Shopping locally, whether it's for groceries or a new solar energy system, has numerous benefits. When you shop local, you're not only keeping money in your local economy, but research also shows that by supporting small businesses, you're contributing to better wages, more local jobs, reduced poverty, and lower CO2 emissions associated with the transport of goods from outside communities.
When it comes to going solar, many people assume that a big national brand is the way to go. Perhaps it's the convenience of name recognition or the false assumption that a big company will have more resources and financial stability. Sadly, the more these assumptions prevail, the more we see struggling solar energy systems that don't perform optimally with our unique utility rates, or are not durable enough to withstand our harsh desert climate. Shopping local is a far better choice for solars. In this blog, we dive into why this is and give you some tips on how to find the best local solar installation company in your area.
Benefits of a local solar installation company
There are additional benefits you can reap when you choose a local solar company to install your solar energy system.
- A local solar expert is more involved with and better equipped to adapt to local utility rates and incentive programs that can save you money.
- Requirements and permitting regulations differ greatly from city to city. Local installers generally have a better understanding of these details, as well as direct relationships with local regulatory departments.
- Many national brands are locked into a single financing model – specifically leases. Local providers generally offer a variety of financing options where customers benefit from faster ownership, as well as solar tax incentives
- Local installers understand local climate conditions and are better equipped to offer products and installation techniques designed to last. This is particularly important in extreme climates like Arizona.
Although choosing a local solar company is a great choice, one thing to be critical of when looking for the right installation partner is to ensure they're not a bait and switch company who will be out of business in a few years. You will want to work with a company who is established, who installs and services the system they sell you, and who will be in business for the length of your solar investment. Below are a few ways to help you distinguish the good companies from the bad.
Word of mouth
More and more Arizonans are making the switch to clean and affordable solar energy, which makes friends, family, and neighbors a great starting point for your solar installer research. Ask them about their experience going solar, who they chose as their installer, other companies they liked during their research, and any advice they'd have for you beginning your own solar journey. If you see a solar installation company installing in your neighborhood, don't be afraid to ask them any questions you might have about the process. Many companies also have referral programs that help spread the word of their services, so it could be a win-win for you and your neighbor to talk solar!
Online solar research
Online research is an essential part of finding a reputable solar installation company that will create a solution specific to you. Sites like Angie's List, Solar Reviews, the Better Business Bureau, and Rosie on the House are great places to research companies your friends or neighbors might have referred you to check out. Keep a sharp eye out for the quality of reviews, how long the company has been in business, if they have a service department, and how much experience the company has in both residential and commercial installations.
Amicus Solar Cooperative
While doing your online research, be sure to check out the Amicus Solar Cooperative members. The Amicus Solar Cooperative is a group of like-minded, highly ethical solar PV installers in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico who are dedicated to providing the highest-quality solar energy systems to both residents and businesses. Amicus members are thoroughly vetted based on how long the company has been in business, its reputation, and quality of workmanship. Many Amicus members are also certified B-Corps, and/or employee owned—these are people who believe in solar, not just making a quick buck and moving on.
With the 30% ITC coming to an end, 2019 is surely the most important year for solar in more than a
decade. Contact one of our qualified solar integrators to start your solar project today!