Selecting the right contractor is one of the most important decisions you will make when installing a solar water heating system. Following the tips below will help you make an informed decision.
- Be sure to interview a minimum of three eligible contractors and request references from previous customers to ensure that costs were reasonable, customers are happy and the systems are performing properly
When questioning a potential contractor, you might want to ask:
- For how many years has your company been installing solar water heaters?
- Does your company have any pending or active judgments or liens against it?
- Do you use systems that are SRCC OG-100 (commercial/multifamily) or SRCC OG-300 (residential) certified?
- What will my estimated energy savings be?
- Will you obtain a permit for my project?
- Is there anything I will need to do to prolong the life of my system?
- What type of system maintenance will be required post-install?
- When questions have been answered to your satisfaction, obtain written bids from each contractor.
- Verify that the contractor’s business license is current and active at www.cslb.ca.gov. The contractor must hold an A, B, C-4, C36 or C46 license
- After you have conducted interviews, checked references and obtained written bids, it’s time to choose a contractor. Make sure that all your bids are based on the same type of installation and also include a system warranty. Then choose a contractor based on a number of considerations—not just price. Years working in the business and customer referrals should also be considered as you make your choice.
- When it’s time to sign your contract, make sure it includes rebate payment options. You can opt to pay all the contractor’s fees in full and the rebate check will be sent to you, or you can pay the contractor the cost of the installation minus the expected rebate and the rebate check will be sent to the contractor as final payment.