average cost of a solar panel in the US is $ 20,000. Since this is certainly not a small investment, many installers have offered various financing options to give everyone an opportunity to invest in a high-quality solar panel. Your solar panels should give you a detailed explanation of all your payment options and make it easier for you to make a purchase. For instance, a power-purchase agreement and (PPA) and a solar lease make it possible for you to buy a solar panel with less money. In both of these cases, a third party owns a solar panel and offers terms that vary from 10 to 25 years. Another option is home equity loans and they are becoming increasingly popular.
9. Keep technology and speed of installation in mind
Your potential solar panel quality heavily depends on the technology your solar panel installer employs. All solar panels should be in compliance with IEC/EN 61730, AS/NZS 5033 and AS4777 testing standards. On top of that, your solar panel installer should offer all the components and parts necessary for installation of a solar as well as components such as cells, inverters, meters logging devices from reputable manufacturers and they should all work seamlessly in tandem. Also, make sure your panel makes use of anti-reflective high-energy yield glass.
10. Do in-depth research of the biggest solar panel installers in your area
SunPower solar panels are undoubtedly one of the top-selling solar panels on the market today primarily because they are highly energy-sufficient and because they offer an industry-leading warranty. When comparing the main features of SunPower solar panels, you need to take a closer look at four metrics:
SunPower solar panels are among the most efficient solar panels on the market with 16.0% and 22.2% efficiency range. This means they can produce more electricity than a lower-efficiency solar panel of the same size.
When performance is measured it is important to take temperature coefficient into account. It represents how well your solar panel can handle not so good weather conditions. SunPower solar panels offer excellent temperature coefficient ratings, ranging from -0.38 to -0.29.
No matter whether you are buying a TV or a solar panel, you always need a warranty that will guarantee that you are buying a high-quality product that will bring you value over years to come. When it comes to solar panels, you need to make sure that your equipment will be replaced in case of damage or a failure.
SunPower offers a 25-year warranty against any defects in their products. On top of that, the SunPower performance warranty is 92% after 25 years, which is 9% to 12% higher than most other panel manufacturers offer.
It is difficult to say how much exactly SunPower solar panels cost. Even though they are definitely one of the top performing solar panels on the market, their price is not as high as you may think.
According to the quotes, most of the solar panels are priced between $2.99/Watt and $3.73/Watt. In other words, your gross cost would be somewhere between $17,940 and $22,380. However, the best way to find out more about the solar panels cost is to review the quotes and find the right combination of the price and the quality that meets your needs.
SunPower solar Panel Series
SunPower produces three series of panels
X series: These panels are available all in black, but they have slightly lower efficiency and wattage
E series: Although this series is similar to X series, they are 19.6% to 20.1% more efficient
P series: This series is made of narrow overlapping cells. P18 and P19 cells are 18% and !9% more efficient.
SunPower solar panels are tolerant to partial shade
Partial shade can lead to the lower performance of solar cells. It is a domino effect where one solar panel cell performing badly has an adverse impact on the other. However, SunPower X and E series panels can bypass any cells with low production level and therefore reduce the bad impact of a shade better than any other solar panel. Be mindful that if solar panels are connected to a string inverter, the worst performing one will affect the performance of others.
Emerald Energy of North Carolina
The first things that springs to the mind when someone mentions Tesla is big announcements and great new products. After merging with SolarCity Tesla became one of the biggest installers of solar panels in the United States. Since January 2019, Tesla has started a new partnership with a solar panel manufacturer giant Panasonic. And Panasonic is known for producing highly efficient and super-powerful solar panels. These solar panels are purpose-built in Buffalo factory. Besides solar panels, this factory will be building solar roofs
Tesla solar panels are more expensive when compared to its competition on the market, but they offer a high-quality, highly efficient and visually appealing product. However, they are time-tested, high-quality and easy to install. Solar panels + Asphalt Shingle =
Current Tesla solar panels have a respectable efficiency level of 19.4%. HIT technology used for these solar panels enables 258% temperature coefficient. This is significantly better than the average brand of solar panels which is another reason why Tesla solar panels are ranked so high on the solar panel market.
Unlike SunPower and LG who are also leaders on the solar panel market and which come with 25-year warranty, Tesla solar panels have 20 years warranty.
One of the biggest advantages of these solar panels is the fact that they employ unique HIT cell structure used primarily by Panasonic. This HIT structure incorporates crystalline and amorphous technology into the cell with the aim to convert as much solar energy as possible.
This results in higher performance of these cells when compared to standard crystalline cells in the market.
What makes this solar installer stand out from the rest installers on the market is that they started producing solar roof tiles. This revolutionary product is specifically designed to replace the existing roof tiles.
They come with infinite structural warranty and 30-year power and weatherisation warranty. The tiles are made of tempered glass which lets the light come through the cells and generate energy. Solar Roof tiles are more than three times stronger than standard roofing tiles.
On top of that, they offer the best warranty in the industry – the lifetime of your house, or infinity, whichever comes first.
Power Home is an American company whose headquarters is in Mooresville in North Carolina. It specialises in solar energy and roofing services and it was founded in 2014. It also operates in Ohio.
Solar Power World Magazine listed Power Home as the number 7 overall solar installation company in 2016 and 2017. On top of that, it has also been listed as one of the fastest growing solar companies in the world by Inc.
The main advantages
One of the things that distinguishes this solar panel installer from the rest of the market is the fact that they allow you to save money in the long run and easily. They offer tomorrow’s technology to your home so that you don’t have to worry about potential damages and wearoffs over time.
These solar panels are mainly monocrystalline American made and they come with a 30-year power production warranty.
Blue Raven Solar
This solar panel installer was founded in 2014 and it operates in American Fork, Utah providing solar energy systems in Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, and Utah.
This company focuses its efforts into helping homeowners create a cost-efficient household and makes the entire installation process much easier and faster.
Additionally, this company produces aesthetic black-on-black solar panels and offers competitive pricing when compared to other solar panel installers on the market.
Its unique financing options include BluePower and BluePower Plus+.
This product offers 18 months of free power to those who qualify and combines the best aspects of a third-party-owned solar lease or PPA with the return, tax credits, and flexibility of solar ownership.
Blue Raven Solar Installer Company is highly efficient when it comes to the installation process as well. The company usually completes installation in one or two days, which is a much shorter period of time when compared to the time some other solar panel installers provide.
Besides a very quick installation process, Blue Raven offers end-to-end services to its customers, starting with the sales process to the installation process. This greatly reduces the chances of miscommunication and misunderstanding as well as makes the entire process run smoothly and more easily.
One of the reasons why Blue Raven has been gaining much interest lately is the fact that it focuses its efforts on bringing clean energy to everyone. That is why Blue Raven offers customers who help their friends and family save money on their utility by using renewable energy $250 for each referral that has one of the company’s solar energy systems or components installed. In this way, customers are encouraged to spread the word of the advantages of using solar energy and at the same time, it is a nice incentive that other companies do not offer.
- They have more than 250 satisfied customers on solarreviews.com, their overall rating is 4.78 stars. Here is one of the super-positive reviews: “The deciding factor: Customer service – Blue Raven has the highest rating for customer satisfaction, and it’s easy to see why. Secondly: The solar panels are made in Hillsboro, Oregon (we live in Portland) and not in China. We’re big on buying locally whenever possible or at least buying things that are made in the USA.”
- Blue Raven offers residential solar electric and energy monitoring
- Apart from promoting solar renewable energy and increasing environmental awareness, the company also supports US suppliers
- Bad reviews on the company’s sales process. Some buyers have reported that they have not received the guaranteed savings they were promised prior to the installation process, and some of them complained about having difficulties getting in touch with the service team.
- Blue Raven does not offer leases or Power Purchase Agreement which offer potential customers to excellent paying options if they decide they do not want to have a huge financial responsibility of an investment.
Tayco Electic is locally owned solar panel installer company that was found in 2006 and which is operating in North Carolina and South Carolina. It specialises in residential electrical for custom and track home builders, commercial electrical, LED lighting and solar installations.
They have mostly been known for building successful relationships and working with builders that include Zar, Taylor Morrison, Essex and many other.
They are undoubtedly one of the most reliable installers on the market because they have been focusing on modern practices and the top-notch quality and service form more than a decade.
Tayco Electric distinguishes itself for offering a very high efficiency – a record-breaking 22.8%. Its X-series solar panels convert more sunlight into electricity while producing %38 more power panel and %70 more energy per square foot for over 25 years.
In addition, their performance is also very high because it delivers 8-10% more energy per rated watt. Ultimately, this provides a huge value to the customers as it produces 21 % more energy over the first 25 years.
Overall, by installing Tayco Electric solar panels, customers get more electricity, lower electricity bills, more flexibility, and most importantly, peace of mind.
One thing that makes this company installer stand out from the rest on the oversaturated market is the fact that they, unlike other solar panels, design, manufacture and engineer every system that bears SunPower name.
In other words, by choosing Tayco ELectric as your solar panel installer, you invest in the efficient and reliable solar supported by an industry-leading warranty.
Their main product is SunPower Equinox – a solar panel built by SunPower and supported by the industry’s complete system warranty.
- This solar panel eliminates utility boxes and additional hardware on the exterior walls.
- It generates more power in less space
- Provides minimalistic and appealing design and a sleek look that will perfectly complement any architectural style
- It is built to last – each solar panel has the Maxeon solar cell at its heart which is designed with a solid copper foundation so that it can withstand harsh conditions and deliver long-lasting productivity. On top of that, it jas a unique surface that grabs more solar power and pure silicon which allows optimal power conversion.
- Tayco ELectric solar panels have microinverters installed and hidden behind each panel whose aim is to optimise power conversions with minimal disruptions and eliminate the need for less appealing external inverters
Tayco Electric solar panels offer the warranty for your complete systems for 25 years which includes labour, shipping, product and performance. It will undoubtedly bring you value over time and help you save a lot of money in the long run.
According to people’s experience, Tayco Electric offers a responsive and professional service and a very quick and efficient installation process.
Renu Energy Solutions
Renu Energy Solution is a solar installer company that was established in 2010. It is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, and it offers a variety of solar energy services to both commercial customers and residential ones. It operates in Virginia, South Carolina, and North-Carolina.
This solar panel installer is involved in all the steps, from initial consultation to post-installation support.
They have been in business for about six years but has installed over 900 solar panels so far. Apart from solar panels, the company offers energy efficient home appliances. They originally get their solar panels from SunPower and have three solar panels available on the market.
Each of those panels has 21.5 per cent efficiency max wattages of 325, 335, and 345 and they come in black and white colours.
This company has been awarded a few times for its efficiency and customer service. Here are the awards:
- Solar Power World Top 300 Solar Installers 2017
- Sustain Charlotte Energy Award Nominee 2017
- South Carolina Clean Energy Business Alliance and North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association
Renu offers a 25-year warranty through the manufacturer, which is better than the rest of the competitors. It estimates a 7 per cent return on the investment within the first year. Also, Renu gives you an opportunity to take advantage of their complimentary consultation which is definitely something you should keep in mind when choosing which solar panel to buy for your home. Also, keep in mind that the turnaround time for a home project is estimated at six to eight weeks.
Renu Energy Solutions provides full-service solar energy assessments and installations across various counties in South and North Carolina.
- Excellent payment options – Renu offers you the possibility to choose a paying option that suits you. It offers two payment methods: a loan and outright purchase. However, if you would like to finance, Renu also offers several different options: 20-year financing, Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC) which allows you to finance with a low-interest home equity loan and many others.
- Good warranty – as mentioned above, Renu offers a highly efficient and poriductive products and workmanship, which is backed up by a 25-year warranty on the panels.
- End-to-end service – Renu company does not outsource any of its work, from installation to design. Instead, it takes full responsibility for its products and takes care of all the aspects of the solar process in-house. ReNu customers can be confident that they will receive quality service.
- They have experience consultants always ready to help and guide you through the renewable energy improvements
- They are reliable as they can promise and deliver powerful solar solutions guaranteed to meet or exceed the customers’ expectations
- It has become very popular in the country in recent years
- Renu Energy Solutions solar company lacks monitoring information. Without being able to monitor, the customers are not able to keep track of how their sysytem is performing.
Palmetto SolarPros was initially founded by Tommy Wood, a mechanical and electrical engineer who wanted to transition into photovoltaic (PV) installations in 2006 but have never felt this investment would ultimately pay off. However, in 2014 South Carolina and its utility companies started an incentive where they promoted personal solar energy generation.
All designs of Palmetto SolarPros Solar Panels are designed and created by the owner who inspects and commissions each installation. Palmetto SolarPros built its business on SolarEdge optimizers /inverters.
This company offers Energy conservation consultation and sales as well as the roof- and ground-mounted solar energy generation sales, design, and installation.
LED lighting upgrades and HVAC optimization reduce commercial and industrial energy.
11. Check the best rated solar panel installers in the area
The easiest way to find out more about solar panels and whether they meet your requirements or not is to read the quotations. Here we made a list of the best rated solar panel installers and listed some of the valuable quotations that will undoubtedly help you in your decision-making process:
This solar installer company is one of the highest rated companies on a solar panel market and it focuses on installing beautiful and reliable solar panels. Here are some of the quotations:
“Hands down the BEST solar company in the area! Other companies told me that they couldn’t do what these guys did (in terms of a number of panels on my roof). Great communication, excellent equipment, and awesome pricing! I could go on and on, but to make a long story short, just hire these guys; they’ll take care of you!.”
“It was a great experience overall working with Usman and his team! From day one, Usman was very responsive to my questions and concerns. The schedule was also managed very well: we even had a hurricane in between, but Usman and his team managed the delivery of materials well. The installation and post-installation activities went off without a hitch. Customer service was really good. Usman and his team also checked in with us periodically. Overall – a really good experience working with his team.”
“Our experience with NC Solar was great. They delivered exactly what they promised when they promised. The installation crew was considerate of our pets and yard completing the job in less than a day. We will recommend to neighbours and friends.”
2. NC Solar Now
NC Solar Now offers solutions such as Solar Electric Photovoltaic (PV), Solar Water Heating, Solar Pool Heating, and Therma shield.This company has certified professionals on staff and it is licenced solar contractor. Besides highly efficient solar installations, this company provides repair service.
“Right from the start to finish NC Solar did an excellent job, in customer service and constant communication, completion of work on time and at a reasonable price. Thank you!”
“I talked to four different solar companies. I chose NC Solar Now after a few weeks of deliberation. The price was right, the communication was fantastic and they gave me a good schedule for installation.”
2. Sundance Power Systems
Sundance Power Systems has 22 years of experience on the solar panel market. The company was found in 1995 near Asheville. Sundance offers high-performing residential, commercial and institutional renewable energy systems, including solar electric, solar hot water and radiant floor heat, wind, and micro-hydroelectric power systems.
- It offers a clean energy solution that will maximise your savings
- Clear information and consultation about your options
- Custom design that matches your requirements
- System installation that exceeds your expectations
Online monitoring enables customers to stay updated and keep an eye on the system’s performance. Sundance Power Systems lacks any information about online monitoring which may put off some potential customers from buying their solar panels and using their services.
Excellent payment options
While many companies offer either loan or a purchase option, this company offers both. On top of that, you can even lease or rent a system, or finance through a power purchase agreement.
“The system Sundance installed at our home was one of the most advanced, integrated systems we have seen. We have been told it is the most advanced system in our county.
We have 18 solar panels, a hot water panel, integrated with a gasification furnace system, two days of battery power, and a radiant floor heating system. Sundance installed all of these individual systems for us and all of them work extremely well…”
Green NRG Solar
Green NRG started operating in the solar panel market in 2008 and is currently headquartered out of Chatsworth, CA. They have helped many homeowners to create a positive impact on their home.
- Lease with free installation – NRG Home Solar offers a 20-year leasing option. This means you will make monthly payments to the company as if you are renting it. Plus, Green NRG solar will install solar panels for free. Once the leasing period is over, Green NRG offers a possibility to either remove the system at no cost or purchase it at a reasonable rate.
- Performance guarantee – the company will give the customer a quote stating the amount of power the solar system will generate and add this to the service agreement. In case that at some point the solar panel produces less amount of energy, the company will refund the customer the difference.
- System Monitoring – this company monitors its customers’ system for 24 hours and notifies them if some issues occur.
- Strict Credit Score Requirement – While most solar panel companies require a score of 650, Green NRG Solar requires a credit score of 700 and higher.
- Poor customer service – according to some of the reviews, the company’s customer service is not efficient. Many customers have complained about the delays with the installation and lack of responsiveness.
- Limited online information – There is a lack of information regarding the company details of the lease contract and the equipment used. This is valuable information for all the customers who are planning to lease a solar system for the next 20 years.
“David and his team did a fantastic job on my solar installation. He was upfront with costs and very easy to work with. They got the job done quickly and efficiently. David is great to work with and was easy to communicate with. He was always responsive over email and text. Would recommend checking Green NRG out if you are looking for solar panels .”
“Wow such a great experience working with green neg. I randomly called them after getting this number from a friend and the person on the phone was so attentive to me!! You could hear they did not just want my money but they actually wanted to explain about solar. Positive attitude and listen to what you ask for.”
Brightest Solar is a trusted installer of solar panels who can install a sophisticated solar system on your residential or commercial building and bring your home’s power supply into the modern era.
Check out some of the quotations:
“Rob Dodge and his team did an excellent job installing solar at our home. Although I always wanted solar for its environmental impact, I was worried about the aesthetics. Our home has a quaint country farmhouse look, and I was worried that the panels would make the home look modern and change the feel of the place. The panels look great! If anything, our home looks better than ever. Rob Dodge and his team were efficient and kind, and did their utmost to go above and beyond with customer service. The job looks great, our electricity bill has dropped significantly, and our home is more comfortable than before. My family and I highly recommend Brightest Solar. We are so happy to have clean energy!”
Sun Dollar Energy
Sun Dollar is an affordable solar installer company who offers grid tied solar and off grid solar installations of high quality products at affordable rates. They are not tied to any particular manufacturer and they focus their efforts into delivering the highest level of choice.
Here is a list of some of the products they offer:
- Solar Panels: Axitec, Lightway, LG, Solarworld, Helios, Kyocera, ET, Mage, Suniva, Canadian Solar.
- Inverters: SMA, Fronius, Power One, Samil, Enphase, Outback.
Sun Solar Energy operates in North Carolina servicing the greater Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill Triangle area and surrounding communities.
“I’ve never written a review for anyone, but these guys are just that good. They are honest, responsible, and diligent. We got everything we were promised, from the installation process to the production of the equipment. Highly recommended!”
“Sun Dollar Energy delivers impressive results. Dan Lezama knows the industry and he adapted the appropriate available technology to my situation. His breadth of knowledge in this emerging field is impressive. The installation went smoothly and I’m thrilled with my off-grid residential electricity. I really enjoyed doing business with Sun Dollar Energy and I strongly recommend them.”
These are only some of the best solar installer companies you can find in North Carolina. We hope we helped you find the one that meets your needs. To get more info about each of them, visit their website.
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