8 Questions to Ask a Solar Installer in the PNW

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    Since 2010, we have had the opportunity to help thousands of homeowners and businesses switch and see the benefits of solar energy in the PNW. After many years of consultations, here are our top 8 questions we love to get asked:

    1. How long have you been installing solar in the PNW?

    The responses you will receive will distinguish between those with experience and those without. Every solar power system is unique when it comes to design and installation, so it is critical to understand the nuances before beginning any design work.

    2. How big of a system do you suggest?

    If you receive a response like “as much as your roof will fit,” your consultant might not be taking into account your particular requirements at all. For instance, if you use very little energy each month, you should size your system to accommodate both your current energy needs and any potential future growth. Your payback period will be longer than it should be if you have an oversized system. It’s right to get it perfectly fitted to suit your needs

    3. How much is the projected annual energy savings?

    Based on the system’s output under various weather conditions, you should anticipate a range of numbers. These figures ought to be plausible and supported by evidence.

    A solar calculator can be used to get a rough estimate of this data. The best course of action is to ask your neighborhood solar installer to visit the site. You will always get more accurate information from professionals evaluating your site’s potential than from any online program.

    Read More: Try Our Oregon Solar Calculator or Washington Solar Calculator

    4. How long will it take for my solar investment to pay for itself?

    The payback period is the amount of time it will take for your system to “pay for itself” in reduced utility costs. Although significant, this figure should not be the only consideration when choosing solar. The typical payback period in the Pacific Northwest is eight years. 

    5. What financial incentives are available?

    There are solar incentives available on both the federal and state levels, and they can change depending on where you live. To make sure you are taking advantage of all the incentives you are eligible for, it is crucial for your installer to be knowledgeable about the available incentives.

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    6. What kind of maintenance is necessary?

    While not completely zero, solar panels still require some maintenance. The majority of it is making sure your solar panels are clean and checking to see if all your panels are still operating. Ask your installer what will be necessary to keep your system operating at peak efficiency. Some questions to ask:

    • How often should I clean it with water? It depends on where you live. If you live near a bunch of trees or an area with pollen, debris might get on it requiring it to be cleaned. However, since the PWN rains a lot, much of the heavy lifting is done by the rain.
    • What is the proper cleaner to use? Most of the time a garden house will do the trick. If you want it professionally cleaned, then we recommend contacting a local solar panel cleaner company.
    • Do I need to keep debris off? While it doesn’t have to be perfectly cleaned always, any larger debris will block more sunlight than smaller particulates.

    7. How long is the warranty?

    The warranty for solar panels is typically 25 years, but it varies from company to company. Other parts of a solar system, besides the panels, will each have their own warranties. To ensure that you are aware of what is covered and for how long, your installer should go over all warranties with you. 

    8. How have you dealt with utility companies in my area?

    Each utility company may have a different procedure for connecting your solar system to the grid. To prevent any delays or snags in the process, confirm that your installer has prior experience working with the utility company that serves your location. At Sunbridge Solar, we’ve dealt with every utility in Portland, Oregon, Vancouver, Washington Metro, and surrounding areas.

    Can not seem to find your question?

    Have more inquiries still? We are aware that switching to solar power is a significant decision with many factors to consider. Every step of the way, our team is here to support you. Contact us online or give us a call at 360-313-7190 right away to speak with a solar representative.

    Who is Sunbridge Solar?

    Based in Camas, Washington, our team of solar experts is passionate about assisting people in going solar and decreasing their energy costs all across the Portland, Oregon metro area and surrounding counties.

    Since 2010, hundreds of homeowners and business owners have trusted us to be go-to solar panel installers providing them with the resources and knowledge they need in order to achieve their sustainable and financial goals. We believe an informed decision is the best decision. That is why we frequently update our solar resource center and take pride to be a “low-pressure” solar provider.

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    Adam Walters

    Adam Walters

    Adam Walters is a writer and solar industry expert with over a decade of experience. He has written extensively on topics related to renewable energy, sustainability, and climate change, and is a passionate advocate for the transition to clean energy sources.

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