Always use a licensed contractor in good standing, with proper licensing, liability, and workers comp insurance. Always confirm that the person you are working with is qualified and licensed to quote your solar system. Anyone selling and quoting solar must be the contractor or work for a contractor under a CA state home improvement sales license (HIS). You can check both by going to www.cslb.ca.gov. Refuse to work with anyone unlicensed. Also, it's always best to work with a contractor that sells and installs their own projects and does not sub-contract the work to other contractors.
Always check references and if possible, go see the contractor's quality of work.
Option One Solar Salesman are expert trained in designing and quoting solar. We use highly accurate quoting software and all of our salesman are HIS licensed with the state of CA. All solar proposals/quotes are underwritten by NABCEP Certified underwriter as a fail safe to ensure everything has been quoted accurately.
Return On Investment
Make sure the system cost has a return on investment and years to payback that makes sense for you. You’re of course looking for the highest return on your investment with the fastest payback. Option One Solar customers see in excess of 16% on average and many over 20% on the higher end. The higher your electric bill is, the higher your return on investment will be.
System Offset Percentage
If possible, always size your system to offset 100% of your current electric usage, this way you are never affected by rate increases or tier changes ever again. Be careful here, there are solar companies that will size your system smaller and you will end up still having an electric bill. Option One Solar always builds systems offset 100% if possible, so our customers end up with only a small tax and or connection fee.
System Equipment Quality And Price
Always look at the numbers. You want the highest performing modules and inverters at a fair price. If price is very low, be careful. Can they, or will they be in business to honor warranties or guarantees. You also have to consider that the equipment might be subpar. If price is too high, find out why. Is it justified or just price gouging.
Module and PTC ratings are very important. You want to get modules with the highest PTC ratings and inverters with the highest peak performance and efficiency ratings. You also want top name manufacturers who will be in business to honor warranties or ones that have insurance backed warranties.
Option one only uses the world's highest performing modules and inverters, with power optimizers that outperform the competition by up to 25%.
There is significant value in using a professional licensed contractor with high quality and references. This mitigates the risk of a bad experience or worse yet bad quality or even the potential for fire if someone is sloppy or inexperienced.
Experience, great customer service, ability to honor warranties, having the required insurance, etc. all has significant value. Don't get burned.
Just remember the famous words of Benjamin Franklin:
"The sweetness of low price is long gone when the bitterness of poor quality remains."