Solar Panel System Estimates: What Should They Include?

Experts recommend getting a solar panel system estimate from at least three companies before selecting the photovoltaic installation contractor you like best.

Speaking with several contractors can help ensure you get the one that best meets your needs. The installers expect you to get multiple bids.

And although your budget is important, your final decision should never be based solely on price. Be sure that your solar estimates include everything, so you can make the most informed decision.

Requirement 1: Total System Costs

Any solar bid will certainly have a price listed, but be sure to ask whether the bid is a comprehensive price, or if you will be required to pay extra for permits, fees or other costs.

Your photovoltaic installation is highly likely to qualify for various federal, state and local tax credits, rebates and incentives. Responsive solar contractor bids also should project these savings when arriving at your final total cost.

Requirement 2: Warranties and Projections

Specific information about the photovoltaic equipment should be included in your solar estimate.

Make sure your bids list make and model numbers for each component, along with a clear explanation of warranty details. Parts and labor warranties may vary, but typically offer two years of coverage in addition to the regular manufacturer coverage on the individual components. Expect to see a 20-25 year warranty on your photovoltaic panels and 5-10 year warranties on your inverter and batteries.

If your solar bid does not include future projected maintenance and operation costs, ask for them. Projections for your potential monthly, yearly and lifetime savings should also be provided — these can all affect your bottom line.

Requirement 3: Get it in Writing

Before you select a solar installer and commit to a contract, make sure that you have all quote information in writing, and do not accept any verbal promises.

Read the entire document carefully, and do not be afraid to ask for clarification on any element of the bid. It is essential that you fully understand everything, including the costs, warranties and labor agreements, before signing the contract.

The lowest-priced solar estimate may not be your best option.

When deciding, be sure to factor in the qualifications and experience of a solar contractor along with the quality of the photovoltaic components they propose. Don’t be shy about asking for references either, if none were provided with your proposal.

Selecting the right contractor can help ensure that you have a smooth, trouble-free installation.

The Intermountain Wind & Solar team has the experience you need to ensure your project’s smooth completion. Our bulk purchasing power enables us to be both the most cost-effective and the best qualified solar installer in the Intermountain West.

Contact us today to request your complimentary solar system estimate.