Harnessing solar power has grown in popularity in recent years primarily due to its environmental benefits, potential cost savings, and increased accessibility. With abundant sunshine, Florida is a prime location for harnessing solar power. Particularly in Tampa, an increasing number of homeowners are turning to this renewal energy source, fostering a thriving solar industry.
If you’re contemplating a switch to solar energy, choosing the right company is critical to getting a good return on your investment. You want to ensure your provider is reliable, offers high-quality equipment, and provides excellent customer service. Fortunately, Tampa is home to several exceptional solar companies.
But with the wealth of options, how do you determine which solar company perfectly fits your needs? This article serves as a guide to help Tampa homeowners find a top-rated Tampa solar company.
- Understand your solar needs
Understanding your solar energy needs is vital before scoping for a solar company. To help you with this, here are some key considerations:
- Monthly energy consumption: Gauge your needs by examining your average monthly energy consumption. This will help determine the size of the solar system you need.
- Roof size and orientation: This impacts the amount of sunlight your solar panels will receive and, consequently, the energy they can produce. A reputable solar company can conduct a site survey to ensure optimal panel placement.
- Solar system type: Here, you can choose between a grid-tiered or an off-grid solar system. The former remains connected to the conventional electricity grid, allowing you to draw power from it when needed. Meanwhile, the latter operates independently and requires a battery storage system.
- Budget: A good solar company can offer a range of options and financing schemes to cater to different budgets (more on this later).
By factoring in the aspects above, you can provide solar companies with helpful information that enables them to provide you with a more efficient and cost-effective solar solution.
- Research and compare solar companies
Keep these key elements in mind when researching and comparing solar companies:
- Reputation and experience: Start with companies that have a proven track record. Look for significant experience in the field and a strong portfolio of successful installations.
- Certifications and credentials: Ensure the company is certified and licensed to install solar systems in Tampa. The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certification is a reliable standard in the industry. This certifies companies have undergone rigorous training and adhere to high standards of professionalism and competence.
- Customer reviews and testimonials: These can be enlightening in assessing a company’s reliability and quality of service. Look for consistency in customer satisfaction across different review platforms.
- Regulatory expertise: Solar installations involve complex permits and regulations, especially in Tampa. Look for a company that’s well-versed in these to ensure a seamless installation process.
- Service and price comparison: It’s crucial to balance the quality of products and services with cost. The cheapest quote may not necessarily be the best option, just as higher prices don’t automatically equate to superior service.
By conducting thorough comparative research and considering the factors above, you can find a solar company that aligns with your specific needs and budget.
- Carefully weigh available financing options
A good solar company will have several financing options, including loans, leases, and power purchase agreements. Here’s a brief overview of these options:
- Loans: Solar loans allow you to borrow money to pay for your solar system and repay the amount with interest over a set period. These loans can be secured (requiring collateral such as your home) or unsecured (no collateral needed). Once you pay off the loan, you own the system and benefit from all the power it produces.
- Leases: This arrangement involves paying a fixed monthly rent to use a solar system installed on your property. Here, the solar company owns and maintains the system while you benefit from its energy. At the end of the lease term, you can buy the system, renew the lease, or remove the system.
- Power purchase agreements (PPAs): In a PPA, the company installs a solar system on your property at no cost. However, instead of paying a fixed rent, you pay for the electricity it produces at a rate typically lower than your local utility provider.
Each option has pros and cons, and the best choice depends on your financial situation, energy needs, and long-term plans for the property.
- Check after-sales service and warranties
Post-installation services significantly influence a solar system’s overall performance and lifespan, making the after-sales service offered by a company a crucial part of your investment. These services include the following:
- Regular checkups
- Panel cleanings
- System monitoring
Moreover, it’s important to check the type and duration of warranties the solar company offers. Apart from the standard equipment warranty—which covers defects in solar panels, inverters, and other components—look for a company offering a workmanship warranty. This ensures that any labor-related issues, such as faulty installation, will be covered at no extra cost.
By considering the abovementioned factors, you can ensure that you’re making a decision that will pay dividends in the long run. Switching to solar energy is a significant investment, but it can be a smooth and highly beneficial process with the right company.