NewEnergyNews: Things Rooftop Solar Buyers Ought To Ask

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    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, f is an occasional contributor to NewEnergyNews

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    Some of Anne's contributions:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns

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  • FRIDAY WORLD, June 23:

  • Al Gore On The Morality Of The Climate Fight
  • Solar In Latin America Can Boom
  • Scotland Buys Into Kite Wind
  • Tesla Eyes The China EV Market

    Thursday, May 19, 2016

    Things Rooftop Solar Buyers Ought To Ask

    12 Questions to Ask Your Prospective Solar Company

    May 19, 2016 (Sullivan Solar Power)

    “1. How many years have you been in business? If you want a straight answer, you may want to search for yourself. Reference the Contractors State License Board website to verify a license.

    2. Who are your current clients? Solar companies with a substantial client portfolio mean they passed rigorous vetting tests. If the contractor has been chosen for large commercial project or a government project, it is a good indicator they are a quality company.

    3. Is your company NABCEP accredited? A North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) accreditation means that a company’s processes and ethics have been proven. NABCEP is the gold-standard in solar accreditation, and very few companies are certified.

    4. Who monitors your solar power systems? While most solar companies offer monitoring on their solar power systems, companies with in-house monitoring technicians get notified in an unlikely event of system failures or performance losses. This offers an additional level of security for your system performance.

    “5. Do you have a C-10 Electrical Contractor license? A solar power system is a mini power plant on your property. Only state licensed electricians should be working on your installation.

    6. Do you use in-house employees for the installation? The best way to ensure work is completed correctly, and that you aren’t inheriting liability, is to ensure your solar company isn’t subcontracting your work.

    7. Will you inspect my roof before giving me a contract? If the company doesn’t get on your roof, they haven’t done the proper shade readings or roof measurements to guarantee your solar power system will produce what it should, and they have not taken into account the integrity of your roof.

    8. Do you offer more than one type of financing? Find a solar company who offers more than one type of financing and gives you tools to decide what’s best for you. Those companies typically take the federal tax credit, which most Californians can utilize. Don’t get pushed into what best for the solar company, always picks what’s best for you.

    “9. What tax incentives or rebates are available for me? There is still federal tax credit that cover 30% of the system’s cost! The California state rebate for solar has expired for homeowners, if anyone is telling you it’s still available, stay away!

    10. Do you offer a warranty on your products? Solar companies should offer a 25 year solar panel warranty and 20-year inverter warranty, so that you can avoid out-of-pocket costs down the line.

    11. Who makes the parts you are using? Ask the solar company to only specify quality products for your system that are made by a reputable company. To protect yourself, ensure the manufacturer of the system’s components has been in business as long as the warranty they are providing, they are financially-stable and support ethical business practices.

    12. Should everyone go solar? Solar won’t work for everyone. To determine if solar makes sense for you, a solar expert should analyze things like roof orientation and detailed energy-use information such as when your electricity is being consumed and your 15-minute interval data.” click here for more

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