Preliminary Questions

  • Do I know how much electricity I currently consume and how much it costs?
  • Do I have a south, east or west-facing roof? If not, do I have property with open space that might accommodate a ground-mounted solar electric system?
  • Do I know where there is shading on my roof (or on my property) during different times of the day and at different times of year?
  • Do I want to purchase and own the solar electric system, or do I want to work with a third-party company and either buy the electricity generated with a power purchase agreement or pay a monthly lease payment?

Purchasing and Contracting

  • Am I comfortable with the installer’s knowledge and experience?
  • Have I checked how many installations they have done in the region?
  • Does the installer have credible references?
  • Is the installer adequately insured to protect me, as well as the company’s employees and subcontractors?
  • Does the contract include performance specifications for the system being installed, including an estimate of the power that will be produced annually or under different conditions?
  • Does the installation contract clearly lay out what is included?
  • Does the proposed payment schedule protect me by allowing payment to be withheld until the system:
    1. Passes local code inspections
    2. Receives utility interconnection approval and
    3. Is shown to be operating properly?
  • Are all warranties clearly stated with information on how to exercise them?
  • Does the installer have standard licenses, such as a Home Improvement Contractor or Construction Supervisor License, or any additional industry certification, such as OSHA 40 or NABCEP?
  • Will the installer be using subcontractors? If so, for which part of the project?

Post Installation and Operation

  • Has the installer tested and activated the system?
  • Have all necessary inspections occurred?
  • Has the installer left descriptive materials and equipment operating manuals as reference materials?

    Examples of this include a system design and electrical diagram, equipment warranty information, and installer contact information for any future operations or maintenance questions

  • Upon installation, has the installer given me a walk-through of all the different parts of the system, and shown me how to monitor the system, and turn it on and off?
  • If I plan to take advantage of state and federal tax credits, have I completed this when filing my taxes?
For more recommendations about solar installation, check out our Tips for Finding and Selecting a Solar Installer article.

We’re In This Together

Pledge to reduce your home’s carbon footprint by replacing old systems and appliances with clean energy technologies over time.

Join the Clean Energy Transformation

Let's work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our homes and build a clean energy future for Massachusetts.

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