Solar energy is a relatively new concept for many Americans. Until you’re ready to install, you probably haven’t thought twice about the best questions to ask a solar company. But simple questions about cost of solar don’t quite get at the complexity of a solar project.
Luckily, MOXIE has you covered with the top 7 questions to ask a solar company before signing up with them. Keep in mind that we don’t expect you to just ask us these questions. Solar is a proven long-term investment and a significant one.
Our team is here to educate first and sell second. In fact, we recommend to our customers that they should get several solar consultations from different solar companies before signing up. That’s how confident we are. We’re the #1 choice for solar panel installation in all the locations we service. We want MOXIE customers to feel confident in their decision and to enjoy the benefits of solar energy for decades.
1. How much experience do you have installing solar?
Turnkey solar installation for homes and businesses is still a relatively new concept, so there are a lot of really young solar companies out there. Nothing against these young startups (we were there once too), there’s just no substitute for real-world experience. Each solar installation job is different and until a company has been through thousands of installations, they’re likely still learning. Do you really want to be a guinea pig for something that will cost you thousands of dollars?
When talking to a solar company, ask them how many years they’ve been in business and how many solar installations they’ve completed. It’s also a good idea to look at the customer reviews for some of those installations. Quantity doesn’t necessarily mean quality.
MOXIE has been in business for over 12 years and has completed over 1,500 solar panel installations with predominantly 5-star customer reviews.
2. What kind of expertise do you have on your team?
Similar to the previous question, the quality of your solar installation is largely dependent on the experience of the solar installation team. Still, it’s not only about the company experience overall, but also the individual people that make up that company.
We see a lot of HVAC or roofing companies now offering solar installation services. Even though they’ve been in business for decades, they don’t necessarily have any experience with solar panel systems. More importantly, they don’t have laser-focused solar expertise on their team.
If the solar panel salesperson also designs and installs your system, that’s a red flag. No single person can be an expert in everything, especially solar energy.
At MOXIE, we have laser-focused solar experts dedicated to each aspect of going solar. From sales to site surveying and customer experience to installation, no person is focused on more than one task. See for yourself by taking the MOXIE solar tour and meeting our experts.
3. How much will you need to look at my roof/install area?
A solar company that doesn’t perform extensive site surveying is like a sports team that goes into game day without looking at tape of the other team, or even having a playbook at all. Every solar panel installation job is different. Some roofs have more of a slant than others, trees shading the roof, or vent pipes in different areas. All these little details matter. Still, some solar installation companies think they can put little to no time into site surveying and just jump right to installation. This is a mistake and it often results in less than optimal, cookie-cutter installations that create subpar energy production and/or large amounts of rework and unnecessary expense.
If a solar company says they don’t really need to look at all the aspects of your install site, that’s a red flag. You should also ask them what kind of technology they use for site surveying.
At MOXIE, we have dedicated site surveying experts. They take the time to look at and note all the unique aspects of your solar install site before passing this information on to the solar engineer who will design your custom solar array. We use a combination of aerial maps, drone technology, and good old fashion in-person conversation.
4. How will you help me take advantage of solar incentives?
Depending on the state and county you live in, there are many different incentives for installing solar. So many, in fact, that it can get confusing and complicated for you to actually take full advantage of them. This could mean missing out on thousands of dollars worth of solar savings. Some solar companies may just tell you that “incentives are available” while those on the other side of the spectrum will go as far as to identify the exact ones you’re eligible for and even help you file the proper paperwork.
Without knowing how much work a solar company will invest in regards to solar incentive help, it’s not really possible to compare solar quotes as “apples to apples.”
MOXIE has a team of dedicated utility liaisons who exist to help handle everything involved with proper solar permitting and taking advantage of money-saving solar incentives. Instead of letting you spend countless hours learning it all, our experts walk you through the process and ensure you get every solar incentive you’re eligible for.
5. Do you offer a Truth-in-Pricing Guarantee?
Have you ever hired a contractor who quoted one price, then charged a higher price when it was all over? Nothing is more frustrating, but what can you do once the service has already been performed? Unfortunately, even though it’s often due to a miscalculation on the part of the contractor, it happens all the time.
At MOXIE, we don’t think it’s right to quote someone one price and then charge them more once the job is done.
We’re the only solar company in the nation to provide a Truth-in-Pricing Guarantee. This guarantee ensures that you won’t pay a penny more than the price we quoted you, even if it ends up costing more than we anticipated. We care more about getting the job done right and having satisfied customers than making a certain amount of profit.
6. Will you be monitoring my solar system’s production?
The service and care after installation is complete is just as important as the initial installation. Electrical components have the potential to lose power or fail so it’s necessary to monitor your solar energy production. If a solar company does not commit to monitoring a system after install, they’re out to make a quick buck and move on. If anything goes wrong, you’ll want to fix it immediately.
At MOXIE, we monitor the production and status of your entire solar panel system on a weekly basis for no additional cost. If anything seems off, we quickly jump in to solve the problem. Whether it’s walking you through resetting your system or sending a crew out to swap a part, we have your back when it comes to your system’s performance after install. We also set you up with a computer app that allows you to easily see your system’s production at any given time.
7. What kind of warranties will my system be under?
You hope you never need them, but a solar system backed by strong warranties is huge. Especially considering it’s something you will depend on for decades. There are a couple of main solar warranties that you should inquire about: equipment warranties (for panels, inverters, etc.) and workmanship warranties (for the install work). Most solar panels come with a 25-year manufacturer warranty and solar inverters typically have a 10 to 12-year warranty.
At MOXIE, we provide customers with a number of different solar panel and inverter brand options. If any equipment fails, we handle the warranty paperwork for you and then quickly fix the problem with new equipment. We also provide a 5-year workmanship warranty. If for any reason something was installed wrong, it’ll be apparent within those first 5 years. This MOXIE warranty also covers performance with a 98.5% uptime guarantee. This is something no other solar company provides.
Of course, a big question is “How much is solar cost?”
Of all the questions to ask a solar company, the big one is cost.
Since there is no one-size-fits-all solution to solar, the answer depends on a number of different factors. We’ve outlined some of this for you on our cost of solar information page, but the only way to get a real tangible number is to get a quick solar consultation.