Asking the RIGHT questions
Finding the right company
There will be price differences if you choose financing or leasing. Typically, leases multiply the total cost 2-3x. Make sure you get the monthly estimated bill. Get the total cost of the system at the end of the financial terms.
- Shop around the price.
- Ask about the tax credit, when you buy, that goes to you and when you lease that goes to them.
- Leases have an “escalator clause”, where your monthly payment will increase over time.
By the end of the lease, your monthly payment might not be less than a utility bill. Going solar should save you money. Make sure they can prove it does; both short and long-term.
The quality of the parts affects the amount of electricity produced by the system. The less effective your solar power system, the less money you can save on your electricity bill.
If the solar panels aren’t from a trusted manufacturer, panel failures can be more frequent.
Solar installation involves electrics, carpentry, and safety. A solar license is different from being a licensed electrical contractor.
Your installer will be punching holes in your roof to install this system. It’s better to have a solar company that has roofing expertise.
If you’re in the last home you’ll ever own, resale value isn’t so important. However, if you plan on selling down the line, there are a couple of things to consider.
- Buying a solar power system is a great investment that typically adds $10,000 per kW installed to the resale value of your home.
- If you lease a system, instead of buying, the new owner must assume the lease. They can refuse, or use that as a bargaining chip against you.
Find out how the long warranty lasts, and what are the details.
- A good warranty should include all parts and labor.
- With most warranties, the moment anyone makes changes to your roof installation, they’ve voided your warranty.
- Ask about how much of the roof your solar installer is willing to warranty. Most of them only cover a very small perimeter around the panels. A good company will warranty the roof under the system all the way to the bottom of the roof line.