Guidelines to Purchasing
Solar Water Heating
Step 1 - Gather all the electric and/or natural gas bills for the past year.
• APS, SRP, and TEP make this easy with online historical electrical usage information for all their customers.
Step 2 - Getting a quote from qualified licensed installers:
• If you do not already have a trusted installer, obtain at least three quotes from qualified licensed solar design/installation companies.
o Most dealers will quote a preliminary price after a phone consultation.
o This price is subject to adjustment following the formal solar site assessment that
would precede a formal proposal.
SIGN ME UP
• Find a dealer from the following lists of Arizona solar installers:
>> Solar Customers' Bill of Rights
>> About Solar Water Heating
>> Arizona HOA Statues
o Ask the dealer how long they have been in business, and how long they have
been doing solar energy system design and installation.
o Ask the dealer how many systems they have installed.
o Arizona Solar Water Heating Alliance http://www.arizonasolarindustry.org/
• Ask the dealer for references
• Check contractors license status of the quoting dealer with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.
o Search by license number: http://www.azroc.gov/clsc/AZROCLicenseQuery?pagerequest=license
o Search by company name: http://www.azroc.gov/clsc/AZROCLicenseQuery?pagerequest=name
• Make sure that the system is certified by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC) with an OG-300 rating.
Step 3 - Solar Site Assessment
• The dealer may quote a preliminary price after a phone discussion, but before a formal proposal is generated they should visit the home/business to perform a solar site assessment.
• The dealer should insure that the location for your solar panels is shade free.
• The dealer should examine the roof structure from above and below (even when it is 150 degrees in the attic in August) to determine roofing integrity for mounting solar panels on your roof.
• The dealer will calculate if the solar energy system can be mounted at the correct angle and orientation on your home.
Step 4 - Proposal
• The contractor should present you with a formal proposal that shows the full price and the system payback time after factoring in utility rebates and tax credits.
• Make sure that the system is certified by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation with an OG-300 rating.
• Many dealers will help you with administering the paperwork for the Federal and Arizona State tax credit, and for the utility company rebates. To insure that you will receive the utility incentive that you are quoted, be sure that you have a utility reservation confirmed before you begin the installation.
Step 5 - Contract
• Get a detailed written contract and review ALL the fine print.
• Make sure you understand all the terms of the contract before signing
• Understand the total price that you will have to pay, with complete payment schedule.
• Get a complete explanation on how and when incentive payments will be credited.
• Have dealer explain warranty terms and conditions on products AND services
• Ask to see the dealer’s certificate of insurance, and verify status with insurance company prior to signing contract.
• Ask if any subcontractors will be used and check their licensing and insurance.
Step 6 - Installation
• A reasonable down payment is to be expected, but be cautious about advancing monies for work not yet completed.
• Put all changes in writing.
• Make frequent inspections.