How do I find a good solar installer near me? - SHIELDEN

How do I find a good solar installer near me?

In this guide, you'll learn how to find good solar installers and what questions you should ask them before installing PV. We also reveal what qualifications a reputable PV installer should have.

What is a solar engineer?

A solar engineer is an electrician with additional qualifications in PV and solar thermal design, installation and maintenance. He oversees the entire process from planning to procurement to completion of the solar system. He evaluates site conditions, predicts system yield, advises on module selection and plans the project.

However, not everyone can become a solar technician. The profession requires technical knowledge and completed training.

What training do solar technicians receive?

Training to become a solar technician is geared toward master and skilled workers in related professions. It requires specialized training as a system mechanic, plumbing, heating and air conditioning technician, or energy and building technician. Craft associations approve further training to become a solar technician.

What qualifications and certifications are important for solar technicians?

Craft associations require a master's degree or proof of two years of professional experience as a solar technology skilled worker. At the end of the course, participants must take a practical and theoretical exam. In the practical exam, you have to solve tasks in the field of photovoltaics and solar thermal energy. The theoretical examination covers the planning and dimensioning of solar energy systems as well as general tasks relating to customer recommendations, UPS regulations and occupational safety.

How can I find a good solar installer near me?

The following tips will help you find a good solar installer:

Get references : Ask your friends for advice. Always share positive experiences;
Choose a local provider : A solar engineer in your area can respond faster to your PV system problems. This saves both time and travel costs. In addition, local suppliers are usually smaller companies with efficient processes and faster decision-making. This means shorter, more direct lines of communication. Finally, national suppliers usually rely on regional subcontractors, which increases costs. The more companies involved, the higher the final cost;
Check the solar technicians: before hiring a specialized company, you should check the partner you have chosen. Find out if the company exists. This indicates how long the company has been in existence. An important factor to consider - older companies have more experience, which is important for crafts businesses;
On-site Appointment It is mandatory: a good solar installer will offer a free on-site appointment before you get a quote. After the inspection, a wiring diagram is created, suitable components are selected and the economics and yield are calculated. As a rule in the industry, this appointment is free of charge.

What questions should I ask a solar installer?

1. Request references

Prioritize requesting references. If the company denies this, you should be careful. The Internet is also a valuable source. Search for customer reviews on Google. Social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter also provide information. Do you notice a recurring pattern in the reviews?

2. Ask about warranties and product and performance guarantees.

Solar systems usually don't require much maintenance and can run problem-free for at least 25 years. However, it's important to know what to do in case of damage.

Ask your solar company about repair and replacement services and product and performance warranties. Ask about the length of the warranty for PV modules, inverters and battery storage systems. Also clarify who is responsible for ensuring warranty service. Note whether the product warranty covers shipping and labor for replacement products.

If you have questions about the components of your solar system, can you contact the solar installer or must you contact the manufacturer?

How do I contact a solar technician in an emergency?
Does the company offer a performance warranty if the solar system doesn't produce as much power as expected?

Beware of solar panel performance guarantees

PV modules can lose performance over time. A performance warranty is a guaranteed performance that the module must still provide after a certain period of time. Typically, performance warranties last longer than product warranties.

However, a performance warranty is not relevant to private consumers because:

It does not protect against failure
You must send the module to a laboratory in order to claim the warranty. The safety values usually only apply under certain conditions.
Therefore, do not let statements about long-term performance warranties fool you. The product warranty is more important.

3. Ask about subcontractors

Ask the solar installer if he did the installation himself or if he used a subcontractor. If he uses subcontractors, ask the following questions in advance:

Which tasks require the use of a subcontractor? What are the reasons for using it?
Who is the subcontractor? Where is he located?
How long has the solar installer been working with the subcontractor?
Who is responsible for safeguarding the installed PV system?
Is the solar company responsible for ensuring that the subcontractor complies with health and safety standards?
Does the subcontractor comply with occupational safety regulations and is it adequately insured?

4. Ask health, safety and insurance questions

Find out if scaffolding or special ladders will be needed to install the solar system before you start work. Find out if the work on the roof and electrical system follows health and safety measures. Make sure the solar company is insured in case your property is damaged.

How much does a PV solar technician cost?

The cost of a solar installer is 20% of the total cost of a PV system. This corresponds to approximately 200 to 350 euros per installed kWp. The size of the photovoltaic system directly affects the installation cost per square meter. The larger the system, the lower the installation costs.

Can I install a photovoltaic system myself?

You can install a photovoltaic system yourself. However, a solar engineer is required for the complete installation of a photovoltaic system. Only this person is allowed to connect to the network. In addition, the law requires that the PV system be commissioned by a solar technician.

However, there are a number of risks associated with self-installation:

Incorrect design and incorrect installation can lead to loss of performance. As a result, you do not obtain the desired income and return;
Guarantees and insurance claims expire. If damage occurs, you must bear the costs yourself;
Installing a PV system without professional assistance involves significant risks, including the possibility of electric shock or fire;
The more demanding the roof shape, angle and roof covering, the more difficult it is to install a PV system. If you install it yourself, you may jeopardize your health and damage your home.

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