The switch to making your house a solar home is a huge decision that will likely last for as long as you own the home. While the switch leads to environmental and financial benefits, it’s not a simple decision to make. Specialists in solar energy, whether in Bakersfield, or elsewhere in California, are not all the same. While you may be searching for the right solar installers to do a great job, you’ll feel more confident in your choice by knowing the following nine questions to ask your solar panel installer.

1. What Is Your Experience?

A good solar panel specialist should have plenty of experience and a good history of positive customer service.

Ask this question. After hearing about other solar roofing projects that the specialist has completed in your area, you should either determine whether or not this is a specialist that you want to work on your solar power system. You can also look for online reviews from past customers that go into further detail on the specialist’s past work.

You would also like a company that runs its business like a well-oiled machine so that you know the contractor can fix any problems during the long life of your solar panels.

2. What Kinds of Payment Plans Do You Take?

There are multiple ways to pay for solar energy. A great solar panel installer should consider all options for how a customer will pay for his or her solar system. Methods of payment should include cash, credit, leases, and loans.

If you do not know how you should pay for your solar energy, the installers should help show you the differences between all the options that are available to you. They should even tell you how long it will take for you to break even on each investment.

3. Do I Need Any Permits on My End?

A simple “yes” or “no” answer should not be acceptable. Every solar company is different—they handle permits in different ways. It is important that you ask for a detailed answer from them.

Your solar installer should be able to determine the requirements for installing a solar system in your area. Oftentimes, a solar company should handle any requirements and prerequisites on your behalf. There is always the chance, however, that the city can disallow the operation of your new solar system until your building is all up to speed.

4. Should I Worry About My Roof?

A good solar panel expert would explain to you how they should mount the solar panels onto a roof, and installation should be completely safe. If it’s the case that you don’t have traditional asphalt shingles, your installer should be able to point you to other methods that experts use to install solar panels. These mounts should not damage your roof in any way, and the roof should be able to handle all the weight that a solar system brings.

It is strongly recommended that you have a new or recently repaired roof before the solar system is installed. Installing solar panels on an older roof will make getting a new roof much more difficult once it fails or if problems arise.

5. What Size Panel Is Suitable For My Home?

Solar panels come in wide-ranging sizes and capacities. However, not all of them can work for your property. The professional will come to your home and assess your energy needs, among other factors and recommend the ideal size of the panel for your home. Picking a unit that’s too big may result in over-production, and one that’s too small may end up not meeting your energy needs.

6. Will My Roof Need Strengthening?

It is a good idea to check whether your roof along with its structure is strong enough to hold the solar panels. Keep in mind that solar panels have a warranty of about 20-30 years, which is a long time for a roof that has degraded. Ideally, you want to make sure that your roof is in excellent condition so you won’t have to uninstall your panels each time the roof needs repairs.

7. Will You Perform a Shading Analysis?

Shading analysis is another critical aspect of your solar installation. Your installer should be able to carry out a shading analysis to help establish whether the surrounding objects like the nearby trees and objects cause shading. Remember shading will affect your energy yield, so it’s a good idea to know this right from the onset so you can figure out ways around it.

8. What Warranties Are Issued?

Solar panels are meant to last at least 20 to 30 years, depending on the manufacturer. But in addition to this, you also want to know the kind of warranty that the installer and manufacturer are providing. Many companies offer at least 10 years of warranty. In addition to that, find out what the inverter warranty is. Again, most of the inverters come with ten years defects guarantee.

9. How Will The Units Be Held On The Roof?

Knowing how the panels will be held on the roof is another critical thing regardless of whether you have a slate, tiled, or flat roof. Solar panels can be installed on just about any roof type. However, your roof has to be strong enough for the job.

Keep in mind that the panels also need breathing space—that’s why they require adequate fixing to ensure they are not susceptible to environmental elements like wind.