Investing in green energy for your business or organization is a big decision with many factors. Finding the right solar installer for your project is integral to its success, and knowing what questions to ask can help you find the best match for your project.
6 Questions to Ask Your Solar Provider
Keep these questions in mind when planning your solar project to determine if a company’s qualifications and experience match your needs.
What experience do you have with commercial installations?
Commercial installations are typically large-scale projects that require extensive planning and communication in order to best achieve your goals. Working with a local company is a great way to boost your local economy, but you’ll want to consider experience as well as expertise.
Does the company have a proven track record with customers? Have they completed hundreds of similar scale projects or only a few? You’ll want to feel confident in your company at every step of the journey: from the analysis and planning all the way through to the installation.
Do you have references?
Asking for references is a great way to determine a company’s experience. It also helps you get a sense of what the installation and planning process may look like with each company. Is the team responsive to customer questions and concerns? Is the company easy to work with? What other merits do past customers share in their experiences?
What kind of systems do you install?
There are many different kinds of solar panel installations. An expert team has experience with ground and roof-mounted panels as well as solar carport. The best way to ensure you’re getting the best system to meet your goals is to work with your installer to decide on which option is best for you. Experienced companies will show multiple options that meet your needs.
What financing options and rebates are available?
Financing can often be the most difficult and important decision when it comes to a commercial solar panel installation. An experienced company should be able to provide different financing options to meet your goals. Some financing options we may suggest include:
PPA (Power Purchase Agreement)
PPA, otherwise known as Power Purchase Agreement, involves the developer (or installer) handling all upfront costs of solar system installation in exchange for the income from electricity sales to the customer or host. Electric sales are offered at a fixed or predetermined escalating rate that is less than the local utility rates for energy. The developer also receives the tax credits or any other incentives generated from the host’s installation.
C-PACE (Connecticut Property-Assessed Clean Energy)
This financing structure involves property owners borrowing money for a solar panel installation and making repayments to either a private investor or government program via an assessment on their property tax bill. This financing option remains with the property regardless of any future sales, making it a great option for anyone interested in long-term improvements to a property. Not every town participates in PACE financing, so talk to your solar installer for guidance.
Commercial solar customers in Connecticut may qualify for a program to create a revenue stream from their solar installation. By selling zero-emission electricity back to the utility in order to help the utility meet its production goals for a renewable portfolio standard (RPS), you will receive:
- Cash value from selling ZRECs
- Cash value of electricity your solar system produces (since you no longer have to purchase from the utility)
A solar lease operates much like a PPA minus the sale of electric power. In a solar lease, customers lease the solar system in the same way you’d lease a car. The benefits of this option are that customers see immediate benefits of solar with little to no up-front costs.
What warranties are available?
Investing in solar can be a substantial initial investment, and you’ll want to be sure your investment is protected in the event of panel failure or other trouble. Inquire about the product warranty to make sure you know how long your investment is covered by the manufacturer. Some companies may also offer a production guarantee which promises that all variables were accounted for during the planning and installation of the project.
Ready to get started on your solar journey? It all starts with an entirely free consultation. The experienced team at PurePoint Energy will help you determine if you’re a good candidate for solar, then map out the best ways you can utilize solar panels. Finally, we secure all available financial incentives, saving you money. Contact us online or by phone at (203) 989-2905 today!