What's In This Article
If you are in the market for a new solar installation, you may be wondering if there is room to negotiate. Solar companies negotiate their prices, but not all of them negotiate equally.
So, how do you know if you can get a better deal? Let’s look at the ways solar companies negotiate with their customers and how you can get the best deal possible.
Businesses Expect Price Negotiation
Negotiation is a part of every business deal. Solar companies are in business because they want to make money. They know how important it is for them to quote you the best price possible on every job they do.
Buying solar panels means investing thousands of dollars from the family budget. It’s a huge sacrifice, and solar companies know it.
That’s why they’re willing to negotiate prices with you. It’s also why they’re willing to offer incentives such as price breaks or additional services being thrown into your agreement.
Contractors expect potential customers to look around for the best quote. They know that it’s part of the process. You don’t have to be embarrassed about asking for a better price or for other services to be thrown into your agreement. It’s just business!
How To Get a Quote
Getting a quote for solar panel installation is a great first step in the process of going solar. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your quote:
- Ask for a cost breakdown. Many companies provide you with a price breakdown, which will allow you to see exactly what is included in the price and what is not.
- Ask about incentives and rebates. Some states offer tax credits or other incentives for installing solar panels, so make sure that you ask about what kinds of incentives might be available in your area.
- Look into financing options. If you can’t afford the upfront cost of solar panel installation, many financing options can help spread out your payments over time while still providing significant savings over time on energy bills.
Where To Get a Quote
To figure out the estimated cost of your project, you need to get a quote. If a company doesn’t give you a quote, then they aren’t serious about your project.
Residential companies who give solar quotes generally fall into three categories:
- General contractors do a variety of work on homes, including installing solar panels.
- Licensed solar company sub-contractors that specialize in installing solar panel systems only.
- Licensed solar power companies that have direct access to both the manufacturers and preferred subcontractors.
If you’re looking to install solar panels on your home, a general contractor can help.
Generally, they won’t give you an estimate of how much the project will cost until they’ve looked at your property and talked with you about what kind of solar system you want. But some contractors can provide a rough estimate before they see the space.
Some may be able to work with you on decreasing the price to work within your budget. They know how much the work costs and can help you find a way to afford it by adjusting the scope of the project.
However, if you don’t go with a contractor who regularly installs solar products, the price for this service may not be competitive. And if they don’t have relationships with the dealer, general contractors may not receive special pricing—and you won’t get any savings.
Keep in mind that not every general contractor is certified as an installer or has experience installing solar panels, so it’s important to do your research to find someone who knows what they’re doing before committing to hiring them for your project.
You should also ask whether they have any references from other customers who’ve had solar systems installed by them.
Read More: Do Solar Companies Pay For A New Roof?
Licensed Solar Company Sub-Contractors
Sub-contractors specializing specifically in solar panels may be able to offer you a better price than general contractors and big-box retailers.
The Solar Energy Industries Association has a list of certified solar installers in your state. Not all states require solar companies and installers to be licensed, so it’s important to do your research before choosing an installer.
You can also check with local utility companies to see if they offer incentives for going solar. While you’re at it, see if these utility companies have any recommendations for contractors.
Licensed subcontractors receive great deals from solar companies to install solar panels for their customers. If you’re looking to save money on your solar installation, ask about discounts for using a licensed subcontractor.
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Licensed Solar Companies
If you’re in the market for solar panels and/or a whole home solar system, licensed solar dealers have access to better prices than installers and homeowners.
This is because manufacturers like to work with them and offer them lower prices on products. After all, they have a better understanding of the market and the needs of their customers.
They can then pass those savings along to their customers by offering them lower rates for their services and installation costs.
Even if you don’t qualify for any incentives or tax credits from the government, they might still be able to negotiate a better deal than what’s listed on their website or in newspapers and magazines.
They have established relationships with subcontractors who know how to install their products.
Negotiating for Better Price on Solar Installation
Negotiating for the best price involves doing your homework and knowing what your needs are. You should be able to get a good idea of what the average cost is in your area.
Use a tool like Project Sunroof to determine how much money you could save based on your location and how many solar panels you could add to your home. This gives you a baseline to work from during negotiations with the company you’re going to work with.
If you can find out how much solar companies charge their customers who qualify for incentives or tax credits, that will give you a better idea of what they’re willing to negotiate down from.
You should also contact at least two or three companies so that you can compare their prices and find one that’s right for you.
Getting multiple quotes from solar companies will give you an idea of their rates and locations. You can then negotiate with the ones closest to your budget.
Read More: Leasing Solar Panels Pros And Cons
Here are a few tips to keep you on the right track during solar-energy negotiations.
- Be prepared to negotiate. Solar energy is a commodity, and you can expect the prices to fluctuate with market conditions. Your sales rep will likely try to convince you that his company’s rates are the lowest available in your area, but this isn’t always the case.
- Ask for a written quote. This way, if negotiations don’t go as planned, you’ll have something on paper that shows what was offered and accepted by both parties.
- Do your research. If you’re unfamiliar with solar energy and the way it works, ask questions. The more informed you are about the process, the better equipped you’ll be to negotiate effectively.
- Ask for a list of references. This will give you an idea of what other customers have paid in similar situations and help you determine whether or not the offer being presented is fair.
Negotiating your solar panel purchase can help you get the best price without sacrificing quality. They want to make a profit from their products. If they lose your interest by being inflexible with prices, you might go elsewhere—and leave them with no profits at all.
Negotiation is such an important part of doing business that even if you don’t think you’re good at it, you should still give it a try! You’ll probably get better deals, which means you can use that money to build up your savings or invest in other projects.