Paying off a mortgage is a long chore to do and there’s really only two ways you can make it go quicker, cut back on your expenses or increase the amount of money you make and save.
Now we’ve covered many different ways you can reduce your expenses (even while you have fun!) so today I’d like to talk about earning more income. You’ve probably already guessed from the title that the way to earn this income is through solar but for many one of the biggest things that hold them back is knowing which solar installer and system to go with.
Check out our huge 5 part series guide on cutting your expenses
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In the future I’ll be releasing a new, fully fledged course on how exactly to buy solar along with all the critical information you’ll need right from the start to finish. So make sure you get subscribed so you don’t miss that announcement. For now though you can get a bit of a sneak peak into it while we focus on learning how to choose your solar installer.
Don’t Buy Cheap Solar!
First I’d like to talk a little bit about buying cheap solar. This is something that will usually end up costing you more money and more headache in the long run for multiple reasons so you really want to avoid it at all costs.
This is because usually to give you the “cheapest price” these cheap solar companies will skimp on their hardware and/or installation. You’ll get solar panels or inverters that die after a couple of years or a botched installation that looks ugly, under performs, is dangerous or all of those at once!
Buying the cheapest system just because it’s the cheapest is likely a bad plan so while you don’t need to go out and buy the most expensive option, keep in mind that if a quote is substantially cheaper than everyone else there’s likely a good reason for that.
We’ll be covering what safe and reliable panels and inverter brands look like in the full course, but this is just a strong note not to fall for these companies marketing BS
If they’re talking about super technical jargon you’ve never heard of, secret proprietary systems that magically make things amazing or just have nonsense payback period calculations stay far, far away!
In the full course we also go through a lot of information regarding how solar works and its components. This is to hopefully give you enough understanding about solar so that you don’t get tricked by these sorts of companies.
Big Or Small?
No I’m not talking about the size of your system (wink, wink!), I’m referring to the size of the installation company. There’s pro’s and con’s with both in that big installers will probably have slightly lower prices but less personal service. Small installers are usually more local and might go that extra mile if you have a particularly complex build.
Whichever company you do end up choosing though make sure they’re going to still be around in 5-10 years time. The best way to predict this is to ensure they’ve already been around for 5+ years at a minimum.
Companies that have been operating for 5+ years are more likely to be genuine, installing good quality products and have the management to ensure they don’t go bankrupt long term. This will mean that if you do need to make a warranty claim in 2, 5, 10 years time they should still be around to honour it.
But which installer should you use? There’s so many and they all claim to be the best (probably) so what to do?
Get Multiple Quotes!
Just like with most other major purchases like buying a car you want to be getting multiple quotes to ensure that you’re not getting ripped off or sold some poor quality cheap system.
Generally you should be getting 2-4 quotes. This will hopefully weed out the ones that are quoting stupidly high prices or ones that are just designing systems that make no sense.
Even if two of them are pretty close you can potentially play them off against each other and hopefully get the same system for cheaper if you negotiate well.
Learn how to negotiate and save yourself thousands!
Read the Guide!
As this website is viewed on a global scale I can’t recommend any specific local installers here unfortunately. Installers change over time too so to start with at least you’re going to want to do a local search for solar installers on something like Google. Obviously go straight to the search results as the search will bring up a number of ads.
Your country might also have a government website that lists out all the officially approved solar installers so that can be a helpful resource as well. An example of this is the one the Clean Energy Council runs here in Australia. You can find the website here. Keep in mind though that just because a solar installer isn’t registered on their list, doesn’t mean they’re bad.
From here there’s going to be some obvious ones that will fit your requirements more so than other ones. Perhaps you’re wanting a very simple installation of about 5 kW on a single story home. By now you should at least have a rough idea of the size of system you’re after and whether you’ll be needing a more custom, complicated install or just a generic simple install.
Knowing Which Installer Is Good
Going through the search results will allow you to get a good idea of many of the different installers that are out there in your general area but it doesn’t really tell you if they’re any good or not.
To determine whether or not they’re any good is unfortunately a bit of a hard task. Depending on how much time you want to spend on this you can do many different things to investigate the company in general.
You can search for the installers name and “reviews” to see what other people have experienced. You can read their website, see what deals they have on offer if they mention any and see how they generally operate.
Some companies will tell you what brands of panels and inverters they use and this will also help you to understand how relatively expensive they are likely to be too.
Many will note how they’re “accredited” with various qualifications etc. While this isn’t a bad thing per say, make sure you’re not solely relying on these types of things as these qualifications don’t absolutely guarantee that you’ll be 100% OK with them.
Overall this stage should be a 1st level filtering process. You’re quickly reviewing the company, its website, operations, reviews and history to make sure it’s at least up to scratch of what a respectable company should be
Getting Them Quotes
From here you then can contact them to start getting a quote as this will really be the thing that tells you if they’re good or not. The first level of filtering is just to make sure you’re not wasting your time, it will also give you an idea of how each of the companies deal with their customers.
You’re wanting to have professional and knowledgeable service that’s on time, doesn’t push you to buy, buy, buy and so on.
Speaking more about sales tactics I wouldn’t recommend going with any company that uses overly aggressive marketing tactics as these ones usually spend more on marketing than they do on providing quality installations and products. Things like door to door salesman or businesses that hound you over and over again probably aren’t the best. A good installer shouldn’t pressure you to sign their contract, ever.
Once you’ve found and generally filtered out 2-4 different companies you can request quotes of them and see what types of deals they offer. It’s at this stage you’ll likely find that there will be a few different prices that come back for the same system, but with different quality components or brands in them.
Maybe you’ll get two quotes for a 5 kW system, one with “moderate” quality panels and inverters and one with more “premium” quality components. Which one should you go with? More importantly are those “quality” components actually good quality or are they just lying to you?
These sorts of questions and more will help to further narrow in on which installer is “the best” for you and your house but make up an entire article on their own. After going through the above steps though you should already be better off than 99% of other solar buyers out there.
Even just getting four separate quotes will go a huge way to ensuring you don’t get screwed over. Having a solar system will also as said provide you with a new, tax free source of income for your home. In Australia and speaking generally it takes about 2-4 years for solar to pay itself off. After that you’re getting a new source of income that will hopefully add thousands to your bottom line.
Some might argue that it’s not going to pay your mortgage off in a flash and I’d agree, this isn’t winning the lottery. But it’s also a near 100% guaranteed way to improve your income with basically zero risk. Those sorts of deals don’t come along often, let alone ones that help the environment!
If you’re interested in buying solar subscribe so you can know when our new course on buying solar drops with even more info!
The benefits include: 1) How to pay off your mortgage faster than 99% of people with one hour a month of work 2) How to get rid of your debt and have the freedom to spend money on the things you love, guilt free 3) Clear outline of how to setup your expenses, mortgage and general finance 4) How offset accounts work and how to get the same result without being gouged by the big banks 5) How to cut through the crap and focus on the things that truly matter when taking down a mortgage 6) How to adjust the strategy so it works for you, even if you have kids, even if you only have one income 7) How to do all of these things and maintain a normal social life (and never be cheap).