Tips for Choosing a Solar Installer
As our customers’ energy advisor, we want to help you make an informed decision when choosing a solar installer. We don’t recommend specific installers, but we do offer these warnings and tips to anyone considering the purchase of a solar system.
- Learn Idaho Power’s rules. Idaho Power’s rules, energy prices, and energy credit values for solar energy are not a contract and are subject to change at any time with Idaho Public Utilities Commission approval. A solar installer cannot guarantee Idaho Power’s pricing, energy credit values, or energy credit transfer eligibility will not change. Customers can learn about Idaho Power’s rules on our website or from our Customer Solutions Advisors at 1-800-632-6605.
- Compare online reviews and check with the Better Business Bureau for any complaints. For companies that operate in multiple states, focus on local, relevant and recent customer reviews.
- Check qualifications. Remember, the warranties on solar equipment can last 10–20 years, so you’ll want a company with history and staying power. Also, clarify the process for getting service or help if you need it after your installation. Ensure your installer is licensed, bonded and insured. Installers should also provide you with the legally required information from the Idaho Residential Energy System Disclosure Act.
- Plan your system. A professional installer can help you decide the proper system size and equipment. Use our Solar Checklist to help you through the process. Additionally, exploring online calculators like PV Watts Calculator can help you determine the right equipment size for your specific needs.
- Ask for references. After narrowing down your search, ask the solar companies to provide references of prior customers.
- Get multiple quotes. Shop around just like you would with any large purchase to ensure you are getting the best price you can.
- Learn equipment warranty information. Verify with the installer that the equipment being installed is warrantied for the life of the loan. Most inverter manufacturers provide a 10–12-year standard warranty. Also verify if there are any service charges for replacing or repairing malfunctioning equipment. Most solar equipment manufacturers’ warranty terms and conditions can be found on their websites.
- Read sales agreements carefully. If you decide to move forward with solar, read your purchase agreement carefully before signing. Ensure any verbal promises or guarantees, including any pricing or credit guarantees, are included in the agreement. Check for anything that contradicts what you understood. Ask for edits to the agreement, if necessary.
Beware of Misinformation
We want to ensure accurate information is provided to our customers and those considering solar installation. Idaho Power customers continue to report misinformation and scams coming from individuals selling solar-energy systems or claiming to sell services related to Idaho Power.
Idaho Power tracks reports of inaccurate and suspicious customer interactions with solar installers. If you have an experience that raises concern about misleading or inaccurate information, please contact our Customer Solutions Advisors at 1-800-632-6605.
The Idaho Attorney General’s office has issued a consumer alert, providing tips to help customers spot misrepresentations and educate themselves on the solar marketplace. If you would like to contact the Idaho Attorney General’s office, you can reach them at 208-334-2400 or their website at www.ag.idaho.gov.
Solar installers cannot guarantee any terms or pricing related to your Idaho Power bill. Beware of verbal guarantees that may not match the terms of a solar purchase agreement.