Solar Thermal Heating: Choosing a Supplier
A couple of themes emerge in choosing a supplier for any solar energy system. These are:
- Pick a solar energy supplier with lots of experience.
- Choose local if you can - someone who knows and understands your climate.
- Guarantee. For how long do they guarantee, and against what do they guarantee?
- Ask about professional credentials. Bear in mind that competent installers with lots of experience may not have taken the time to bother with this.
- Get lots of information - catalogues, brochures, etc - so you can fully inform yourself about aspects of your solar thermal installation, as issues come up.
Information is power and information that saves money on your power bill is powerful indeed.
Some important questions about your solar thermal dealer:
- How many years of installing and service experience do they have altogether?
- How long have they been in the solar thermal business?
- How many design options can they give you?
- Are they familiar with government zoning and electrical requirements and codes?
- What can they tell you about government incentives?
- How big and/or informative is their company web site?
- Can they supply you with a list of references?
- What after-installation service do they offer?
- Can they give you recently updated manuals concerning solar thermal heaters?
- Do they have background information (e.g. tests) on solar thermal heater systems?
- Is he or she a member of trade organizations (e.g. solar energy associations)? Do they offer payment options?
See also, our tips on choosing among competing bids.
As with so many things in life, the reality is that you get what you pay for. You'll likely have to pay top dollar for the services of an experienced, skilled solar thermal installer.
Find a dealer for solar thermal equipment.