Silicon Energy - How to Choose A Solar Contractor

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Tips for selecting the right solar PV contractor and products.

Tips for selecting the right solar PV contractor and products.

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  • 1. Getting Started • Before investing in a solar electric system, take the time to find a highly skilled solar energy professional. • Solar photovoltaics are a long-term investment. Never allow yourself to be pressured into making a decision. You are the customer. It is your investment. • Power generation equipment must be installed properly, to be safe and long- lasting. • Locate a American Solar Energy Society group near you and attend a meeting so you can talk with system owners and solar energy professionals - http://www. ases.org/membership/ chapters/ tax credits and incentives: • Research and understand if your state has incentives available for your installation at the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency, (DSIRE), www.dsireusa.org. • Find out if you can benefit from the 30% Federal Tax Credit for your solar installation. DURABLE SUSTAINABLE Beautiful THE SILICON ENERGY DIFFERENCE Finding the Right Solar energy professional: Before hiring a solar installation specialist, you will want to understand their professional credentials, training, experience, and product preferences. Here are some questions you’ll want to ask: Professional credentials: 1. Does the solar energy professional have National American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) or IBEW (NJATC Solar Training) certification? NABCEP and IBEW’s certification are the gold standard for PV installation certification, www.nabcep.org 2. Does the solar energy professional have manufacturer’s training on the product? 3. How many projects has the solar energy professional installed? 4. Can the solar energy professional provide customer references, photos, and testimonials? 5. Does the solar energy professional exhibit a strong, credible understanding of solar products and performance? 6. Does the solar energy professional have a staff of installers or subcontract the work? How do they maintain quality workmanship? 7. Does the solar energy professional warranty their work? 8. Does the solar energy professional comply with safe OSHA installation practices? 9. Is the solar energy professional responsive to pre and post installation questions and potential service needs? 10. Is the solar energy professional bonded and licensed? 11. Does your utility provide a referral list of approved solar energy professionals? 12. Make sure your requirements and needs are addressed by the solar energy professional. 13. Ask Silicon Energy to connect you with our preferred solar energy professional in your area, http://www.silicon-energy.com/how-to-buy. Revision 06.07.2013
  • 2. Product considerations • Understand the significant differences in PV designs impacting module quality and system performance. • Pick a module designed to perform and last in extreme weather conditions. • Compare module wire management systems, fire safety ratings and warranties. • Select a low maintenance and easy to service PV system. • Find out if the modules materials are sourced locally, in the US or overseas. • Is the module made from recyclable or toxic materials. • Visit the manufacturer. • Ask to see the products you are considering. DURABLE SUSTAINABLE Beautiful THE SILICON ENERGY DIFFERENCE System Design and Product Selection: 1. Does the solar energy professional provide installation options and explain the strengths and weaknesses of those options? 2. Does the solar energy professional explain how the various system designs can benefit from any available incentive programs? 3. Can the solar energy professional discuss the product features and benefits of the solar equipment they are proposing, (i.e. quality, safety, warranty, durability, performance, and aesthetics)? 4. What solar equipment is your solar energy professional proposing, and why? 5. Ask your solar energy professional for made in the USA products, and find out if the products are manufactured using sustainable manufacturing processes and materials. Silicon Energy, LLC 3506 124th Street NE Marysville, WA 98271 USA Tel: 360-618-6500 Silicon Energy MN, LLC PO Box 376 8787 Silicon Way Mt. Iron, MN 55768 USA Tel: 218-789-1710 www.silicon-energy.com www.silicon-energy.com www.facebook.com/SiliconEnergy https://twitter.com/SiliconEnergy https://pinterest.com/SiliconEnergy Revision 06.07.2013