6 Critical Factors When Considering Solar

Sabrina Lopez
February 7, 2014
3 min read
  1. Check out your installer / dealer extensively. Solar is a very competitive industry; many companies have gone out of business and will in the coming years. Check ratings on 1) Better Business Bureau and 2) AZ Registrar of Contractors. Get references from recently installed customers so you can ask questions customer-to-customer about the whole experience. Be very wary of paying all or nearly all of your money upfront before installing equipment.

  2. Understand the differences between a purchase vs. a lease. Check the total outlay over time as purchasing may save you many thousands more than a lease. There is low, fixed-interest financing that can eliminate eight years of payments versus a 20-year lease. Be aware of the tax credit implications and how retirees may utilize the tax credits.

  3. Pay close attention to the roofing work. Ask questions about the materials, attachments, sealants, flashings, and roof warranties. Saving a few hundred dollars for a compromise on the roof work is not worth the possible thousands to repair a leaking roof down the line.

  4. Be aware of shading issues. Shading drops the voltage and subsequent power through the solar panel affected and all the panels connected to it in the electrical string (like stepping on a water hose.) Trees, roof vents, chimneys, the house next door, etc can cause shade. Avoid shading or minimize it to the maximum extent, even if it involves decreasing the system size.

  5. Know what equipment you are getting. Some solar panel manufacturers, such as industry-leading Suntech, have left the business. Know what happens to your 25-year panel warranty and if the company is insured for such cases.

  6. Beware of questionable performance claims. Solar production is simple physics. For the Phoenix area, every kilowatt installed due south will produce about 1800 kW hours per year. Example: 6.2 kW will produce 11,160 kW hours/year. Subtract about 12% for an array facing due east or west. SunPower panels are the exception and produce 1900 kW hours per kW installed per year due to a number of industry patents.

Are you interested in solar for your home or business? If so, please contact our team for a complimentary consultation today!