We all know solar power is generated by the conversion of sunlight into electricity. Solar power is in the limelight these days, because it is not only cheaper form of energy but also renewable and pollution-free clean energy.
It is, therefore, beneficial to install a Photovoltaic (PV) power system at home as it can minimize long-term power costs by insulating from utility department’s frequent price increases. Additionally, making use of solar energy will facilitate reduction in emission of greenhouse gases and thereby aids in slowing down the pace of climate changes all over the world.
PV energy systems have become a more dependable source of energy over the past couple of years. Users need not worry any longer regarding power outages due to heavy consumption of energy or bad weather. Besides, the state of California, the federal government and a few municipalities in the state offer numerous tax incentives and credits to motivate electrical power consumers to shift from traditional power sources to solar energy.
Those who are convinced about the advantages of having a PV system should consider various steps before trying to look for a company to install it in their house or business in California. The starting point is to find out the names of the companies in one’s area who are experienced in installing Photovoltaic (PV) solar power systems.
All those who have not been dealing in this type of business for long should not be considered. The situation has considerably altered now and past performance is the only useful indicator for assessing the quality of work and capability of the company dealing in installation of solar power system.
The next step is to seek appointments with those companies who have been short listed. The prospective user of a residential Photovoltaic system should then prepare a comprehensive description and the specifications of the system he wishes to have and send it over it to the installing companies in advance before meeting them so that the discussions could be fruitful.
The installing companies should be requested to provide a list of customers who have the similar system installed by them. This will enable the buyer or the person seeking to have a solar system installed at his home to understand better about the quality of work, customer service and other performance parameters of the company installing the system.
It is important to make sure that the solar system installing companies have appropriate liability insurance and is bonded. A company that is ‘bonded’ would have furnished a surety bond with the state contractor board in order to guarantee some sort of financial security. It is also very essential to verify about the types of industrial certifications the company and its employees possess.
Several certifications are issued by the solar power installation industry to these companies. These include NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners), out of which there are less than 300 all over the US; CALSEIA (California Solar Energy Industry Association), which supports the solar power industry at the state level; SEIA (Solar Energy Industry Association), the country’s trade organization for solar energy providers; and Environment California, a citizen-based environmental support group.
A solar system installation company also should have in its possession electrical licenses issued by California, particularly C-46, the Solar California Contractors License and C-10, the Electrical California Contractors License.
In addition, the installation company should have membership in various associations such as the Better Business Bureau, institutions that observe customer satisfaction and in any local or regional ‘green’ business’ organizations.
After picking up the names of two or three installation companies in California that meet all the essential requirements concerning experience, credentials, certifications and membership in various associations, you should request for complete details of cost estimates and time schedule for completion of the job of installation of the system.
Once this is done, those planning to have a solar power system installed at his home or business premises will be in a better position to entrust the job to the selected company.