Select a Solar Electric Contractor – Site Assessment

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 6,171
    SolarWorld Authorized Installer Keith Knowles demonstrates how a solar site assessment or estimate is done and helps homeowners prepare for the prospective contractor’s first visit.

    Keith Knowles: Hi! My name is Keith. I am a licensed Solar Contractor and an authorized installer for SolarWorld, America's largest manufacturer of PV Modules.

    Today, I am here to help you learn about how to put a solar system on your home and we are going to talk about selecting your contractor.

    The first step is usually to review your electric bills to ensure that a solar energy system makes good economic sense for you. You want to have at least one year worth of consumption data ready. Many utilities conveniently provide the last 12 months of kilowatt hour consumption on each bill. If not, you should be able to call their billing office and ask for it.

    The next thing most contractors will do is measure your available roof space. If you have any trees or tall buildings nearby, you should make you contractor performs a shade analysis. This will let you both know what effects shade will have on your system's performance.

    If everything looks okay, your contractor will likely have a look at the panel to see if there is room to put the new solar system in it. If it doesn't have enough slots for breakers, they will likely add more it to the proposal for the panel adjustment.

    A few days after the site assessment, you'll receive a proposal. This proposal will help you decide which contractor is right for you.