Action Line: 3 things to remember when you’re looking to get solar power

December 29, 2013 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

From a reader: Last year we moved into a bigger house, and the utility bills are really getting to me. My wife and I contacted a company to conduct a home energy audit, and we made some of the suggested improvements — like sealing air leaks around the washer and dryer and adding weatherstripping around the opening to the attic.

Since completing the upgrades 12 months ago, we have definitely noticed a difference in our utility bill. I would still like to lower my utility bill even more, and I am now considering solar power.

I have noticed many solar companies advertising in my area, but I am not sure what company is right for me. What should I look for when choosing a solar company?

Action Line: Congratulations you made the first and most important step toward lowering your utility bill by receiving a home energy audit and making sure you have an energy-efficient home. This can already help save you money on your utility bills.

In recent years solar panels have become hugely popular. This has created a prevalence of installation companies. Here are some important tips to consider before you decide to do business with a solar company:

Recommendations and reviews: A good way to begin the search is to look at company reviews and determine which companies have provided customers with a positive experience, and which have generated complaints. The Better Business Bureau can help you verify a company’s credibility by obtaining a business review and viewing if any formal complaints have been filed against the installer.

Multiple quotes: Request a quote from several installers that service your area, and make sure that the quote takes into account your local electricity rates and your energy usage. This information can be obtained by reviewing your utility bill, and can help you decide how much energy you wish to offset. To request to a free quote with a reputable company you can visit cencal.bbb.org.

Certifications: To assure that your solar panels are installed correctly, ask the prospective company if their installers are certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners. This is good credential to look and assures that the installers have met high standards of eligibility.

Action Line is written by Blair Looney, president and CEO for the Better Business Bureau serving Central California. Send your consumer concerns, questions and problems to Action Line at the Better Business Bureau, 4201 W. Shaw Ave., Suite 107, Fresno, CA 93722 or info@cencal.bbb.org.

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