• What is the total installed cost of a turnkey system?
  • How much money is due upfront, and what is the schedule of payments?
  • If my energy usage changes, will I be able to add more panels later?
  • Do I need a new roof now in order to install? Is my roof suitable to carry the additional live, dead and uplift load forces that the solar array will exert?
  • When was your company established and how much solar has it installed to date? Can your company provide a list of the projects and references for them?
  • Is your company affiliated with other parties to deliver the installation, and who are they?
  • Does your company have a Standard Insurance Certificate with adequate General Liability coverage of $1 million or more? (Ask for a copy and keep it with your records.)
  • Does your company have Professional Liability Insurance? (Ask for a copy and keep it with your records.)
  • Does your company carry Workers Compensation? (Ask for a copy and keep it with your records.)
  • Do you have the ability to cover me as an “Additional Insured?”
  • Are your solar installers trained and certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP)?
  • Do you have a licensed Iowa Professional Engineer on staff to review and approve drawings for submission to city/county building code and fire department officials?
  • Are you accredited with the Better Business Bureau? If so, what is your rating?
  • In which country are the solar panels and inverters you’re selling made?
  • Will the company honor your manufacturer’s multiyear performance warranty?
  • Does the company have a Master Electrician on staff to obtain the required electrical permits and to supervise the electrical work for your project? (Ask for a copy and keep it with your records.)
  • Is your solar installer company a Licensed Electrical Contractor, which is required to install Solar Electric Systems? May I see your company’s license?
  • Who will be working on my roof, and how much experience do they personally have installing solar?
  • How does your company handle projects during busy times? Do you work with subcontractors?
  • How long will installation take?
  • Will the age or type of my roof affect the cost of installation?
  • How will installation affect my roof? Will it create leaks? If it does create leaks, are you responsible for repairs?
  • If I’m planning on redoing my roof, should I install panels before or after?
  • How much of my energy usage could my solar system cover?
  • How much would my monthly energy bills be after installation?
  • How long will the payback period be on my solar system? 
  • Will you complete all of the paperwork associated with getting the permits and financing?

Get your free copy of the new Solar PV Energy Guide

You may read the book online or download a complete PDF copy at the website of the Iowa Energy Center; click here or go to www.iowaenergycenter.org. In the Search box at the top of the page, enter the name of the book: Solar PV Energy Guide. In addition, a limited number of printed copies are available at your local electric cooperative’s office.

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