Select the right contractor before installing your renewable energy system. This decision is one of the most important ones you can make when building a new energy system.
PLEASE NOTE: PG&E receives numerous reports of telemarketing and solar scams. The scams are happening throughout all of California. The scams attempt to generate sales through dishonest methods. View the alert to learn more. Download Consumer Alert (PDF, 96.3 KB).
Qualified, licensed contractors save you time and money. Your contractor can:
Find contractors in the Go Solar California database of solar installers, contractors and retailers in California. Visit Database of Solar Installers, Contractors, and Retailers in California. The site enables you to search for contractors by your ZIP code. Filter results by the average cost per watt to learn how much other customers pay.
Your contractor must have an active A, B, C-10 or C-46 license. A C-4 or C-36 license is needed for solar water heating installations. When you meet the contractor for the first time, confirm that they are authorized. Ask to view their Contractors State License Board (CSLB) "pocket license" and a photo ID.
Contact the CSLB to verify the contractor’s authorization. Visit Contractors State License Board. You can also call 1-800-321-2752.
Contractors can visit your business and view your past energy usage and future energy needs. The two most important figures that potential solar contractors can provide are:
This information can provide an accurate size of the system you need and the total cost. Each contractor is expected to suggest a similarly sized system for your business need. If the bid for the system varies greatly, ask the contractor why the size differs.
Hire a contractor who is in good standing and qualified to do the work. Get answers to the following questions before selecting a contractor:
It pays to be thorough and organized. Take advantage of our helpful bid comparison worksheets. Compare what each contractor is offering, and choose from three bids.
View the solar energy worksheet. Download Solar Contractor Bid Comparison Form (PDF, 163 KB).
View the solar water heating worksheet. Download Solar Water Heating Bid Comparison Form (PDF, 734 KB).
The following additional advice can help you select the winning bid:
Read your energy system installation contract before signing. Review all warranties and maintenance agreements. Ensure that you receive the final price quote in writing. Only sign the contract after fully understanding the terms and total costs involved.
Never pay a down payment of more than 10 percent of the contract price or $1,000, whichever amount is lower. This regulation is determined by California state law. Don’t make the final payment until the system is fully installed and operating properly.
Get an estimate of the required system size and price based on your business. Use our solar calculator.
Understand how Virtual Net Energy Metering (VNEM) works. Download The Sun is Shining for Solar Customers (PDF, 5.79 MB).
Learn about Net Energy Metering (NEM), a special billing program for PG&E renewable energy customers.