Recently PV Solar Report ran a piece extolling Angie’s List’s ranking of residential solar installers. That’s great. As PV Solar Report points out—and they should know, the company tracks the cost of residential solar installations in California and other leading solar states—residential solar is becoming more mainstream. That means more solar installers than ever before—some of which are great, and then there are those who may be out there to make a fast buck on a short promise.
That’s one of the reasons why reviews of solar installers are so important. While the best reviews a person is likely to get are from friends, family and neighbors—essentially community. The Internet has a plethora of listings of solar installers and from a Google search users can easily find tens to hundreds of local installers in the area. But how do people make sure they’re getting the best they can from a solar installer, particularly when the Jones’ down the street haven’t gone solar or no one in their family has gone solar and has an experience to share? Turn to a service like Angie’s List that rates solar installers based on their performance as rated by the consumers.
“More than one solar company has been getting the Angie’s List Super Service Award,” writes PV Solar Report’s Rosana Francescato. “What does this mean? For one thing, it means more solar companies are on Angie’s List.…Solar’s presence on the list is yet another indication that it’s becoming more mainstream,” she adds.
Angie’s List also prohibits anonymous reviews and reviewers must verify that their review is based on their own experience whether they’re rating a dog-groomer, solar installer, landscaper etc. And while a review might not necessarily hinge on how much of a plumber’s butt crack the customer may or may not see, the reviews are better and more relevant than some of the anonymous loons offering up their crackpot reviews of this that and the other on Amazon. In addition companies on Angie’s List can respond to the reviewer’s reviews, Francescato says.
That’s really similar to what Solar Reviews does with its consumer submitted reviews. However, Solar Reviews has one of the largest—if not the largest—database of customer-generated solar reviews of residential solar installations in the U.S. In addition, Solar Reviews also offers the unique Pre-Screened Solar Pro accreditation. The accreditation is based on numerous marks of quality that each of the pre-screened solar installers have achieved. Among them is they must have been installing solar for a minimum of 3 years and have 10 customer-generated reviews with a ranking of at least 4.5 out of 5 stars and those rankings must be achieved within the past 12 months. Finally the installers must pass the additional quality criteria established by ContractorCheck.com.
Solar Reviews has some additional advantages. For instance, while Angie’s List requires a login, to see reviews. Solar Reviews doesn’t. So users don’t have to sign up for another product or service when they don’t want to. And Solar Reviews offers visitors tools like the free solar estimator, which was developed with support from the Department of Energy.
The Solar Estimator uses address information to give home and business owners an idea of how large a solar array they will need for their energy use, how much roof space is needed, eligibility for additional incentives—like tax breaks or local rebates, a cost estimate based on averages and exact pricing of a system from up to three local installers. This is done with no commitment on users’ behalf but it gives them valuable information to have in hand when talking about a solar array with potential installers.
So if you’re interested in investing in solar, there are multiple options out there to help you choose. Whether choosing to look at Angie’s List for solar installers or Solar Reviews’ list of reviews, users have one of the most powerful, best tools in their hands—the opinions of other consumers based on their interaction with the solar installers.