Kentucky ranks 47th in the US when it comes to solar power.
Depending on where you live, you can take advantage of some serious energy savings. The state of Kentucky also has solar incentives in place that will help you pay for your system, and it can increase your home value.
The problem is finding the right solar installers in Kentucky. You need to look for upfront fees and a high level of expertise. To get the best deal, it’s recommended to ask for a quote from several different installers.
These are only a few things to keep in mind. Check out this guide to learn how to find the right solar installer for your needs.
Types of Solar Companies
Before you start looking around for a solar power company, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different kinds.
While we’re specifically talking about installers, they often work with financing, manufacturers, dealers, and lead generation companies. There are also full-service businesses.
Financing Companies: As the name suggests, financing companies concentrate on the money side of the solar power industry. They partner up with installers to help businesses and homeowners secure the cash that they need to pay for their panels.
Manufacturers: Solar panel manufacturers are the ones that make the equipment that installers use to place panels on houses. They make the panels themselves as well.
Installers: After you secure financing for your solar panels, installers like Blue Raven will come to your home to do an evaluation. During their visit, they’ll determine if you’re a good candidate for panels and take measurements of your roof.
They’ll also check to make sure your roof doesn’t need any special reinforcing or repairs ahead of time. If everything checks out, they’ll make an appointment to do the installation.
Dealers: Solar dealers sell the manufacturer’s products. Nine times out of ten, they sell them to third-party installers, but some of them have in-house ones.
Lead Generation: Lead generation teams pursue sales leads for dealers, installers, and manufacturers. They draw up contracts and set up appointments before selling them to the proper department.
Full-Service: Full-service companies provide everything that’s needed to set your home or business up with solar panels. They perform the installation, sell the panels, and provide financing. The only thing they don’t do is manufacture the equipment.
Get a Few Quotes
Now that you know more about the different companies within the industry and how they correlate with installers, it’s time to shop around. Start with getting a few quotes.
It’s recommended to call at least 3 companies. They’ll schedule an appointment to look at your home and write up an estimate. If they try to give you a quote over the phone, that’s a huge red flag.
Make sure the quote covers all parts of the installation. If your roof needs to be reinforced, you’ll want to know about that on day one instead of being surprised by it later.
By getting quotes, you don’t only give yourself the chance to receive your panels at a competitive price. It allows you to judge the personality of a solar installer as well.
If something about a company rubs you the wrong way during the estimate phase of the process, that’s a good indicator that you shouldn’t hire them.
Money Isn’t Everything
You want to get the best deal possible, but you shouldn’t make your decision based on price alone. The cheapest company in Kentucky could also be the best, but it’s not something you can bank on.
Most of the time, when there’s a large price difference between companies, there’s also a large difference in the quality of their equipment. Do your own research instead of letting your wallet talk.
By typing your zip code into sites like Solar Review, you’ll be able to read valuable feedback from a company’s previous customers. The Better Business Bureau is a great website as well. It will show you a list of customer complaints and let you know if the conflict was settled or not.
No matter what website you use, skim through to look for common issues. One or two negative reviews are natural, but if you start to notice a pattern, that’s a different story.
Talk to Your Neighbors
Your friends and neighbors might be able to tell you something about a company that wasn’t addressed in the reviews.
If you’re still drawing a blank at what company to choose, they can give you some suggestions. So, don’t be afraid to knock on someone’s door and ask them what solar installer they went through.
Look at Their Expertise
Solar installers need to have certain accreditations to be able to safely place panels on your home. Look for a company that has a certification from the North American Board of Certified Energy and two years of hands-on experience.
While you may be able to get amazing results from an up-and-coming solar company in Kentucky, it’s better to choose a business that’s been established for at least 5 years. The longer the company has been around, the more systems they’ve installed.
Check for Licenses and Insurance
Solar panel installers need to be able to do more than put the system on your roof. There are a ton of wiring and components to worry about. To this end, any company you hire should have an electrical contractor’s license.
A business with a home improvement or general contracting license is a plus as well.
On top of having the right licenses, all solar installers should have liability insurance. This way, if the workers damage your roof, the company will be held responsible for the repairs.
Good Companies Don’t Pressure Buyers
The decision to install solar panels is a big one. You need time to think things over and choose the right company for the job.
You don’t need an installer putting any extra pressure on you. Most reputable businesses aren’t going to use aggressive sales tactics to force you into a decision. They won’t throw sketchy discounts at you when they feel like you might go with another company.
Ask About a Warranty
Before you allow a company to do work on your roof, make sure that they can provide you with a workmanship warranty. It will cover you in the event of a poor installation.
For example, if your panels aren’t working because they weren’t screwed down as tightly as they should have been, the company will be obligated to fix the issue.
The warranty is another reason why you should choose a company that’s well-established in the field. Yeah, that brand-new business is offering you a 25-year warranty, but are they going to be around long enough to honor it?
Transparency Is Important
Most companies will give you a rundown of the solar panel installation process before they begin. They’ll also open the floor for you to ask questions and answer them to the best of their ability.
If the business uses subcontractors, they’ll let you know. You’ll become familiar with everyone who will be working on your roof.
They’ll also talk to you about the condition of your roof. If they have to fix a complicated issue before installing your panels, they won’t surprise you with it on your bill. As you can see, transparency is key.
Find Out About Their Aftercare: Yes, the company can install your system, but what about aftercare? Will they come service your system if it stops working? Will they clean your panels or will you have to do it? Do they come out every year to perform an inspection?
Choose a Local Company: Choose a Kentucky company instead of branching out to national businesses. While national installers are a bit larger, local ones are much more reliable.
You won’t have to fight with the tech team to schedule repairs and going local means your experience will be a bit more personal.
Choosing the Right Solar Installers in Kentucky
As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when choosing the right solar installers in Kentucky.
You have to get a few quotes and make sure any company you hire is fully licensed. It helps to choose a local company that can provide maintenance after the initial installation.
Remember that a good company doesn’t pressure buyers into a contract, and they’ll be transparent with you from the time you get a quote to the time they finish the job.
For more tips that will help you prepare for your solar installation, visit the Science & Technology section of our blog.