How to Choose Your Solar Partner
How to Find the Right Solar Installer for Your Home
We get it. Going solar is a big deal. You want to maximize your production to cover your electricity, get the highest quality equipment, save money, and experience these benefits for decades to come. You want to choose the best company, but with so many choices out there, how do you narrow it down? In this post, we lay out the most important questions to ask when choosing a solar company.
1. Understand the numbers
Ask your solar company, “What are my financing options?” If you’re looking for a low-interest rate, SunCommon offers a 12-year loan with rates as low as 3.24%. If smaller monthly payments sound easier to manage (it’ll still be cheaper than your electric bill!), we also have a 20-year option. Ready to pay in full? SunCommon offers a discount of 8% for folks who want to pay cash or secure their own financing.
Ask “What tax credits and incentives are available?” Part of what makes solar so affordable today are the robust state and federal incentives designed to reward people who opt for renewable energy. Check out the incentives available for your state:
- New York solar incentives — New York State has one of the best programs in the nation to help folks go solar. For an average system, the NYSERDA incentive combined with the Federal and State tax credits could cover 50% of the cost.
- Vermont solar incentives — In Vermont, take advantage of the full 30% Federal Tax Credit and state policies like net-metering and property tax exemptions on solar that mean your solar will be paying your electricity bill for years to come
Ask your potential provider, “How do you calculate savings?” We compare the amount you pay for your solar system with the amount you would have paid for electric costs over 25 years. The difference is the amount you save. We assume that your electricity costs will go up a little bit every year. By law, solar companies are required to assume it will go up no more than 3% a year. If the savings an installer is showing you is a lot more than other quotes, dig into this number with them and make sure they aren’t assuming a higher “utility escalation rate.”
We’ll answer any questions you have about how this is calculated. It’s important for us to be transparent and for you to understand your savings.
Lease or Own?
Both options usually involve no upfront cash and monthly payments that look a lot like your utility bill. Over time, the differences become a lot more clear. We all know that owning a home – rather than paying the landlord forever – is a better financial deal than renting. Same for solar. Once you own your solar system outright, your electricity is free. And solar ownership comes with predictable, fixed terms while some leases sneak in an annual rent increase.
2. Learn more about the product
You want your solar panels to last. We procure our panels from LG. Their high-efficiency panels make the most of available sunlight, take up less space, are more durable, and create more energy for your home. With their 25-year warranty, you can be confident that your solar system will produce clean, renewable energy for years to come. Plus, they manufacture their panels in the USA!
We offer the best warranty in the business, 25 years on power, parts, and labor, plus a 10 year workmanship warranty. We have an experienced in-house service department, so you can reach out to us directly with any questions or problems.
3. Get to know your solar partner
To find a trusted solar partner, you’ll want to know how long they’ve been in business. SunCommon has operated in Vermont since 2012 and in the Hudson Valley since 2002 (formerly Hudson Solar). We have completed over 7,000 installs across NY and VT. As one of the oldest local companies in the area, we have seen a lot of solar companies come and go — but we are here to stay.
SunCommon operates as a Benefit Corporation and Certified B Corp, which means we attend to the triple bottom line of People, Planet, and Profit. This means we use our business as a force for good and that our responsible business practices are certified as such by a third party. We invest in our communities and our employees, and we spend our dollars consciously. We’re especially proud to have built the first net-zero building in the Northeast.
We went through rigorous testing to become recognized as a NYSERDA Quality Installer. Plus we a NABCEP Certified Installation Professional and member of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility.
Ready to find out more about us? Let us answer all your solar questions.
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