Menu Close

How to Hire Solar Companies in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC

Making the switch to solar? It’s a decision that pays off.

In the long run, solar panels can save thousands on your energy bills and significantly boost your home’s value. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, for every $1 reduction in annual energy costs, a home’s value increases by about $20. We’re talking about a substantial financial gain.

Switching to solar also means that you’re using a clean, endless energy source – the sun – which offsets 85% of energy costs for average EDGE Energy solar customers. With the addition of battery storage, you’re even set during outages, maintaining power when the grid goes down.

Before you sign on with a solar installer, there are a few important points to consider.

First, pricing obviously matters, but be wary of unusually low prices. Seasoned installers understand the true costs of a proper solar installation. Newer companies, on the other hand, may offer lower prices because they either don’t know the true costs, or they’re really desperate for the business. 

Here’s the thing – many reputable installers won’t fix mistakes made by others. If your system isn’t installed correctly, you could find yourself covering the cost to remove the faulty panels and repair any damage before the new system can be installed.

If you choose an unreliable solar installer, your solar dream could quickly become a nightmare. This article will walk through the most important considerations and questions you should ask to find a reliable solar company in Virginia, Maryland, or Washington DC.

If you have questions about whether solar for your home, feel free to give us a call at 888-586-3343, or send us a message anytime.

What are the risks of choosing an unreliable solar company?

Damage to Your Roof

Assessing the roof’s capacity to handle the solar panels’ weight and pressure is essential before installation. If the panels are not properly mounted, there could be leakage and structural damage. Effective flashing and sealing are crucial to prevent these issues.

Issues with Wiring

Poor wiring practices can lead to serious electrical hazards, fire risks, or a loss of system performance. Additionally, wires that are exposed to sunlight, moisture, or sharp edges are prone to degradation or damage. To prevent these issues, it is critical to properly run, bundle, label, and connect your wires, ensuring they are well-protected against environmental factors.

Also, an inverter that isn’t compatible, properly set up, or correctly installed may fail to transform the DC electricity from the panels into AC for the grid or appliances. This can cause power reductions, overheating, or inverter malfunctions. To mitigate these risks, the inverter should be chosen to fit your system’s specifications and installed in an environment that is cool and has good ventilation.

Before the installation, make sure to ask the right questions. Proper due diligence before the project begins can prevent poor workmanship, leaks, or other basic errors that might lead to future complications.

Solar Contracts with Misleading Terms

Some solar companies may not be entirely forthright, presenting contracts that could overcharge you or fail to hold them accountable if the system underperforms.

Here are a few things to watch for in particular::

Complex Loan Terms: The conditions of solar loans can differ significantly, with terms stretching from 5 to 20 years. It’s important to scrutinize the interest rates, monthly payment details, and any potential increases in rates throughout the term to prevent unforeseen financial strains.

Warranty Restrictions: There’s considerable variation in solar warranties between providers. Some offer extensive long-term protection, while others may include hefty limitations. It’s really important to understand both the duration and extent of the warranty, as it will affect your ongoing maintenance expenses.

Ownership of Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs): SRECs can provide substantial financial benefits to solar system owners, especially in Washington DC. Be cautious of contracts where installers keep your SRECs or other incentives, which can greatly reduce your returns.

Conditions of Power Purchase Agreements (PPA): Carefully examine any PPA terms. Terms that are too restrictive can end up costing more than the system’s worth over its lifetime.

Realistic Energy Production Forecasts: Verify that the energy production estimates given by your installer are reasonable. Exaggerated predictions can result in dissatisfaction regarding both the system’s performance and its financial yield.

Questions to ask Solar Companies in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC

This set of questions is not meant to cover everything but will help you filter out solar companies that could cause serious issues. You’ll also find answers for our company, EDGE Energy, which has offices in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC, and is in the top 5% of solar installers nationally.

Feel free to call with any follow up questions: 888-586-3343.

How many years have you been in business?

How many solar installations have you completed? A solar company’s longevity is a good indicator of their ability to provide accurate project estimates and deliver on their commitments.

Choose established, financially stable manufacturers and installers like EDGE Energy. Companies that fail and close down can leave you without the support and warranty services you need.

EDGE Energy started installing solar panels in 2006. Since then, we’ve installed more than 5,000 solar energy systems in the DMV, all with a satisfaction guarantee.

Do you hold a NABCEP Certification?

The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is a nonprofit organization that provides certification programs for renewable energy professionals.

nabcep logo

While the certification isn’t mandatory, it provides solar professionals with additional skills and knowledge that set them apart from others in the field. This certification adds to the state licensing requirements. It doesn’t take their place but improves the installer’s qualifications, giving them a distinct advantage in terms of expertise.

EDGE Energy stands out with a NABCEP Certification. Our certification number is: PV-041115-011277.

Do you hire subcontractors for any portion of the installation?

If yes, could you provide details about them? What qualifications do they hold?

It’s important to know who is showing up at your home. Seeing a vehicle with an unfamiliar company logo can be unsettling. It’s OK for your installer to use subcontractors—as many companies do for various projects—but it’s crucial that these subcontractors are properly qualified.

EDGE Energy is a vertically integrated company, which means we complete nearly all of the work ourselves. If we need a subcontractor to meet a deadline, we will notify you ahead of time, guaranteeing a smooth process with no unexpected surprises during your solar installation.

What type of equipment do you install?

Could you provide details about the solar panel and inverter brands you use? What are their warranty conditions? Please provide specific product models, and take the time to look up the manufacturers to assess their industry standing. Checking reviews and customer feedback can be informative.

Solar panels and inverters vary widely in quality. If a quote seems unusually low, it might be because the components offered are of inferior quality, which could lead to less reliable performance over the long term.

sunpower master dealer icon

At EDGE Energy, we install SunPower solar panels, which come with a hassle-free 25-year warranty. SunPower panels are considered the best on the market, capable of producing 55% more energy in the same space than traditional panels.

Are you licensed and insured for solar installation and electrical work in Virginia, Maryland, or Washington D.C.?

It’s crucial that your contractor holds the necessary state licenses to adhere to local building regulations. Be sure to request their license number and confirm its validity through the appropriate state agency depending on the location of the installation:

  • Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
  • Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
  • D.C. Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection

It’s essential, and pretty much a given, not to go with a solar company unless they are fully licensed and insured.

EDGE Energy is fully licensed, bonded, and insured. We’re proud to have a clean record with no complaints. Feel free to look us up in Virginia (License #: 2705119932), Maryland (License #: 98688), or DC (License #: 69007081).

Do you partner with local energy programs, and can you help with tax credits?

We’re fortunate to have strong incentives and tax credits to offset the cost of installing solar panels in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC. 

However, if your solar installer lacks the necessary certifications or if they don’t design your system properly, you could miss out on serious savings.

Start by confirming that your installer is certified through the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy, the Maryland Energy Administration, or the District Department of Energy and Environment, depending on where you’re located.

EDGE Energy has helped homeowners claim more than $24 million in tax credits. This is a key part of the value we provide. Choosing EDGE Energy means that you get a partner who will help you to fully leverage the available tax credits, rebates, and incentives.

Solar Panel Installation in Virginia, Maryland, and DC: The Bottom Line

Don’t hesitate to ask plenty of questions to make sure you’re picking the right solar installer. Solar panels are a big deal and a big investment, so you definitely want to make sure they’re going to pay off like you expect.

If you have questions about solar for your home in Virginia, Maryland, or Washington DC, please give us a call at (888) 586-3343, We’re happy to help.

Share the Post:

Related Posts