They say mistakes are the best teachers, especially costly ones. This might be true, so we’ve made a list of what you’d need to know before installing solar panels.
1. Know the names and/or brands of what you’re buying. Moreover, ask for the warranty period of each.
Most companies that install solar panels have multiple suppliers for multiple parts. They will have different sources for the panels itself, converters, batteries etc. This being said, take the time to ask and research about the brands per part. Note that these are quite expensive materials, so it would benefit you to focus on the quality, efficiency and durability.
Pro tip: Ask and/research about the warranty period. Most of the time, these suppliers have their own warranties (e.g. similar to how Apple has Apple Care). Regardless of who installed your system, you are entitled to these item-specific warranties. Lastly, some solar panel companies also offer additional warranties on top of the supplier warranty, make sure to watch out for these as well.
2. Make sure your roof can support solar panels
In the event that you are committed to install solar panels, make sure to check if your roof is spacious and sturdy enough to handle the size and weight of the panels. Renovations costs are not uncommon. Take note of this minor step to avoid unexpected costs along the way.
Pro tip: Solar panels can actually protect your roof from the weather, light and heat. It also provides additional insulation for rooms directly under the solar panels.
3. Best to hire a team that doesn’t outsource tasks
There are other solar panel companies that outsource certain types of labor. This would generally just mean additional costs for you. Moreover, you might encounter problems should you need repairs/maintenance of your panels. How would you contact and make accountable the team that initially installed your panels? It goes without saying that you have to make sure that you trust the solar panel company, as well as all their partners and suppliers.
Pro tip: Ask your solar power company for information about their registered engineers. They should be able to provide you some.
4. Solar Panels allow you to save money no matter what your budget and/or payment scheme
No matter how much or little of your electricity is generated via solar power, you would still get returns on your investment– you’re savings may not be as much as it can be, but you would be able to save from the electricity you (and not another company) have generated. Solar panels have lives for up to 30 years and more. Given that it is safe to assume that your household would consume power throughout the life of your panels, you will be able to generate savings.
5. Know what is part of your package
After-sales service (cleaning and maintenance), warranties, monitoring etc– these are examples of what should be seen inside your package. Make sure to check every line item of what is included. Basic cleaning alone is quite costly. Moreover, it takes a certain type of expertise and technology to be able to service solar panels. It would be hard to find someone knowledgeable of your specific system. Make sure to cut a deal with your provider to include these basic necessities as these could affect the returns of your investment.