5 Mistakes People Make When Paying for Solar Panels (And How to Avoid Them)

For those wondering how to go solar, there are plenty of options these days to get inexpensive solar panels installed on your home. While prices for solar panels have been getting more affordable, homeowners still want to get the best deal possible. That means avoiding the following mistakes so that you do not spend too much on solar.

  1. Not Getting Multiple Quotes

Numerous companies now offer solar panel installation. However, it is difficult to find and vet multiple installers in your area and compare everyone’s quote. You should never just go with the first company you find because they might be charging an arm and a leg for the same service as someone else. However, you also want quality craftsmanship and industry standard warranties. At PowerScout, we can connect you to multiple installers in your area that we have already vetted.

  1. Not Looking at the Warranty

You want your investment protected by a warranty. This means getting a document in writing. Never just take a contractor’s word for it. You also want to be acutely aware of what the warranty entails. Not all warranties are created equal, and you need to look at exactly what the performance, panel, and workmanship warranties cover. All these should be clearly laid out, and if you have any questions, you need to ask them during the first consultation with each installer.

  1. Not Understanding Savings Potential

Most homeowners get solar panels to save money, but each installer will calculate savings differently. As a result, many first-time buyers end up overestimating how much they will save. You can definitely save money by switching to solar, but lifetime savings and how long until a system pays for itself will vary based on many factors, such as expected electricity rate increase and solar panel production. Make sure you understand the assumptions behind different savings estimates. It is vital to educate yourself before any big investment, and you can get a good idea of your savings potential by using this handy solar calculator.

  1. Waiting Too Long

Solar prices are dropping rapidly. Therefore, many homeowners think it would be more prudent to wait until the costs drop even more. The problem here is that you are going to spend more money during the years you are waiting to go solar than if you had just installed solar panels in the first place. The savings in upfront cost you achieve by waiting to buy solar is not offset by the savings you will miss out on by waiting. Additionally, utility electricity costs are increasing in most areas with some places seeing as much as a 10% increase in 2016 alone.

  1. Not Thinking About Battery Backup Technology

Relying on the grid for electricity is risky. Installing a battery backup system along with solar can protect you from power grid blackouts, and help you save money. There is the potential for your house to capture a surplus of solar energy and use it when your solar panel system isn’t producing electricity. Battery power does not make sense for everyone who goes solar, but if you want a backup power source, solar + batteries makes a lot of sense, especially for homeowners in California. California and Maryland offer rebate programs for homeowners looking to install batteries with their solar panels.

While there are pros and cons of solar, the pros generally outweigh the cons. Get quotes from multiple solar installers today at powerscout.com or call us at 1-650-999-9900 to learn more about solar panels today.