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Tips for choosing a solar contractor in Florida

Top Tips for Choosing a Solar Contractor in Florida

If you’re trying to find the best solar contractor in Florida, then you’ve come to the right place. As a business that fully understands the value of solar in the Sunshine State, we’ve created this guide to help you choose the right company for your installation.

Types of Solar Companies

In an industry that has been growing rapidly both in the state and nationwide for over 10 years, there are a variety of solar companies on the market, many of which provide different services. For residential solar installations, homeowners should be aware of whether or not the solar company they are working with sells or rents the equipment to their customers. 
In an ownership model, homeowners may be able to receive a tax credit for solar panels to make their systems more affordable in addition to other incentives and an increased likelihood of long-term energy savings. When renting solar panels, homeowners can still save money on their electricity costs, but the contractor ultimately maintains ownership of the panels, the power they produce, and any incentives available to help finance the installation. 

What makes a good solar installer?

When comparing solar panel contractors anywhere in the US, there are many things that can add credibility to a potential installation partner. To highlight three of the biggest indicators of a quality contractor, every good solar installer should have… 

  • A proven track record for previous installations.
  • Proper licensing, equipment, and expertise.
  • Extended parts and craftsmanship warranty periods. 

Of course, as any company with a chance of staying in business will tell you that they are the right choice for the job, below we’ll explore a few tips and questions to ask solar contractors to help determine the best of the best in Florida.

7 Tips on How to Pick a Solar Company in Florida

No matter the size of your installation, the time of year, or your location, here are seven universal tips on how to choose a solar company in Florida.

Start by staying local

Like with a lot of home improvement projects, looking for local solar panel installers is one of the best ways to ensure a high-quality installation on your roof or property. Local contractors have more “skin in the game,” in that staying in business is highly dependent on their reputation within the communities they serve. 

While out-of-state solar companies come and go, a local contractor is more likely to provide superior customer service both during and after an installation.

Make sure that they are a licensed Florida solar contractor

To operate legally in the Sunshine State, companies must maintain an active Florida solar contractor’s license. By choosing a licensed solar installer, the safety of your property and finances is more secure against potential “fly-by-night” contractors. When evaluating certified solar panel installers, you should also look for accreditations with the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) or similar industry associations.

Check customer reviews

Head-to-head, one of the best methods to compare solar contractors is to weigh real consumer reviews. Just like you would for a restaurant or auto mechanic, searching for online reviews is recommended for just about every modern purchase, and Florida home solar panels are not an exception. 
Today, you can find real customer reviews for solar contractors on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau as well as many industry-specific sites like Solar Reviews. By peeking into real customer experiences, you can instantly get a better gauge of whether or not to expect any problems when working with a potential installer.

Check recent reviews for PPM Solar 🔥

Peter McFetridge
Peter McFetridge
2022-08-02
Fantastic company- when an investment of this magnitude happens it’s often hard to separate the charlatans from the real quality business. Once we’d made our minds up and moved forward we were so pleased we decided to work with PPM - 10/10 quality, efficient and trustworthy.
gevalin srisooksai
gevalin srisooksai
2022-06-28
Very professional, punctual, flexible, great communication and very hardworking team!! (Tesla wall charger installation)
Anna Choi
Anna Choi
2022-06-28
The sales stage was convincing and great. The wait time for panels to arrive was horrible. The installation was great. The result was poor. The performance of the system is not as sold. It does not offset 98% of my electric bill. There are noticeably low bad performing panels next to good ones, so probably defective. I have reported and requested service and been waiting for more than a year for a response, getting none.. The system is a lemon and the company is a ghost. Definitely would not recommend it to anyone. Continuing my experience…. PPM has finally responded, without arguing or evading. Frankly, it has been so great that I have upped my 1 star review to 4 stars. The company was very quick and effective. They apologized effusively for any miscommunications and delays, they came out immediately, diagnosed and analyzed the situation, found all the issues and even admitted some undersizing in the setup and offered a solution. What more can a customer ask for? The 5th star will be pending the final adjustments to my system and hopefully getting closer to the 98% offset objective. In the meantime, I must say, “I am so glad PPM is a local company, I can’t imagine how bad dealing with a one from Jax, Tampa or even Orlando would have been! Working with PPM in this post sales process is where you see the true customer service, and when PPM has differentiated itself from those stranger out of town companies.”.
Kimberly S
Kimberly S
2022-06-12
PPM Solar is a fantastic company with knowledgeable and professional employees! We worked with Nina to set up everything and appreciate her prompt and courteous communication. We had solar panels installed which included a garage wall charger for an electric vehicle. It seemed that running the cable through our attic was challenging, but they figured it all out and we are so grateful! The installers, Angel and Akeenen, even cleaned up after by vacuuming the garage! We appreciate their attention to detail and friendly service!
D H III
D H III
2022-06-05
Thanks Power Production Management, for a job well done from start to finish. Extremely knowledgeable salesman, engineers, installers, front office coordinator's and owners. PPM keeps their personnel abreast with changes and updates in real time. My solar system looks and performs AMAZING! Great team! Thanks again
Ernst Kordgien
Ernst Kordgien
2022-05-02
When we decided to go Solar we chose PPM as the provider because they answered all my questions and concerns. The sales representative, Mike was very accommodating. The placement of system was very important as it is a ground mount. We have nearly ten acres, and we placed it in a pasture so as not to be in our yard. We started the process in August of 2021 and we’re told that it would be late October for install. The system was not installed until mid-February. Our county permitting office was slow to process the permit according to PPM. The installation crew was very professional and quick. Once installation was complete it took well over a month for our system to become active. It was not until I myself contacted Duke that the new meter was installed, and we could begin generating. We would have given the company five stars, but because of the delays in installation and production was not just because of outside agencies. We believe much of the delay was internal as often times it would take more than one text or email into the PPM office before getting a response.
Doug Lobo
Doug Lobo
2022-04-14
PPM Solar installed my roof-based solar system in the fall of 2020. I have had it up and running for well over a year and during this period my solar system has supplied 100% of my homes electricity needs, which includes a heated pool and spa and an electric car. In fact, I have had surplus power that I was able to get a credit back from FPL at the end of the year. The PPM folks who installed my solar system were conscientious, thorough, considerate, and extremely professional. Mark answered all my questions, and there were many, happily and patiently and offered me insightful feedback on the best systems available and my best options for getting the best system at the best price. In the end, I went with REC panels and Enphase microinverters. I liked the system so much that I bought stock in Enphase. I would highly recommend getting a solar system. I got a wonderful tax credit and PPM was able to connect me with the Clean Energy Credit Union, which financed my system at a very competitive interest rate. All in all, I would say do your homework and research because I did, and I found that PPM Solar offered me the best price on the best system and the entire process was seamless. I think if you are serious about installing a solar, then a call to PPM would be very prudent, and I know that you will be happy that you did.
Joe Abrams
Joe Abrams
2022-04-12
Out of the 18 different solar companies/brokers I dealt with, PPM has been the most prompt and upfront on pricing, equipment and installation. They didn't have any hidden fees and were straightforward in every step of the procedure. They took care of everything from the permit to HOA to the utility company. Mike was always ready to clarify my doubts. Nina was prompt in sorting any issues and was great at coordinating. Omid did a wonderful job with the engineering side of things and April was very helpful with the monitoring app. Last but not the least, Hadley was very knowledgeable and ready to explain every single detail. There are hundreds of solar installers but people at PPM make sure its the best experience and makes you want to move to the solar route.

Ask about the installation

Although many people tend to focus on the solar panels and other systems parts themselves, the most important aspect of reputable solar companies is a professional installation. Whenever you are weighing your options, ask as many questions as you can about installation day, which includes your expected timeline and whether or not the company subcontracts its labor. 

Sales representatives should also be able to answer any questions you have about the racking materials to ensure a high-quality installation with no chance of roof or property damage.

Explore your system equipment options

Whenever you’re designing your solar system, companies who can personalize your unique system options are more likely to be actively keeping the energy demands of your property in mind. By adding solar backup systems for a house, you can pivot off-grid to maintain power during an electrical outage or navigate around higher tired energy prices. 

So depending on why you’ve chosen to go solar, you may benefit even more from a battery backup, alternative inverter options, an EV charging station, or other electrification upgrades.

Discuss warranties and maintenance

When comparing solar system installation companies, it is important to always remember the working lifespan of the product you are about to purchase. Solar panels are a relatively maintenance-free technology that lasts for 25 years and more, and while minimal upkeep is required, choosing the right installer can help prevent a bad situation if something were to go wrong. 

Beyond the warranty periods of your panels, inverters, and other system parts, be sure to verify that a potential solar contractor offers a craftsmanship warranty and inquire about what you can expect in terms of ongoing system repair and maintenance.

If possible, ask for referrals

Finally, positive referrals can often make the strongest case for how to find a reputable solar company. Although some companies, understandably, may not want to give out any personal customer information, established solar contractors may be able to provide you with contacts to discuss their services with previous clients. 

While online reviews are a great indicator of a quality company, personal connections and real-world stories can really solidify your choice of a reputable solar contractor.

7 Questions You Should Ask a Solar Contractor

If you’re wondering what questions to ask a solar installer, then you’re taking a great first step to picking the right contractor. As a growing industry with many different players, one of the biggest tips for buying solar panels anywhere in the world is to always compare proposals from multiple companies with a consistent set of criteria before signing any installation contract.  

Who will be installing my solar panels?

Although the question may seem a bit silly, it is critical that you verify exactly who will be installing your solar panels when choosing a contractor. Most reputable solar companies utilize an in-house installation team for continued success or exclusively subcontract with a network of verified professionals.

When can I expect the installation to be complete?

When choosing solar panel installer options, expected installation timelines can be a strong indicator of your best choice. In a bit of a Goldilocks and the Three Bears scenario, too soon is a red flag, too long can be frustrating, but an expected timeline with completion between 60 and 120 days is “just right.” 

While you can only begin to save money on your energy after your solar panels have been installed, any company that can tell you (and stick to) an expected timeline is more likely to successfully deliver on a project and meet your expectations.

How can I monitor my system’s performance?

One of the best things about owning a solar energy system is monitoring its performance and actively seeing your energy savings. Whether you are planning for net metering or going off the grid in Florida, any installer using high-quality equipment should be able to provide you with a way to monitor your system’s performance besides your monthly utility bills. Today, solar energy system output, battery capacity, and home energy use can often be seen online or in an app provided by your installer or part manufacturer.

How long have you been in business?

Although the industry is still quite young, solar panel system installers who can stay in business for long periods of time are always going to be more likely to deliver a positive customer experience. Like with many contractors, solar companies who have been in business for longer are objectively more experienced and therefore more likely to be able to navigate through project difficulties and create workable solutions.

What brands of solar equipment do you support?

Branding isn’t everything, but tier-one equipment is an absolute must when working with a solar contractor in Florida. While it can be tough to discern between solar panel and equipment options, it is important to ask what brands your installer supports. Here, American-made products are always a plus and less likely to experience issues from supply chain backups or outsourced customer support. 
If you are looking for a specific brand of panel, inverter, battery, or EV charger, asking the right questions as soon as possible can help save you time in your search for the perfect contractor. For example, not every solar company in Florida offers Tesla Powerwall installation services, but there are also plenty that do.

What are my financing options?

When buying a solar energy system, many people focus on the total price, rather than the financing options. Unless you are buying the system in cash outright, choosing a solar contractor with the best financing options will allow you to maximize the value of your system through ongoing payments without excessive charges or interest rates. 

While it is possible to use a third-party financier, solar developers with multiple financing options can typically be better trusted to find a solution that works best for your home and budget.

Can I have some time to think about this?

Any sales rep that is actively trying to get you to sign on the bottom line may be a good indication of a solar company that is only after your money, rather than your energy needs. At the end of any solar sales presentation, you are more than welcome to ask for more time and information before making a decision. 

After all, solar is a commitment that can last for three full decades, so you will want to make sure that you’re not rushing into the renewable revolution with the wrong contractor. In a few days’ time, you’ll be able to properly compare your proposal with that of other installers and talk to your friends, family, and neighbors to determine the best company moving forward.

Summing Up

Whether you are just starting your search or are actively comparing contractors, we hope that this article has shed some light on how to choose a solar installer in Florida or any part of the United States. 

PPM Solar is a residential and commercial solar contractor in Florida, assisting customers with PV panel installations, energy storage options, Tesla Charging Station set-up, and other professional electrical services. 
If you’re interested in working with PPM for your solar energy installation, please do not hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation on your project in Gainesville, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, and surrounding Florida cities.

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