Buying & Installation Tips
We recommend using a contractor who is certified through TVA. A list of these contractors can be found here.
5 Ways to Spot Solar System Problems During the Sales Process
- Look out for deals that sound too good to be true, like $0 down, no payments, cash rebates, etc. These are timeless sales tactics to entice you to sign on the spot.
- High pressure to sign the same day— if they won’t let you get other quotes, something is wrong. Remind yourself that you can take your time. The deal will always be there; they just tell you it won’t be if you don’t sign today.
- A lack of turnaround time. You need time to talk to a tax advisor, your home insurance provider, utility providers and family members. If they won’t let you talk to these people before signing a contract, that’s a problem.
- If they tell you your electric bill savings will cover your loan payment, that’s highly unlikely. Can it happen? Yes, but it must be a perfect scenario. Most solar savings are not enough to cover a loan payment.
- Design time. It takes time to design systems to properly meet your loads. It isn’t something that should be rushed and usually takes a few days for the contractor to complete. In turn, this gives the member time to talk to references, tax advisors, lenders, etc. If they show up and claim to have all your electric bill problems solved just a few hours later, that’s a red flag.
4 Things to Do Before Signing a Contract
Buying a solar PV installation is a big investment, and LUS wants to help protect you and your investment. Consider following these 4 steps before you sign a contract with any solar installation company:
- Review the Solar Buying Guide to ensure you’ve considered all your options.
- Contact your insurance provider to understand how solar can affect your insurance coverage or if you can get insurance on your new solar system.
- Do a background and reviews check on any contractor you are considering using for your solar PV system.
- Get a good night’s sleep. Taking a break before making a big investment decision can prevent you from making a big mistake without all the information.
5 Things Members Should Watch for during the Solar Installation Process
- Ask for a copy of the permit and make sure it has been approved. Don’t let any construction begin until you have a copy of the permit for your records.
- Most residential solar installations take 4-5 days. This is not something that should be done in a day or two. Rushing electrical and structural attachments will lead to problems.
- No wires should be touching the roof material. Shingles are like sandpaper and, over time, will wear the wire jacket down. Metal gets very hot and can melt wire jackets.
- Make sure warranties are filed and you know who to contact if you need to have the system serviced. This will be critical for the long-term care of the system.
- Get a final certificate upon passing state inspection and obtain permission to operate from LUS. Keep these documents for your personal records in the event of insurance claims or the sale of the property.
TVA's Virtual Solar Education Platform
Interested in a solar system for your home? Or simply considering options for greener energy? The Virtual Solar Education is a one-stop, self-service platform that allows users to learn the ins and outs of solar energy and residential solar systems at their own pace and convenience. You can easily navigate the platform by visiting a series of virtual booths that cover important topics such as Being an Informed Buyer, Calculating the cost of a Solar System, and Energy Efficiency Tips. With the Virtual Solar Education platform, you can make an informed decision when choosing the renewable energy solution that fits your needs.