3 Money-Saving Tips for Homeowners Buying Solar Panels

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Most homeowners buying solar panels are unprepared for the many challenges that surface in the buyer’s journey, nor are they educated to know what to look for when buying solar panels from a reputable installer in their service area. With warranties, rebates, brands, pricing, and finding the most cost-effective solution, newbies can easily become overwhelmed. 

This article is intended to help homeowners get on the right track to buying solar panels, and point out the important things to hold on to when looking for a solar panel company and the best deal on solar systems. 

1. You Should be Buying Solar Panels from an Established Company

When it comes to buying solar panels, how long the companies have been in business plays a critical role in the quality of the deal you are getting. Most homeowners aren’t aware of this, but if any installer other than the one you bought your solar system from comes to make repairs, perform maintenance, or make adjustments, your warranty automatically gets voided thus making your investment one of low value. 

The solar panel industry is extremely competitive, and businesses close their doors more frequently than most other industries. This is why you should look for solar panel companies that have been in business for 10 or more years, as their very existence proves they offer superior service, they have survived the storm, and show no sign of going out of business, thus ensuring your warranty will be honored through its entire lifetime. 

2. When Buying Solar Panels, the Warranty is Everything

One of the best ways to protect your investment when buying solar panels is to make sure you get an exceptional warranty. Solar panel warranties can be measures on their length, and what they cover. Most homeowners think that 10-year solar panel warranties are great deals. But in reality, they aren't. According to Realtor.com, the average person in California stays in their home for 20 years. This makes a 10-year warranty pretty terrible. When buying solar panels, look for companies that offer no less than a 25-year warranty. Not only will a 25-year warranty likely cover the time you spend in your home but it will also carry over to the next buyer adding a higher resale value to your home.

As far as what solar panel warranties should cover, don't settle for the equipment alone. The best solar panel warranties will also cover the following:

  • Inverter

  • Racking

  • Roof

  • Performance guarantee

  • Workmanship

So in addition to covering the panels, make sure your warranty also covers the above points. When buying solar panels, a solid warranty is the backbone of your deal--the stronger it is, the healthier your savings will be. 

3. When Buying Solar Panels, Invest in a Trusted Brand

When you go to a professional sports games, notice who the sponsors are: all top brands. For example, the LA Rams are sponsored by big brand names like American Airlines, Albertsons, and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, just to name a few. You can see advertisements for these brands at every home game. Now imagine going to a Rams game and seeing sponsors like Rick’s Private Jet Charters, some mom and pop groccer from Van Nuys, and a random urgent care from Riverside, you would likely scratch your head and wonder why a pro sports team couldn’t develop relationships with nationally known brand names.

The same is said when buying solar panels. Look for big brand names like Panasonic Solar, LG Solar, Enphase and Unirac racking, and not some unheard of name from an overseas panel manufacturer you’ve never heard of. The best solar panel deals will always involve top brand names, from a company that’s been in business for 10 years, and that offers a 25-year warranty that covers everything. 

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