4 Questions to Ask Your Solar Installer

When you contact a solar installer, you may not know enough about photovoltaic system installation to ask the right questions.

At Intermountain Wind & Solar, we want our customers to make well-informed choices. To that end, we want to share four critical questions to ask your PV solar installation contractor before making the important decision to go solar.

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1. Is My Roof Suitable for Solar Installation?

The first fact you must establish is whether your property is a good fit for a photovoltaic panel array. If your rooftop is not suitable for a panel array, what are your options?

Our professional solar installers are committed to helping our customers achieve their goal of adopting renewable energy. If your rooftop isn’t suitable, we’ll let you know and then we will work with you to find an alternative solution, such as a ground-mounted photovoltaic array.

2. How Long Is the Solar Payback Period?

The solar payback period — the time it takes for your PV system to pay for itself through the generation of free electricity — is different for every customer. Consequently, it’s impossible to determine what your payback period will be without doing the math.

State financial incentives and net metering policies vary. Other variables include the amount of energy you use each year, the size of your photovoltaic panel array and the number of sunlight hours your location receives.

As you can see, photovoltaic systems have lots of variables, and so do the payback periods. Our solar installers can help you determine your expected cost savings and assist you in calculating your solar payback period.

3. Do I Need Roof Repairs Before Installing a Solar Array?

Is your roof in good condition?

Photovoltaic panels are heavy, about 40 pounds each. Add in the mounting racks, and the system can potentially put significant weight on your rooftop, depending on the size of your array.

Older roofs may have deterioration or damage, or they may not be structurally capable of supporting a photovoltaic array. Although our solar installers aren’t roofers themselves, we always recommend that you complete any necessary repairs before installing a PV system.

Otherwise, you could end up paying to remove and reinstall your photovoltaic panels when you have to repair the roof.

4. What Potential Challenges Should I Be Aware Of?

You own your house, but in the Intermountain West, many squirrels, rodents and birds also call our region their home.

When you install a rooftop photovoltaic array, you may provide these animals an attractive spot for nesting or seeking shelter. Birds may build nests under your PV panels and squirrels may try to chew the electrical wiring. If the critters do any real harm, it can lead to expensive repairs, as the damage may not be covered under standard PV equipment warranties.

To help minimize this risk, our installers ensure that the installation is done using best practices that are building code-compliant and — to the extent possible — unfriendly to pests. If necessary, a perimeter screen can be installed to block the pathways under the PV modules.

The professional team at Intermountain Wind & Solar will give you all the answers you need about installing a solar array. Serving commercial and residential solar customers throughout Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming, we are the region’s premier solar installer. Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of photovoltaic solar energy.

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