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Things to Know When Buying Solar

Aug 26, 2021 | Industry Secrets, Solar, Solar 101, Trending Now

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Thinking of going solar? It doesn’t have to be complicated. Here’s a rundown of key things to know when buying solar.

What are you actually buying?

The first thing to know when buying solar is what your actually getting. When you buy a system, it comes with your solar panels (your system pricing will be based on how many and how powerful your panels are), mounting racks, inverters, utility meter, and a breaker panel. Optionally, you can add a battery pack that stores excess energy. Having a battery can provide backup power during a power outage or when your home needs it, like at night.

Typically when you buy through a solar company, you also pay for hidden commission fees. 90% of customers that go solar, on average, pay 35%-50% above the actual cost of their system because of these commission fees. The other 10% most likely work for a solar company.

For a more in-depth explanation of where your money is going, check out Why are Solar Panels so Expensive?

Who are you buying from?


Solar installers are companies who are able to sell you your system and install it.

Solar Providers or Solar Brokers

Solar providers are solar companies who act as a third party to connect you with installer companies.

Independent sales agents

Much like solar brokers, independent sales agents are individuals who operate on their own to connect you with installers.

Solar Lenders

Solar lenders mainly help you finance your system. If you choose to go solar through any of the other options, they will most likely refer you to a solar lender to help you finance your system.

Don’t fall victim to solar sales tactics. Read more about common solar sales tactics and how to avoid them.


Who’s responsible if something goes wrong?

When installed properly, solar panels should not damage any part of your home at any time. While most solar installers are experts in solar, they might not be as versed in roofing. Usually, solar installers will coordinate with roofing companies to ensure your roof is ready for your panels.

However if something does go wrong during installation resulting in damages to your home or roof, your homeowner’s insurance is likely to cover it. Some installers also offer an installation guarantee, which can cover any damages during installation. Most solar companies also offer long-term warranty to protect your system down the road, so keep an eye on that as well. Be sure to thoroughly read through any contracts you sign when choosing a solar company.


What happens after you sign the contract/loan docs?

After signing your documents, your installation process will begin. First your home will go through a site assessment. This is to get an exact estimate of what kind of system will work best for your home. Then a custom system design will be created for your home. This design is a detailed outline of what your system will look like. Next, you’ll need to acquire permits to make sure your system meets certain safety and quality standards. After you’ve acquired your permits, then your system can finally be installed.

The installation process takes no more than a day or two, and creates little to no interference with your daily life. Lastly, your system, electrical set-up, and building will go through an inspection to make sure your system is safe to turn on. Once you’ve received the O-K from the inspection, you’ll receive a Permission to Operate (PTO) to turn on your system and receive the benefits of solar.


And those are the basics of things to know when buying solar. While this guide is a great start to understanding the solar buying process, you can get an in-depth analysis of what you’re actually paying with our quote analysis tool. Simply upload an image of your quote, and we’ll break it down for you.



Photo Credit: stock.adobe.com


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