If you’ve been thinking about buying a solar electric system for your home or business, the solar power specialists at Oak Electric Service are happy to answer your questions, including inquiries about financing for solar installations. Oak Electric is one of southeast Michigan’s leading solar panel system installers.

Solar electric systems, also called photovoltaic or PV systems, are reliable and pollution-free. They make use of a renewable source of energy—the sun. While PV systems for homes and businesses are becoming more affordable all the time, a PV system can still be a substantial investment. As with any investment, careful planning will help you make the right decisions for your home or business.

Following are some things to look for when shopping around for the best solar panel installer for your project.

Look for qualified solar contractors. Oak Electric, for example, has earned the NABCEP PV installer certification. This voluntary certification from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners provides a set of national standards by which PV installers with skills and experience can distinguish themselves from their competition. SolarCert1Certification provides a measure of protection to the public by giving them a credential for judging the competency of practitioners. It is not intended to prevent qualified individuals from installing PV systems nor to replace state licensure requirements.

Oak Electric has even installed a solar power system at our Waterford, Michigan headquarters to collect first-hand data on the benefits and savings of renewable power systems.

Compare quotes. When you get a quote, it should clearly state the maximum generating capacity of the system in AC watts. Some contractors may provide you with DC watts, so make sure they convert it to AC for you.

Verify that the price you were given includes all the costs of getting your PV system up and running. Make sure it includes sales tax, permitting, connection to the grid, and hardware.

Also ask whether the price includes rebates and incentives. If so, make sure the contractor specifies the rebates and incentives factored into the price.

Calculate the price per watt. Divide the quoted price by the system’s expected output. This metric, cost per installed watt, can be used to compare quotes from different contractors. All things being equal, select the contractor with the lowest cost per installed watt.

Ask about down payment. The industry standard down payment for solar installations is around 10 percent.

Ask about warranties. Be sure your installer tells you about both the parts and the installation warranties. One warranty is from the parts manufacturer, the second warranty is offered by the installer.

Ask about financing. Oak Electric offers a number of convenient same-as-cash financing options for your solar purchase to make it more affordable than ever.

Oak Electric Service is one of southeast Michigan’s leading electrical and renewable energy contractors. If you are contemplating making energy improvements to your home or business or looking for renewable energy solutions, give us a call at (800) 964-7070. We invite you to visit our website at www.oakelectric.com to learn more about us.