Purchasing a solar system is a considerable investment in both time and money. Just like when you purchase a car, house, or even a major appliance, you want to do your homework before entering an agreement with a solar company.
You should also familiarize yourself with the various laws and industry practices that are in place to protect consumers during the sales process.
Educating and protecting consumers from unscrupulous sales practices is a top priority for us here at Auric Solar. This list of tips will help you avoid questionable vendors and ensure you’re making an informed decision when making a decision to purchase solar:
· Know the law. Many jurisdictions – cities, counties, or states – have established laws regarding door-to-door sales. Often, salesmen are required to obtain permits to sell door-to-door. Several states also provide specific rights to consumers after the sale, such as a mandatory cooling-off period during which the sale can be cancelled for any reason. Find out what laws are in place to protect you, and what is required of the vendor you are considering.
· Research your solar company. What are other people saying about that company? Are their customers satisfied? Are they getting what they expected out of their systems? What about service or customer support after the sale? A good tool is SolarReviews.com.
In addition to your own research, ask the vendor for solar customer references in your area. Contact those references and find out about their experience. Note any red flags, as well as any positive experiences that stand out.
Check with the Better Business Bureau, or your state’s consumer protection services, to make sure the company is in good standing. Ask if the vendor is a member of the Utah Solar Energy Association or other solar industry trade associations. These associations have codes of conduct and standards for their members, and hold these companies accountable for compliance with these standards.
· Carefully review contract documents and disclosures. Make sure you understand what kind of agreement you’re entering. If you have questions, ask. The vendor should clearly indicate whether it follows the SEIA Solar Business Code, and what protections consumers have in the case a dispute arises or a product is unsatisfactory.
If you’re considering purchasing solar, get as much information as you need so you can make the decision that’s best for you. Know the law, do your homework on the vendor you’re considering, carefully look over any agreements or documents, and you’ll feel confident in moving forward with your new solar system.