Utah is one of the states with the lowest costs of installing solar panels, making it a prime spot for homeowners to take advantage of solar energy. According to EnergySage, in the first half of 2017, the average cost of solar panels in Utah was $3.26 per watt, way below the national average of $3.39 per watt. To top it off, installing solar panels can give you a lifetime savings of $46,696. This favorable pricing is one of the top reasons for the booming solar panel industry in Utah. To get the best deal, here are a few things you need to do:
1. Get multiple quotes from various solar panel companies
The first thing you have to do is to contact a minimum of three solar panel installers and get a quote. However before you arrive at that list, you have to do your research. When considering a company, you need to find answers to these questions:
- Are they big, national installers or local ones? (Local installers tend to offer better prices with the same quality.)
- How many years have they been operating?
- Which areas in Utah are they operating in?
- Have they done successful installations before? Are there customer reviews on their website or elsewhere online?
- Can you talk to one of their clients?
- What’s their process?
- What’s the warranty?
Once you have a list of companies you’re considering, contact them for a quote. It’s crucial to get a minimum of three quotes to avoid inflated prices. Also, according to EnergySage, homeowners who get a minimum of three quotes can usually save $5000 to $10,000 on solar panel installation.
2. See if you can install it yourself or hire an electrician to do it for you
Another road to take is to buy a solar installation kit and install it yourself. This is a good option if you’re an experienced electrician or if you’ve had extensive training in solar panel installation in Utah. You can also hire an electrician to do it for you. This is usually a more affordable option, but you can’t get a guarantee of the quality of their work. What you need to be careful about when going the DIY route is the quality of the solar panel kit. Since most buyers of solar panel kits for DIY projects prefer cheaper kits, sellers offer low-quality equipment. Moreover, mistakes done during installation are often costly. Incorrect installation may cause roof leaks, solar panel damage, and more.
3. Know the paperwork involved
Although most of the paperwork will be dealt with by the installer, it’s still a good idea to know what’s going on. These are the major permits and documents you’ll be applying for:
- Federal ITC
- Clean energy financing schemes like PACE
- Local solar programs in Utah
- Solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs)
- Government rebates
In addition to these, your installer will also tell you the needed permits depending on your location and state rules. For example, some states do not allow you to install panels on the entire surface of your roof, while some do.
As with any high-ticket purchases, it’s crucial to conduct careful research before deciding on which installer you’ll work with and which solar panel system you’ll get. With proper research, you can get the best deal to get the best return for your investment.