Be aware of the worst solar companies in Utah. You, like many others, may be considering going solar. You’ve likely heard about the benefits and the money you could save. But before you make a decision about solar panels for your home or commercial property, there are some important facts you need to know—especially if it’s not your very first choice.
Just as with any other purchase, it is not wise to rush into anything and take the first offer that comes to you.
Solar energy in Utah is growing rapidly
The average Utah home now has nearly as much solar as the national average, and the number of residential and commercial systems in Utah county is increasing each year. But not all solar companies are created equal, and some take shortcuts and leave you with a less-than-perfect product or service. Here’s what you need to know:
Thanks to solar incentives , the cost of solar is quickly becoming competitive with traditional forms of energy.
Following the end of state-enforced price caps on solar in Utah, the cost of installing solar has dropped. Gains in efficiency also mean that projects are cheaper than ever before.
A report by the Institute for Energy Research found that a typical residential system would have a payback period of just 7 years, while an average commercial system would have a payback period of 1.4 years.
New solar companies are being created every day
In spite of the growth of solar, it is still a relatively new industry. It is often a less-familiar area for many people, which can lead to increased risk for home and business owners. Because solar companies in Utah are popping up every day, it’s important to do your research and consider your options carefully before signing on the dotted line. In fact, Utah was ranked as having one of the highest instances of fraud in the nation.
First thing to consider are reviews
Websites like Yelp have become a haven for disgruntled customers to sound off about bad service or products. On the other hand, companies that are doing well often have positive reviews. When searching for solar companies in Utah, always check out online reviews and ask around about the companies you are considering.
Get third-party certification
If you are getting solar panels installed at your home or business, then there are some steps that you can take to double-check that the panels being installed are of high quality.
First, go to the manufacturer’s website to learn more about the product offered by the company and if their solar panels have certifications . Then research what other people are saying about the company on Yelp and other consumer websites.
If you find any negative reviews, speak with employees at your local solar company to discuss best practices for maintaining quality panels over time.
Be wary of installation cost
Solar is typically more expensive than other sustainable energy sources like wind or hydro power, but there are ways that companies can get around this. Some companies will try to sell you new panels that are less expensive than the new system would be.
They may also try to sell you solar equipment that is more expensive than it needs to be, hoping that the additional cost of panels will be more than offset by savings on your energy bill.
Understand guarantees and warranties
A good solar company will always protect your investment. If anything ever goes wrong, a solar company should make things right by replacing the panels at no charge, restoring power to your home, or even paying you a small amount of money if something goes wrong.
Make sure that a company offers a warranty on every panel installed, and promises to stand behind what they promise to do.
When it comes to sign a contract, beware of hidden fees.
Some solar companies will try to lowball the cost of the job, only to add on additional fees later when you sign a final contract.
Never sign anything until you understand it completely, and be sure that all add-ons and other fees are clearly listed in writing. Lastly, always get a copy of the contract before signing, so that you have a record of exactly what you agreed to do.
Solar rebates are new
Utah rebates are new, and they are complicated. A new state law led to the creation of Utah’s rebate program on solar energy systems on January 1, 2017.
The first check for an individual or business is only $0.54 on the first half-megawatt of solar power (10 kW), which is more than enough energy to power most homes. The first check for a commercial user is $0.75 per megawatt (one megawatt equals 1,000 watts), and the rebate can be as high as $1,000 for commercial users.
Commercial and residential solar customers are only eligible for one rebate check under the program. Qualified customers can receive up to 10 checks, which are paid out in five annual installments to residential customers that have solar installed through the program.
Lastly be aware of your monthly payments
As you can imagine, anyone making monthly payments on energy has to be careful because if the energy bills are too high it could impact your credit score. The best thing to do is look at your electric bill and see what you are paying in each month for both bills.
If one bill is lower than the other, make sure you pay for that one first to avoid debt.
Also make sure to research if the company makes their own solar panels or they partner with another company to make and install them. Make sure you feel confident in their ability to make and install quality system and provide quality service after the installation.
When speaking to a company that wants to help you get solar panels installed, ask them what they can offer for your needs.
They should be able to give you a specific price, tell you how much energy you can save each month and also what incentives (if any) they might be able to add on.