At SkyFire it is important to us that we provide genuine and honest service to our customers and potential customers and that above all else, we are adding value for them. We seek first to educate to ensure that customers get accurate and true information to can make the best decision on their solar investment. Here are some tips for picking a solar installer that we hope ensure that you make a decision that you are happy within the long term (because with 30+ year life spans, solar is an inherently long-term decision).
As with any other service or products you choose for your home or business, it is important to always do your homework to ensure you are making the right decision. Not all solar installers are created equal as with any other industry! If you are someone who is not really familiar with solar power design or installation (and even if you are) here are some things to consider.
Ensure you are working with an organization that is experienced. Solar power design and installation is very technical work and no two systems will be the same. The more experience the organization has, the more likely the process will run smoothly and that you will end up with a solar system you are happy with.
For the most cost-effective solution ensure you are working with a company that has its own design, sales, and installation employees. Recently there has been a surge of solar brokers entering the solar industry. Their solutions tend to cost more as they are middlemen who hire contractors to do the installation and design. Using big-box retailers to get in front of customers means there can be three or more organizations involved, each with their own markups. This generally means a higher cost for you, the consumer.
Ensure the solar installer has conducted a site assessment before starting your project and finalizing the numbers. Many unknowns can be revealed when a solar professional gets on your roof or into your electrical room. It is very difficult to accurately quote from air photos without checking the condition of your roof, looking in your attic, conducting a shade analysis to account for trees, buildings and structures (and communities such as Canmore and Banff, from the mountains) in addition to assessing your electrical panel.
Get an accurate estimate on your return on investment. Although solar is much more affordable due to a number of reasons and the number of years required to pay back the system cost has diminished, ensure that you are not being sold a time frame or cost reduction in electricity that is unrealistic.
Understand your electricity bill and how it will be affected by a solar installation. A good solar provider will explain your electricity bill to you. They will also explain what kind of reduction in cost you should reasonably expect to see over the course of a year with a custom designed solution to meet your unique needs. Ensure you get this up front – certainly before signing any contract(s) or providing a deposit.
Make sure you feel listened to and connected to the solar expert you are dealing with. The process of designing and installing a system can take up to three months. Ensure they are effective communicators, answer your questions and are responsive to your needs and questions. This will serve you well especially if there are any concerns with the project at any point in the process (including post-installation).
SkyFire Energy is in our 18th year designing and installing reliable solar systems. Our business is thriving because we believe in creating great relationships and exceeding customer expectations of a solar contractor. If you, or someone you know, have solar questions you would like answered or if you are ready to go on a project, please be sure to contact us at 1-87-SKYFIRE-1. We would be happy to help you achieve your solar dream project.