How To Pick The Right Solar Installer in Canada

If you are interested in solar, it is important to be well versed in the basics of solar installation. This will enable you to select a installation company that will safety install your solar system on time and on budget. So, what should homeowners look for when hiring a company to install solar? Here are a few important tips on how to pick the right one.

Experience + Track Record

One of the easiest ways to determine if someone knows what they are doing is by looking at their previous work. Call your local electrical inspector to see if the installation company has ever been involved in any installations. You can also call the Better Business Bureau and ask if they have had any previous complaints against the company A good installer will be able to tell you what experience they have with various solar components, including panels, inverters, and mounting systems.

Client References

Ask for references from the company you are considering for the installation of your system. It is important that the company have previous installations in the your area so that you can compare costs and installation methods. If they don’t have any, a good company will be able to give you the names of previous clients that would be willing to provide references.

Homeowner Reviews  

Search online for reviews of the company. Look at solar-related message boards or chat rooms for feedback from others who have used their services. A great resource to review before you make an appointment is the Canadian Solar Industries Directory (CSID). The CSID is a searchable database of Canadian solar companies and professionals. You can look up installers in your area, based on information like years in business, certifications, or products installed.

Warranty + Customer Service

Ask for a copy of the warranty that will be applied to your system. Make sure it covers the components you expect them to cover, and that there is a good escalation process for when things go wrong. See how they act and what their in-home sales staff & salespeople are like. You want to select someone who can accurately represent your interests in the negotiation process. Homeowners should prioritize superior customer service when deciding to move forward with an installer. If you have any questions or concerns before, during or after the installation, you want to be able to get in touch with someone who can help.

Financing Options

Most companies have limited financing options, but ask what they offer. It’s a good idea to take advantage of these programs if available because they can help you pay for your system with no upfront costs. This could mean paying less per month than you would with a typical loan.

What Type of Regulation Will Apply To Your System?

Every province or territory has different rules that govern the sale and installation of a solar panel system, so make sure you know what those rules are before you get started. If there’s not enough sun where you live, for instance, it may make more sense to lease the system instead of buying it.

They Have A Presence In Your Community 

You want a company that is actually based in Canada and one that you can rely on to be around if there’s an emergency with your system. Talk to former clients about their experiences with the installer, especially any issues they had getting service after the installation was complete.

They Are Knowledgeable About Your Province’s Feed-In-Tariff Program

Feed-In-Tariff Programs (FITs) are a great way to earn money from your solar system as well as protect you from rising electricity prices. This is a form of net metering by which you sell surplus energy to your local energy provider. Make sure they know how FITs work and what rebates you may be eligible for.

They Go Beyond Minimum Requirements  

If their product and service offerings are limited, it may mean they’re not offering you everything that they could be. Ask them what additional products they provide, and what types of services they offer. If their product offerings are tremendous but their service packages are lacking, it may be another good reason to look elsewhere.

Are Their Products And Services Fully Insured?  

You want the installer to account for the cost of damages if something goes wrong with the work that they completed. Check to see what insurance the installer has and how much coverage you have as a client. If there are no product or service underwriters listed, you should ask why.

They Have A Real Office With The Right Contact Information  

If they don’t have an office or a local telephone number, you may want to look elsewhere. Their office should be listed on their website, and all of the staff members who have direct contact with you should be listed as well.