Choosing a Rooftop Solar Contractor

Would you buy a new car from a door-to-door seller? For most of us, the answer is “No.”

Because of the amount of money involved, it doesn’t make sense to purchase a rooftop solar system for your home that way, either. But it’s happening in our local communities. Sadly, many times that business deal ends in heartache.

This isn’t something you should do on a whim. Don’t let anyone pressure you into paying out this kind of money if it’s not something you’re completely sure about.

Out-of-state companies are sending door-to-door salespeople promising unrealistic and unachievable results from installing solar systems. These systems can end up costing as much as three times more than what local, reputable installers charge.

When something goes wrong, these companies are usually long gone. You’re stuck with a big payment and useless system.

Because of the way the sales contracts are often written, homeowners are obligated to pay even if the solar system generates no power.

You should go about buying a rooftop solar system the way you go about any other large purchase.

Tips for Choosing a Rooftop Solar Contractor

  1. Do your research. Learn the basics of how these systems work. Read what others are saying about the performance of their solar arrays. See what the average system costs homeowners in your area.
  2. Seek out local established solar companies and get multiple bids. Ask for references from the companies’ customers. Find out how long these companies have been doing business.
  3. Check out each company’s Better Business Bureau rating. Also Google “(insert company name) reviews” on the web.
  4. Ask to see the installer’s license and insurance.
  5. Ask for a copy of the engineering calculations and drawings made specifically for your home.
  6. Find out if you’ll be leasing or purchasing the solar system. Get a firm estimate of the total cost including labor, equipment rental, materials, electrical components, shipping and sales tax.

Solar Contractor Q&A

Thinking of installing a solar power system? Here is a list of questions to ask potential contractors that will help you choose the best installer.

The first question you ask should be to yourself: Have I done everything I can to make my home as efficient as possible?

This is the first step you should take, even before installing a solar power system. Energy efficiency measures have a much quicker payback than solar power systems. If you do install a solar power system, energy efficiency measures may enhance the payback of the solar system itself by reducing the size of the system required, resulting in a lower initial cost.

Contractor Competency and Reputation

  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • Can I get references of customers that you installed systems for?
  • Where is your home office?
  • Do you have a local office?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • How many grid-connected solar systems have you installed?


  • Can my roof support solar?
  • Is my roof too shaded for solar?
  • Can you provide me with a copy of the drawings and calculations you performed on my home?
  • Have you looked at the actual electrical usage data from my home? Based on that, how much solar do I need?
  • Have you contacted my utility about the installation? Do you have the utility’s requirements for interconnecting to their grid?
  • Does my county require a permit and/or inspection?
  • Are there any local zoning laws that affect the installation?


  • What is the average size and cost system you install?
  • Am I buying or leasing the system?
  • Will you give me a firm estimate before you start construction?
  • What is the payback on the system?
  • Did you use the utility’s avoided cost or regular retail rate when you calculated the amount I’ll get for selling power?
  • Do you finance? If so, what are the terms?
  • Can I pay you after the system is installed or do you require upfront payment?
  • If I need to replace my roof, what will it cost to remove and replace the solar panels?
  • What tax credits and rebates am I eligible for?
  • Can I see the full contract before signing?

Service After the Sale

  • How long is the warranty on the system? What does it cover?
  • Does the system need regular service? What does that cost?
  • What is your rate for non-warranty service?


  • Are the components you install UL listed?

Contact Us

Call (770) 267.2505 to speak to a Customer Care Representative from Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.