You’ve decided that you’re fed up of everybody else and their neighbor experiencing low energy bills and a reduced carbon footprint, and want a piece of the solar pie for yourself! But not knowing much about the process other than the fact that it will save you money on your energy bills, and help preserve the planet, means that you may also not know what to check for when you call up a solar provider in your area.

To help make sure you understand the solar panel installation process and everything that comes with it, here are some things to check for when doing your company research:

• Customer service – do they respond well to your inquiry and are polite and professional? When you consider that your solar panels will last as long as 20 years, if you’re not getting great customer service now, you may not get it for the next couple of decades!

• Warranty –warranty periods vary from company to company, but ideally, the longer the better.

• Guarantee credit – if your panels fall below their promised production rate, will you be paid per kilowatt-hour in credit? Check also how they will be tracking the production rate.

• Location – finding a local solar panel company is always going to be the better option, even if the price they quote you is slightly higher than other companies based out of your city, or state.

• Referrals – if you ask for referrals, do they readily offer them? If yes, then it’s still worth checking them, even though you can’t guarantee that you’ll get the same results as their previous customers did. And if they don’t offer you referrals, ask yourself – or better yet, ask them – why this might be.

• Certifications and licenses – it’s recommended that the specific person who will be installing the solar panels is NABCEP certified, or at the very least, is able to demonstrate high quality training and competency based on qualifications set forth by a credible organization. You can check with your local authority if you’re unsure about their level of certification or licensing.

• Consumer reviews – it’s always worth just having a quick look on Angie’s List, and you might also want to check a consumer review site or with an advocacy organization to ensure that the company or installer has gotten consistently good reviews.

Even if you know nothing much about solar panels - except that they’re a sound investment both for you and your household, and the environment - provided you use the tips above to help you select an experienced and professional company to work with, everything should be explained to you in as much detail as you require.

Author's Bio: 

Freelance writer and published author.