Is Your Site Right For Solar?
With the current federal tax credits and local incentives, installing a solar array is more affordable than a few years ago. Take some time to check your site yourself before you bring in a solar energy specialist. It is also smart, affordable & an investment. And by "investment", you get more from it than you put in.
Evaluating your home for solar is simple; just follow these four easy steps:
Check Your Paperwork
* To be eligible for solar incentives from the government and utility companies, the person who owns the system (you) must own the property where the solar is installed. The utility account for the property must be in you name as well.
Check the Orientation
* For the most solar production, face the array south-ish. Arrays that face fully east or west also produce plenty of power.
Check Your View
Check Your Structure
"I was intimidated by the initial process, but once I spoke to them I felt confident that it would be an easy process" - Kelli N.
Picking the Right Solar Installer
Sometimes companies offer specials at events, especially if you sign on the spot. But before you sign a contract, make sure that you are working with a qualified solar installer, and getting the best deal. Solar isn't just plugged in, each system must be custom designed, engineered, and professionally installed to work properly.
Check Their Licenses
To be a solar installer in Washington State, the company must hold BOTH an electrical contractor and general contractor license (Our license numbers at the bottom of the page). Check to make sure licenses are valid at the WA State Department of Labor and Industries website.
Ask For Your Solar Potential
Even a little shading can create a big problem. Ask for your solar potential rating, which takes shade and orientation into account. Without an accurate rating, any return on investment calculations are just guessing. The Washington State solar program now requires this data. If you are being encouraged to install and your rating is under 75%, you want to get a second opinion.
Location Visits are Key
Make sure the solar installer visits your site before you sign a contract. The ONLY way to know what system will work for your location is to physically visit, measure your solar potential with tools and instruments, and inspect your house. Without this visit, they are just guessing.
Compare Like to Like
With different technologies, and design specifications solar arrays cannot be compared across the board. A quality solar installer will custom design a system for you, based on the information you share, and quote to that system. Make sure you always get at least two quotes, and always make sure the quotes are for comparable systems. If the systems are similar, the costs should be as well.
"Start to finish, it's been an enriching education." - Becky L.