We get it, switching to solar energy can be a big decision for many homeowners. Ensuring a seamless transition starts with choosing the right solar provider. But it’s important to note that not all companies are the same. Our friends at Blue Raven Solar have put together five red flags every homeowner should keep an eye out for when shopping for solar power.
1. Limited or no social and online presence
A robust online experience and presence on social media serves as a signal that companies have their customers’ interests top of mind. When information is readily available and there are multiple touchpoints for open communication, you can expect that your feedback and concerns will be taken seriously.
Take a scroll through the various social media platforms of companies you are considering working with to see how they are interacting with their audience. Are they responding to customer concerns and showcasing transparency as a common business practice? You can tell a lot about a company based on how customers are addressed online, especially when it comes to negative experiences.
While this factor alone is not indicative of a company’s value or priorities, it certainly is a great place to begin your due diligence process.
2. Low review site scores
When shopping for a solar company, review sites are one of the best places to understand a customer experience. Review sites such as Google, Better Business Bureau and Best Company often create an unbiased environment where you can get an honest view of a solar company’s business practices.
The main thing to look for on review sites is a company response to negative reviews. If a company has consistently low marks and/or does not hold themselves accountable for misunderstandings and mishaps, customers may want to avoid working with them. Lack of response could mean that they may not have their customers’ best interests at heart.
3. Insufficient warranties
Reputable solar companies will back up their service with a comprehensive warranty, but it’s always a good idea for homeowners to conduct proper due diligence to truly understand the terms of any warranty offered to them. Some solar companies offer warranties that only cover your solar panels, but there are several components to a solar system that should be covered along with them including monitoring, the racking that the solar panels are installed on and solar inverters. When your solar provider only covers the solar panels, you are left to work with a variety of companies to address specific issues. Luckily, SunPower offers one warranty that covers your entire solar system.
Unlike other business models, solar energy involves more than just the components that make up the system, it also includes power produced. SunPower’s industry-leading warranty guarantees that your solar panels won’t lose more than 8% of their original DC power output in 25 years.
Being able to have peace of mind is important to many homeowners and the right warranty can help with this.
4. Lower quality products
Have you heard the saying, “you get what you pay for”? It’s especially true in the solar industry. Low prices may seem attractive at first, but when you take a closer look you may find that the solar panels you’re being offered have low efficiency or durability. This could not only prevent your solar system from maximizing your utility savings, it can also lessen the lifespan of your system.
As a rule of thumb, check a solar panel’s degradation rate. Many of SunPower’s solar panels boast a record-breaking degradation rate of 0.25%, with 0.5% being an industry standard. The lower the degradation rate, the better because your solar system will pump out more power for a longer period of time.
Efficiency is also an important factor to consider. A solar panel’s efficiency rate can be the difference from saving pennies to making a significant dent in your utility bill. The more efficiency a solar panel contains, the better equipped it is to produce the solar rays that it absorbs.
5. Minimal industry experience
Industry experience is worth exploring when choosing a solar installer. High quality solar panels, like the ones that SunPower provides to homeowners can last decades. Because of this, you’ll want a company that will last just as long as your solar system to honor their warranties and support you when needed. SunPower is the longest-standing solar company in the nation with more than 37 years of experience. Acquired by SunPower, Blue Raven Solar now also has that same industry-leading experience to add to their name.
With the right provider, homeowners don’t have to worry about being left high and dry in the future, they can count on the fact that their solar company will last as long as their solar system. It also doesn’t hurt that both companies have been voted as the top solar companies by Forbes Advisor.
With these five tips, homeowners can have peace of mind when going solar. Through a bit of research, it’s not hard to see that companies like SunPower and Blue Raven Solar are a top choice for savvy homeowners ready to reduce their carbon footprint and enjoy savings on their utility bill. Just take a look at our reviews. Avoid red flags and choose a solar installer that Americans trust.