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Solar Energy 101 – Choosing a Solar Contractor

January 27, 2020

Now that you have learned about the multiple benefits of going solar and looked at the array of solar options the final step is choosing a solar company to complete your installation.

What to look for

Pre-screening for technical expertise, licenses and insurance, industry experience, market reputation and longevity in the solar industry. These pre-screening traits should be met and explained by your solar contractor, and here is some basic knowledge of each.

Experience and Expertise

When looking for your solar installer, they should have a well-trained and highly experienced staff. The gold standard is the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners’ (NABCEP’s) Solar PV Installation Professional Certification. Solar companies should have NABCEP-certified professionals on staff in order to provide quality assurance for every system that the company installs, and ideally, there should be a NABCEP-certified professional on every crew.

Licenses and Insurance

Solar installers should have all necessary business licenses and insurance policies, which vary by state and occasionally local jurisdiction. Typical business licenses for solar installers include general contracting, electrician, home improvement, or home performance contracting licenses. At a minimum, installers should also have general liability insurance.


When conducting research on solar installation contractors, make sure your installer has an established solar track record. A solar provider should be able to discuss and show you systems installed for previous clients. Solar company reviews from past customers are great for evaluating installers.

Distinguishing the best installer

After ensuring the standards above, the question becomes how to choose a local solar installer? A local solar installer will understand your climate and will have the experience with your local building and electrical codes and will have a strong relationship with your local permitting offices and inspectors. Also, a good installer will customize your solar system by taking your house and its surroundings in mind. Questions that they should address could include: Is there a lot of shade or a lot of sun? What’s the contour of the roof like? What aesthetics do you have in mind? We know curb appeal is important so the most attractive solar installations will not have visible parts and wiring. Your installer should be looking at these and other factors and letting you know upfront how they’ll impact the equipment needed.

So unless you’re an experienced DIYer or a certified electrician, if you’re going to make the switch to solar for your home you shouldn’t go buy solar panels for your roof. You’re going to have to choose a solar installation company for your home that you can trust. Picking the right solar installation contractor is crucial to installing your solar system so you can start saving money on your electric bill.

If you are ready to consider solar and/or have any questions, contact a Sunsense consultant at 970-963-1420 or email

If you know of anyone who you think would like to go solar, fill out our Referral form. If the referral leads to a signed contract, you will receive $250! It pays to go solar!

Tatiana DeJiacomo
Marketing Associate