Getting started

  • Do I know how much electricity in KWh I use monthly and annually and its cost? 
  • Is my roof facing south, east, or west? If it’s facing north, do I have space for a ground-mounted solar system on my property? 
  • Have I identified areas of shade on my roof or property throughout the day and year? 
  • Am I considering owning the solar system or partnering with a third-party company for a power purchase agreement or lease? 

Questions for the installer

  • Could you share references from satisfied customers with similar solar setups? 
  • How many similar projects have you completed? 
  • When can the installation take place? 
  • What’s the estimated timeline for the installation work? 
  • How long will the entire project take? 
  • What warranties are included? Is both workmanship and equipment covered? 
  • Do you have experience coordinating with local building officials and utilities for projects like mine? 
  • Is there a Massachusetts-licensed electrician on your team? 
  • Will you be involving subcontractors? If so, what firms will you hire? Which aspects will they handle? 
  • Will you provide training for me on operating and maintaining the system? 
  • Do you offer financing or third-party ownership options? 
  • Do you offer homeowner solar loans through third-party financing providers? 
  • Can you assist with selling the solar energy credits my system generates? 

Purchasing and agreement

  • Do I feel confident in the installer’s knowledge and experience? 
  • Have I checked how many local installations they’ve accomplished? 
  • Are there credible references to verify their work? 
  • Does the installer have general liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance?
  • Does the contract outline performance details, including estimated annual power production? 
  • Does the contract clearly list what’s included in the installation? 
  • Does the payment schedule protect me by allowing me to withhold payment until the system:
    • Passes local code inspections? 
    • Is approved to connect to the grid? 
    • Shows it is operating properly? 
  • Are all warranties well-defined, with instructions on how to use them? 
  • Does the installer have a Home Improvement Contractor or Construction Supervisor License, or any additional industry certification, such as OSHA 40 or NABCEP? 

After installation

  • Has the installer thoroughly tested and activated the system? 
  • Have all necessary inspections been completed? 
  • Did the installer provide user manuals, system diagrams, warranty information, and their contact details? 
  • Has the installer showed and explained the system’s parts, how to monitor it, and how to turn it on and off 
  • If I’m eligible for tax credits, have I included them when filing taxes? 
For more recommendations about solar installation, check out our Tips for Finding and Selecting a Solar Installer article.

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