As of January 2021, the California Public Utilities Commission provided an updated version of the California Solar Consumer Protection Guide. The state requires that solar providers in California supply a copy of this guide to all their solar customers. It’s also free for download on California’s website, translated into multiple languages and with audio recordings. Although the guide details important information on what is involved in getting a photovoltaic system, the 9 included steps span 23 pages. The following series of articles, therefore, summarizes the provided information. Solaron still recommends you go through the guide yourself once you are ready to purchase a solar panel system.
Step 1: Is Solar a Good Fit for Me?
If you use plenty of electricity and have applicable space for solar panels, then a solar system is likely a viable option, but that also means you need to own the roof. While a renter might love the idea of solar, the decision is up to the property owner. Nevertheless, it’s always a good idea to make sure the home is not overusing electricity. Examine your appliances and devices to verify they are not using more electricity than necessary. Likewise, if the roof needs replacing, it’s wise to take care of that issue before the solar panels, since installing the panels first will otherwise needlessly complicate the roof replacement.
For a solar system to work favorably, part of your roof needs to face southward, so the panels collect light from the Sacramento sun as it travels overhead. Similarly, a roof that receives plentiful shade might benefit with lower temperatures, but solar panels might not collect enough sunlight to justify installation. But if your home’s roof does not have a south-facing portion or receives abundant shade, Solaron is happy to discuss alternatives with you. (An east/west facing can also work, if panels are installed on both sides.)
Step 2: The Parties Involved
On your journey to getting photovoltaic benefits, you’re likely to meet many groups of people responsible for different stages of the project.
- Solar Providers – the companies that sell and install solar panel systems. They must be licensed for this work. Solaron is licensed to sell, install, and direct you to financing for Sacramento solar electricity systems as well as installations for the Bay Area.
- Salespeople – likely your first level of introduction to solar systems, salespeople might knock on your door or call your phone. They must be registered with a “home improvement salesperson (HIS) registration” that can be verified by the state.
- Installers – this is the team of experts that inspect your roof, ground, electrical connections and surrounding area to make sure the solar installation is safe and secure, and then proceed with the installation. They must also be licensed as a solar provider.
- Manufacturers – companies that make solar equipment. Solaron exclusively works with SunPower and Maxeon because they manufacture the best solar panel systems, as well as the best comprehensive warranty and support structures on the market today.
- Electricity Providers – these are the utility companies that provide the electric grid. In California, this includes the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E).
- Lenders – these institutions provide financing for purchasing your solar panel system.
- City/Council inspectors – inspectors examine your home and make sure all codes and standards are met so your health and safety are never compromised.
Of course, there might be others you’ll meet in your journey, but the ones listed here are the ones you’re most likely to interact with. For answers to any questions on solar power options for you and what parties are involved, please call Solaron at 916-631-9293 in Sacramento or 408-292-4328 in the Bay Area. Or if you prefer, fill out our online form to schedule a free solar analysis.
In the next article, we’ll discuss finding a qualified solar provider, like Solaron, what questions to ask them, and common financing options.