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Solar installers in Los Angeles California
In recent years solar power has emerged as the top alternative to fossil fuels, providing cleaner energy and reducing the energy bills of those who adopt the technology. This is especially the case in California, which currently hosts more than 230,000 homes that have solar panels installed. This is the highest number of any state in the nation.

Furthermore, California also demonstrates an unwavering dedication to moving towards renewable energy, with the Renewable Portfolio Standard requiring the state to replace traditional energy sources with renewables. Currently the regulation requires California to be at a level where 25% of all electricity is generated from renewable sources by the end of 2016, with further targets set over the years that will follow.

This move ties into much of the anti-pollution legislation that the state has enforced over the last few decades. Anybody who has been to Los Angeles, especially during the late-1990s or earlier part of this century, will have noted the high levels of smog that obscure landmarks like the Hollywood sign in many cases. The move towards solar and other renewables aims to reduce these levels of pollution and make the state a healthier place for people to live.

This initiative has, in turn, led to an increasing demand for solar panels. This is especially the case in residential areas, where solar can benefit families both through cheaper energy bills and a range of incentives. An extremely important aspect of this process is finding the right installer, so be sure to consider these tips if you are mulling over the idea of adopting solar technology.

Do the Research

There are many companies in California that provide solar panels so it is important to find one that is dedicated to its craft and will ensure the entire process is completed without a hitch. Research should start online and it is a good idea to create a shortlist of companies that take your interest. With this list in hand try to search for forums and other areas of public opinion to see if you can find unbiased opinions about the service of each company.

Once this information has been used to refine the shortlist, have the remaining companies come in to examine the house and provide a free quote. This way you can get a good idea of the costs in addition to weighing up the professionalism of the workers who come to visit you. Remember that if they leave a bad taste in the mouth on the first visit, this is unlikely to go away when they are doing the job.

Certification

It is important to ensure that your chosen installer is fully certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Not only does this provide additional peace of mind when it comes to the installation, it also provides the customer with added protection should something go wrong with the equipment used.

Furthermore, the majority of state incentives require the fitting to have been carried out by a certified professional. For example, if you wish to claim the bonuses offered by the Single-Family Affordable Solar Housing (SASH) scheme the company handling the work must be fully accredited and also have the approval of the SASH program.

Knowledge

It is not impolite to test the knowledge of the solar companies that you are considering. In fact, it should be expected and any good organisation should provide you with all of the information that you need. Remember that it is important to test this aspect, even if you have already found the answers for yourself through your research.

Quiz your prospective installer on the types of solar panels they use and why they have selected that particular technology. Ask about vital facts and figures, such as how much they estimate the technology could save in emissions and how you should go about claiming incentives. If they don’t know the answers this suggests that they may not be the right company for the job.

Manufacture and Warranties

As previously implied, the type of solar panels used for your fixture is key. Bear in mind that there are many manufacturers throughout the world and most will use differing techniques and production methods.

Obtaining a warranty is exceptionally important as the potential for a cell or panel to fail does exist. Most of the top manufacturers provide a minimum of 25 years warranty on all of their solar panels. Confirm this is the case with the panels that will be used for your home and place serious thought into considering your options if the panels don’t carry a guarantee like this. Poorly manufactured solar panels could end up losing you money.

Financing

In addition to the various incentives offered to anybody in California who makes use of solar technology, both the state and many companies offer a range of financing options to help along with the payment process. As the initial cost of solar panels can be somewhat difficult to manage, these financing options can make the process a lot more manageable.

The Go Solar California website offers a lot of information about potential financing options and your chosen company should also be able to help along with this process. Solar is a long term investment and the panels will eventually pay for themselves. However, there is nothing wrong with getting a little bit of help during the initial stages.

Making the switch to solar can be somewhat intimidating at first but it is important to remember that there are plenty of resources available to help you along the way. Finding a good installer is a great start as they will be able to provide you with all of the information you need and assuage any fears you may have about adopting the technology. With the right information and the proper equipment your solar panels can play an enormous part in reducing energy bills over the long term, in addition to helping California achieve its targets in relation to the Renewable Portfolio Standard.

Not all solar installers are equal, which is why their price quotes will not be equal. When you first receive solar quotes, there is more to consider than the price. It is not always the best idea to choose the lowest quote. The best solar companies are going to have higher quotes. A pricier quote may mean better installation procedures, higher quality parts, or an extended warranty coverage, and you could be getting a better deal than you would with the cheaper company. You may think to check their license number and consider if they are NABCEP certified, but there are several more things you should consider when you select solar installers for your home.

NABCEP Certification

When you receive solar quotes, if the solar installer you are considering has NABCEP certification, that is a good sign. The best solar companies have staff members who are certified It is the national standard certification program, and any company with this certification is most likely going to be reliable and professional. For an individual to be considered certified, they must pass a test and also have two years experience in the alternative energy field. The entire company does not have to be certified, but if one active member of the staff does, you have selected a great solar installer.

Experience


If you are going to select solar installers that are not NABCEP certified, research their experience with the help of seia.org. They could still have comparable experience and be one of the best solar companies even without certification. Green energy is a young and growing field, and many great installers have not taken the certification test. They may be working on attaining it or see it as more trouble than it is worth. If a company has had several years of experience and installed solar panels on a few dozen homes, their experience level more than makes up for their lack of certification. Do not be surprised if the sales consultant you talk to is not NABCEP certified. They are more of pre-inspectors and cost estimators than solar energy experts.

License


Contractors will always have license numbers that you can look up and see the company's standing on a state website. If they do not have a license number when you receive their solar quote, that is deal breaker. Once you know the number, you can look up how much experience the installer has and if they have any black marks on their record. You should also make sure they have insurance against damages to your home during installation and injuries to their workers.

Outsourced Crew


If the crew that is actually installing the panels on your roof is not directly from the contractor you are arranging the transaction with, that could be a bad sign. When you select solar installers, you want to feel like you are connected directly to the individuals who will be on your roof, installing your solar panels. If the company is outsourcing their crew, the individuals giving you prices may not know anything about the actual installation crew. They don't know how they're trained or how much experience they have. Often, when the crew is outsourced, the contractor will call them “installation partners.” The best solar companies will know their crew personally and be knowledgeable about how they are trained.

Recommendations and Referrals


When you receive solar quotes, ask your installer to refer you to previous customers that were happy with the final product. Like references on a job applications, referrals will assure you that you are not getting in over your head with someone. If the company is happy to give you names and contact information for previous customers, they have nothing to hide. It is not overboard to call previous customers or even drive by their homes to look at the finished work. Do not select solar installers until you see what others are saying about them first.

Consider Price Vs Quality


Prices vary depending on state and installer, but should be somewhere around $3,500 to $4,500 per kilowatt capacity of the system. It's best to get several quotes to better compare the companies and find a reasonable balance. Some installers will offer things that other won't, and you won't know what some companies are offering until you get a variety of offers. The extra money may provide enough extra value that you decide it is worth the cost to get the best solar companies. A pricier contractor may offer better installation procedures, higher quality parts, or a longer or extended warranty. For quality parts, you have to consider both solar panels and inverters. The panels are what collects the energy and the inverters convert the energy into usable power to run your home. Look into the makers of the materials that your company uses by researching product reviews. The inverters should be big enough to handle your system and have at least a 10 year warranty, and the warranties on panels should be at least 20 years. The warranty for installations, separate from the warranty on materials, is different for different installers. A good warranty insures the solar installers are confident of their work and will be around in the future to honor the warranty.

Installation Time


No one wants construction projects ongoing with no end in sight happening in their home. The turnaround time for most companies could be as little as a few weeks to as much as eight months. This could have a huge impact on your decision for solar installers if you are in a hurry to get it done quickly.

When undertaking such a large and long lasting project as installing solar panels on your roof, you want to know you are getting the best quality job for your money. It is always worth it to take time to research for yourself what you are getting into with contractors. A large installation project like this is not the time for cutting corners. Invest in something you know you are going to be happy with and will last for as long as you live in your home.


 

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