“The solar industry is booming.” That’s according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), which found that the solar industry has grown by an average annual rate of 59% over the last ten years. The rise in solar installation has spurred the appearance of many different solar installers, including large, national chains. If you’re in the market for solar panels, you have more solar installation companies to choose from than ever before. With so many options, you may be wondering, “Do I really need to choose from solar providers near me?”
It’s tempting to work with a national solar installation chain for several reasons. These huge companies have plenty of money for slick advertising and also offer competitive pricing. You may even run into their friendly representatives at Costco or Home Depot. However, by choosing a national corporation instead of a local solar installer, you may be shortchanging your community, your wallet, and the integrity of your solar panel system!
Here are five big reasons that the answer to the question, “Do I need to choose from solar providers near me?” should be YES!
Local Companies Understand Your Roof
Your city and neighborhood has a unique character and architectural history. It’s important that any contractor who works on your home possesses a deep understanding of the design standards and common building materials of your area.
A local solar installation company will have plenty of experience working on the types of roofs that are common in your city. This is important because the installers need to know how to work on your roof without damaging it and how to correctly install the racking that attaches to your roof and holds the solar panels in place. It makes a big difference if your roof is made from clay tiles, asphalt shingles, rubber slate, or metal.
Understanding your roofing structure is especially important if you need to replace your roof before installing solar panels. Some solar companies (including Semper Solaris) also offer roof replacement services. A roof is much more than just tiles or shingles on top of your house. It is a complex system that requires an in-depth knowledge of local materials and local roof styles. Your roof protects your home and can help make your house much more energy efficient. Don’t trust it to a big, national company that doesn’t understand local roof styles and hasn’t worked extensively with the roof materials that are common to your area.
Local Companies Know the Local Law
Every state, county, city, and town has its own local ordinances, including specific building and safety standards that contractors must meet when making changes to residential homes. Local solar installation companies are very familiar with all these local building requirements. They are pros at submitting paperwork, pulling the correct permits, and setting up final inspections once a solar power system has been installed. They also know how to work with local homeowners associations to get projects approved. In fact, a local solar installation company may already have experience working with your HOA.
You can’t put a price on this knowledge. Local companies can save lots of time and headaches just by knowing the lay of the land. On the other hand, a national company will have to figure all of the local rules and building codes out from scratch. This increases the chances of delay, or worse, and error. A national company may overlook needed paperwork or fail to pull the correct permit, which could endanger your entire project!
Local Companies Can Help You Get Renewal Energy Incentives
Cities all across California offer homeowners valuable incentives to invest in solar. However, these incentives are only available to homeowners in the know… or, more accurately, to solar installers who know how to obtain them.
For example, Los Angeles currently offers homeowners a one-time rebate of $0.25 per watt on their new solar panel installation. Depending on the size of your solar panel system, you could receive a rebate check in the mail worth thousands of dollars!
However, the steps to qualify for the rebate aren’t easy. It requires submitting specialized paperwork as well as scheduling an on-site inspection through the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety, among other steps. If your solar installer gets even one step wrong, you could wave bye-bye to that juicy rebate check! (Live in Los Angeles and interested in learning about this solar rebate? We recently posted an entire article about it.)
A local solar installation company is your best shot at getting every available rebate. First of all, they know which rebates are available in your area and whether or not you would qualify. They also know how to navigate the different programs in order to achieve a successful outcome. A national company just doesn’t have this level of localized regional experience, which means it’s more likely that they don’t know about a program and/or will struggle to figure all the required steps.
Local Companies Hire Local Workers
A healthy community is able to attract and retain residents by offering high-paying, steady employment. Over the past decade, the solar industry has been on a hiring frenzy and now employs almost 250,000 Americans across the country, according to SEIA. Solar jobs typically pay well above minimum wage. Many jobs in the solar field are also among the few remaining employment avenues where Americans can make a good living without a college degree.
When you hire a local solar installation company, you are investing in well-paying jobs within your own community. Solar installation companies seek project coordinators, installation technicians, interconnection representatives, warehouse managers, electricians, crew foremen, solar sales consultants, and more. Each of these great jobs could be available to your neighbors, friends, or even your local family members and offer them a rewarding career that allows them to support their family!
Their salaries, in turn, go right back into the community every time they go grocery shopping, grab a movie, or sign their children up for a local sports league.
National companies may hire a local team to install your solar panels, but the majority of their workforce (and the best-paying jobs) will stay in their headquarters far away. Much more of your investment will stay in your community when you work with a local installation company.
Local Companies Need to Do a Good Job
We’re sure that national solar companies want to do a great job and make every customer happy, but if they happen to do a poor job for one customer in one town, it really doesn’t affect their bottom line. That’s because there are endless potential customers across the country.
A local company doesn’t have the luxury of disappointing their customers. They live, play, and work in the same community, and their success depends upon building a strong reputation for reliability, integrity, and high-quality work. Most local solar installation companies rely heavily on customer referrals and good customer reviews to bring new clients in the door. Unlike large national companies, they literally can’t afford to write off customers or shirk their duties.
Local companies will often go the extra mile to provide great customer service. They’ll listen closely to their customers, address concerns, and fix any problems that might arise. They know that if a customer isn’t completely satisfied, that customer will gripe to their neighbors, friends, fellow PTA parents, and all their social media followers!
Where to Find Solar Providers Near Me
There are so many reasons to hire a local company to install your solar panels. Local companies know how to work on your roof, they understand the local laws, and they know how to get you all the solar incentives you deserve. They also put their reputation on the line with each project they take, which is a great incentive to do the best job possible. Finally, by hiring a local company, you’ll support local jobs and keep your hard-earned money in your community.
Sound good? If the answer is yes, then your next task is to find a local solar installer. At Semper Solaris, we’ve opened offices throughout California as part of our mission to invest in local communities and to hire local workers. Our offices cover Southern, Central, and Northern California. In each location, we’ve made a special commitment to hire veterans who are looking to transition into civilian life.
We love investing in communities across California and providing great careers for veterans, as well as your other neighbors, friends, and family members. We also love doing a great job for each and every one of our customers. Don’t take our word for it. Check out our excellent ratings on SolarReviews.com, Angie’s List, The Better Business Bureau, and Yelp.
If you are ready to hire a solar installation company that really cares about your community and about doing a great job for you, then contact us today to schedule a no-pressure, no-obligation energy analysis.