The Guide to Going Solar

November 27, 2015

Consumer Affairs provides guidance on everything from dog food to 3D printers. Recently they’ve used their comparison platform to give consumers help going solar.

Rows of photovoltaic solar panels and blue sky with clouds

Studies have shown that the cost of solar is dropping rapidly, and the benefits of residential and commercial installations have drawn the interest of home and business owners across the country. But what is the best fit for your organization? For your family? How will you manage the payments? Who will provide the best maintenance service?

Consumer Affairs has taken on these questions and ranked solar companies based on reviews from both consumers and experts. So, in addition to feedback from average families and business owners who have in-person experience with a company’s services and products, a reader will get the perspective of recognized figures in sustainability. Zachary Shahan, the director at CleanTechnica, has reviewed each of the listed solar companies and shares essential information about each company’s strengths and weaknesses.

Solar companies themselves also have the opportunity to answer questions regarding what sets them apart and what drives their team. Each company, whether it is an installer, consultant or manufacturer, is given a rating of up to five stars based on its reviews. Consumer Affairs also accredits the companies that are willing to work on their issues with the reviewing consumers. Although Consumer Affairs will not change the rating for the company, they allow consumers to change their reviews if the solar provider addresses an issue.

Details of the Sunship ( Sonnenschiff ) in green City, Freiburg. The solar sunship is in the solar village Vauban in Freiburg, Black Forest, Germany. It is known for its use of alternative and renewbale energy.The criteria that matter most to a potential solar buyer are also explained, to ensure consumers really understand what they are getting and what system is best for them. For example, one can finance a solar system with cash, loans or a Purchasing Power Agreement, in which the installer continues to operate and maintain the system while the homeowner purchases the power at a discount.

Before going solar, you should understand the risks and rewards involved. If you know what you are doing, Consumer Affairs will help you find the best installer. If you want an evaluation, their guide has the best lead-generation companies, which offer consultations and advice based on your exact location, your budget and the specifications of your home.

To learn more about the solar industry, and about what system is best fit to your needs, check out the Consumer Affairs Solar Guide here.

By Aidan Kelly
Photo Credit: Consumer Affairs

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