8 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Solar Company

8 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Solar Company

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

8 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Solar Company

Frequently Asked Questions

Key Takeaways

  • Assess current energy consumption and future projections to choose a system that suits your requirements.
  • Verify certifications, experience, and installer credentials to ensure quality service.
  • Look at online reviews and case studies, and get word-of-mouth recommendations for reliable insights.
  • Obtain detailed, transparent quotes and evaluate the overall value, not just the lowest price.
  • Ensure high-quality products and robust warranties for long-term efficiency and reliability.
  • Request a detailed project timeline and confirm the expertise of the installation team.
  • Explore loan programs, leasing options, PPAs, and government incentives to make informed financial decisions.
  • Verify the solar company has the necessary licenses and comprehensive insurance coverage.
  • Confirm the company offers maintenance, regular inspections, system monitoring, and timely repairs.
  • Evaluate long-term costs and benefits of financing options like leasing and PPAs compared to purchasing.

Selecting the right solar company is vital for successfully transitioning to solar energy. As the demand for renewable energy continues to grow, the market has become saturated with numerous companies, making it challenging to identify the best choice. To help you make a well-informed and beneficial decision, especially in Poughkeepsie, NY, here are eight common mistakes to avoid when choosing a solar company.

8 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Solar Company

Mistake 1: Not Understanding Your Energy Needs

Before choosing a solar company, it’s essential to understand your energy needs. Many homeowners make the mistake of not assessing their current energy consumption and future projections. Without a clear understanding of your specific needs, you might end up with a system that doesn’t suit your requirements.

Here are effective ways to understand your energy needs:

Current Energy Consumption

A 2012 study on home audits found that conducting a home energy audit proves beneficial since it can lead to understanding the causes of excess energy consumption, which can improve energy efficiency. To conduct an energy audit, review your energy bills from the past year to understand your monthly and seasonal energy usage, focusing on the total kilowatt-hours (kWh) consumed each month. Calculate the average monthly energy consumption by summing the kWh used each month and dividing by 12. This average helps determine the size of the solar system you need. Also, identify months with higher energy consumption, typically due to winter heating or summer air conditioning, to ensure your solar system can handle peak periods.

Future Projections

Consider future energy needs based on planned home expansions, like adding new rooms or an extension increasing lighting, heating, and cooling requirements. Anticipate future purchases of energy-intensive appliances, such as a new HVAC system or an electric vehicle (EV), and calculate the additional kWh needed for these. Also, accounts for family growth, which will increase general electricity consumption, and potential technological upgrades, such as smart home devices, which might raise overall energy use despite their efficiency.

Scalable Solutions

Ensure your solar system is designed for future expansion using a modular approach, allowing for additional panels without significant restructuring. Install an inverter capable of handling more solar panels as your needs grow, and consider a battery storage system for excess energy. Regular consultations with your solar company are crucial to staying updated on new technologies and local regulations, ensuring your system remains efficient and compliant.

Mistake 2: Failing to Evaluate Company Credentials

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is not thoroughly evaluating a company’s credentials. Some solar companies may lack the necessary certifications and accreditations, leading to subpar installations and long-term issues. To ensure quality, look for certifications from recognized industry bodies such as NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners). This certification ensures that the solar company follows industry standards and best practices.


Additionally, verifying the solar company’s experience is crucial. Companies with several years in the business typically have a proven track record and are more likely to provide quality service. Experience often correlates with reliability and expertise, essential for a successful solar installation. Finally, ensure the company employs certified installers. Experienced and certified technicians are crucial for a successful installation, as they possess the skills and knowledge to handle the complexities of solar panel installation effectively. Choosing a company with well-credentialed and experienced personnel helps mitigate the risks associated with poor installations and potential long-term issues.

Mistake 3: Ignoring Customer Reviews and Testimonials

Customer reviews and testimonials are crucial for assessing a solar company’s performance and reliability. Unfortunately, many people overlook this step, leading to choosing a company with subpar service or hidden issues. Reviews provide firsthand accounts of other customers’ experiences and can reveal recurring problems or exceptional service that may not be apparent from the company’s marketing materials alone.

Here are ways to find reliable information and reviews about the solar company:

Online Reviews

Checking platforms such as Google, Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau is an excellent way to gather information about a solar company. These platforms offer a wide range of customer feedback, allowing you to see positive and negative experiences. Pay attention to patterns in the reviews—consistent complaints about installation issues or poor customer service can be red flags, while numerous positive reviews can indicate a reliable company.

Case Studies

Many reputable solar companies showcase case studies or project examples on their websites. These case studies provide detailed insights into the company’s capabilities and customer satisfaction. By reviewing these, you can get a sense of the types of projects the company has handled, their approach to problem-solving, and the outcomes of their installations.


Personal recommendations from friends, neighbors, and local community members can be incredibly reliable. People with firsthand experience with a solar company can provide insights you might not find in online reviews. Asking around your local area can help you identify companies with a solid local reputation and avoid those with poor service histories.

Mistake 4: Choosing Based on Price Alone

Choosing a solar company solely based on price is a common mistake that can lead to several issues down the line. While obtaining multiple quotes is essential to understanding the market rate, the cheapest option is not always the best. Low-cost quotes can sometimes hide poor-quality products, inadequate service, or hidden fees, which can affect your solar energy system’s long-term efficiency and reliability.

To help you mitigate these, you can request the following:

Detailed Quotes

Ensuring that the quotes you receive are detailed and transparent is crucial. A reputable solar company will provide comprehensive estimates that include all costs, from installation to maintenance. Detailed quotes should break down the cost of materials, labor, permits, and additional services. This transparency helps you understand what you are paying for and prevents unexpected expenses later.

Hidden Fees

Another critical aspect to watch out for is hidden fees. Some companies might offer an attractively low initial quote, excluding essential services or containing undisclosed charges that will add up over time. Always ask for a full breakdown of costs and clarify any ambiguous terms in the quote to avoid surprises.

Value Over Price

Evaluating the overall value, not just the price, is vital when choosing a solar company. Consider the quality of the products offered, the length and coverage of warranties, and the level of after-sales support the company provides. For instance, high-quality solar panels and inverters can offer better efficiency and longer lifespans, ultimately providing more savings in the long run. Similarly, comprehensive warranties and reliable customer service can save you from additional costs and hassles in the future.

Mistake 5: Overlooking Product Quality and Warranties

Mistake 5: Overlooking Product Quality and Warranties

The quality of solar panels and inverters significantly impacts the efficiency and longevity of your system. Some homeowners make the mistake of not researching the products their chosen solar company uses, which can result in lower efficiency and more frequent issues. When considering product quality, it’s essential to research the brands of solar panels and inverters the company offers. High-quality products are typically more efficient and durable, leading to better performance and fewer problems.

Why Are Warranties Crucial

Ensure that the solar company offers robust warranties covering product performance and installation workmanship. These warranties provide peace of mind and financial protection against potential issues after installation.

Why Consider Climate

Weather conditions can affect solar panel performance, so selecting products that perform well in various climates is essential. This consideration helps ensure that your solar system operates efficiently regardless of the weather conditions in your area. By addressing these factors, you can avoid common pitfalls and enhance the long-term success of your solar energy system.

Mistake 6: Neglecting to Assess the Installation Process and Timeline

A seamless installation process is crucial for a successful solar project. Many people neglect to ask about the installation timeline and the expertise of the installation team. This oversight can lead to delays and additional costs. Proper planning and understanding the installation process can ensure a smooth transition to solar energy.

Project Timeline

Request a detailed project timeline from the solar company, covering all phases from initial consultation to final inspection. This helps you understand what to expect. The initial consultation involves site assessment, a discussion of energy needs, and a preliminary design and quote. The company then designs your system and submits permits, which can take several weeks. Once approved, an installation schedule detailing scaffolding setup, panel installation, and electrical work is provided. After installation, a final inspection ensures regulatory compliance and correct operation before activation. Ask about handling weather-related delays and ensure clear communication about any schedule changes.

Installation Team

Verify that the solar company employs a skilled installation team. Experienced technicians with relevant certifications, such as from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), are essential. Check the team’s track record with local installations to ensure familiarity with regional challenges. Confirm that strict safety protocols, including OSHA standards, are followed. Ensure a dedicated project manager oversees the installation and serves as your point of contact for any concerns.

Post-Installation Support

Ensure the solar company provides post-installation support and maintenance services. Regular inspections and monitoring services help maintain system performance and promptly address issues. Confirm the availability of cleaning and repair services and the warranty and support options, which should cover both equipment and workmanship. Check the company’s response time for support requests and evaluate the quality of their customer service, ensuring they are responsive and easy to contact.

Mistake 7: Lack of Solar Financing Knowledge

Navigating solar energy financing can be complex, often leading homeowners to make suboptimal decisions. To maximize benefits and ensure affordability, it is essential to understand and evaluate various financing options, including loan programs, leasing, and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).

Solar Loan Programs

Solar companies offer both secured and unsecured loan programs. Secured loans, which require collateral like your home, typically offer lower interest rates. Unsecured loans do not require collateral but may come with higher interest rates. Loan terms can vary, usually ranging from 5 to 20 years. Shorter terms result in higher monthly payments but lower overall interest costs, while longer terms have lower monthly payments but higher total interest. Interest rates significantly impact the total cost of your loan. Fixed rates remain constant throughout the loan term, providing predictability, while variable rates can fluctuate, potentially leading to higher costs. Calculating monthly payments is essential to ensure they fit within your budget; many solar companies provide online calculators for this purpose. Additionally, interest paid on solar loans may be tax-deductible in some cases, so consulting a tax professional is advisable.

Solar Leasing Options

Leasing solar panels can be advantageous if you prefer lower upfront costs. You pay a monthly lease to use the panels, while the leasing company owns and maintains the system. Leasing agreements typically include maintenance and repairs, relieving you of these responsibilities. However, consider the long-term financial implications of leasing. Although upfront costs are lower, you may pay more over the lease term than purchasing the system outright, as leases usually last 20 to 25 years. During the lease period, you won’t own the system and, therefore, won’t be eligible for certain tax credits and incentives. At the end of the lease term, you may have the option to purchase the system at a reduced price.

Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)

Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) allow you to pay for the energy produced by the solar panels rather than the panels themselves. This option can help you avoid initial costs while benefiting from solar energy.

Government Incentives

Federal incentives, such as the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), significantly reduce installation costs by allowing you to deduct a percentage of your solar expenses from your federal taxes. State incentives, like New York’s NY-Sun Initiative, provide rebates to lower upfront costs. Some local governments and utilities also offer property tax exemptions or performance-based incentives, reducing the financial burden. New York’s net metering policy allows you to receive credits for excess electricity your system generates and sends back to the grid, which can offset future electricity bills. Understanding the application process for these incentives is crucial, as some require pre-approval and may have specific deadlines or requirements to qualify.

Mistake 8: Not Ensuring Proper Licensing and Insurance

Mistake 8: Not Ensuring Proper Licensing and Insurance

Proper licensing and insurance are non-negotiable when selecting a solar company. Some companies might operate without the necessary licenses or adequate insurance coverage, putting you at risk.


Verify that the solar company has the required licenses to operate. Licensing ensures the company meets local regulations and standards, assuring its expertise and compliance with industry norms. A licensed company is more likely to follow best practices, ensuring a higher quality of work and adherence to safety standards.


Ensure the solar company has comprehensive insurance coverage, including liability insurance and worker’s compensation. Liability insurance protects you from potential damages during installation, covering costs associated with property damage or injury. Worker’s compensation insurance protects you from being held financially responsible if a worker is injured while working on your property. Comprehensive insurance coverage demonstrates the company’s commitment to professionalism and accountability.

Legal and Financial Protection

Proper licensing and insurance are essential for your legal and financial protection. Without these, you could be exposed to significant liabilities if something goes wrong during installation. If the company lacks proper licensing, any work performed might be deemed illegal, potentially voiding warranties and causing legal complications. Adequate insurance coverage protects you from financial burdens related to accidents, damages, or injuries that could occur during the project. Ensuring your solar company has the proper credentials safeguards your investment and provides peace of mind.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of solar panels available?

There are three main types of solar panels: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film. Monocrystalline panels are the most efficient and durable but also the most expensive. Polycrystalline panels are less efficient but more affordable. Thin-film panels are the least efficient but are lightweight and flexible, making them suitable for specific applications.

Can I install a solar panel system myself?

While it is possible to install a solar panel system yourself, it is not recommended unless you have the necessary expertise. Professional installation ensures that the system is installed safely and correctly, and it is often required to qualify for warranties and incentives.

What should I look for in a solar contract?

Understanding all aspects of a solar contract, including the scope of work, payment terms, warranties, and maintenance plans, is crucial. Before signing, make sure there are no hidden fees and that all terms are clear.

How important is it to choose a local solar company?

Choosing a local solar company is beneficial as they know local regulations, climate considerations, and incentives. They are also more accessible for support and maintenance services.

What role does local regulation play in choosing a solar company?

Local regulations can affect installation, required permits, and available incentives. To avoid fines and delays, you must ensure that the solar company you choose is familiar with local laws and can handle the permitting process.

Avoid Solar Installation Mistakes — Trust Lyndsey Roofing, LLC!

For a seamless and professional solar installation in Poughkeepsie, NY, trust Lyndsey Roofing, LLC. Our certified, experienced installers use top-tier products and provide comprehensive warranties, ensuring quality and reliability. We stand out with our commitment to customer satisfaction, transparent pricing, detailed quotes, and flexible financing options.

We understand local needs and offer tailored solutions for homeowners in Poughkeepsie, NY. Contact Lyndsey Roofing, LLC, today!