6 MUST-ASK questions before starting commercial solar installation
So you have already decided to give solar power a go. You’re making the right choice – commercial solar installation has the potential to save businesses like yours gobs of cash.
Little wonder that solar panels are such a common sight on the roofs of all sorts of businesses not only in Australia, but all over the world!
Of course, as with any large-scale installation, a lot of careful thought and planning goes into commercial solar.
It’s important that you’re fully-informed before you sign that contract – fail to think things through properly, and your commercial solar installation could end up COSTING you money instead of SAVING it!
Haven’t the foggiest idea where to look? These 6 questions are great starters…
Ask your commercial solar installer…
… whether your commercial building is appropriate for solar
The whole idea of commercial solar power (as well as the money it’ll save you) is extremely attractive to many business owners.
Unfortunately, it’s also not a feasible option for some!
Before actually looking for solar panels, you need to assess if your commercial building is appropriate for commercial solar power installation.
Your first question should be “can my building support solar?”
This answer will depend on a number of factors:
- The area of your roof
- What it’s made of
- How much weight it can handle
- The strength of your building
Not all roofs are the same – that’s why an on-site inspection is such an important part of the installation process.
In addition to the obvious things like roof size and strength however, it’s important that you also ask your installer about roof angle.
As we’ve said before, the angle your solar panels are installed at influences how much electricity they’re able to generate.
This is just one of the things your solar installer will have to look into when evaluating your property!
Just because your business doesn’t tick these boxes doesn’t mean that you can’t get solar installed – high-performance panels can maximise energy generated while minimising weight, while unfavourable roof pitch can be compensated for using mounting brackets and frames.
Just be sure that you ask your installer this first, as some may try to pass off a standard installation instead of going the extra mile and providing your business with a tailored solution.
… how much money you can save by going solar
Commercial solar can save you a ridiculous amount of money. Trust us, we’ve seen it happen.
The question is “how much?”
And unfortunately, the vast majority of commercial solar installers are a bit vague on this front.
Many installers bid based on price. They promise the lowest upfront costs, or the fastest turnaround.
While these two are important, as a business owner with an eye to the future, the two most important things you’ll want to know about your commercial solar proposal is:
- How much money you will save
- What sort of ROI you can expect to see
When accepting bids or quotes, demand to see these numbers!
Unlike other installers, we here at Pacific Solar focus on numbers. Our proposals tell you exactly how much money your business will save, both annually and over the lifespan of your solar panels.
We’ll also tell you how big your ROI is going to be, as well as how long it’ll take you to earn back your installation cost.
Finally, we’ll also provide to-the-minute reporting once your panels are up and running that tells you exactly how much of your energy usage you can expect your solar panels to cover!
… what financial options they offer
While it can save you incredible amounts of money, commercial solar power installation is not without a cost!
Some business owners may balk at the cost of installation and let it hold them back from enjoying the benefits of commercial solar installation.
Before you give up on your solar dreams however, quickly ask your installer about any finance or payment options they offer. Who knows, they might surprise you!
A commercial solar power company should be able to present to you with options to help finance the project as you go along.
For example, we at Pacific Solar offer power purchase agreements that effectively allow businesses like yours to enjoy $0 upfront fees on your solar installation!
Don’t give in to some commercial solar power companies who ask for a stash of cash from day one as there are a lot of options to choose from in financing your commercial solar power.
… what commercial installations have they worked on in the past
When planning something as big as commercial solar installation, you want to work with the very best!
And what better way to figure this out than by asking them about their previous jobs?
Before giving a commercial solar company a go, make sure that they have a history working with commercial properties just like yours.
That’s because the skills needed to fit a warehouse out with solar is vastly different to the ones needed to perform residential solar installation.
Not only that, but different types of businesses have different energy needs. Obviously, a factory is going to use a lot more power than a local shop.
Finally, make sure that they specialise in commercial solar as well – many “commercial” solar installers are actually domestic ones who simply scale up domestic systems for commercial clients!
Before signing the dotted line, ask to see their work history and check whether they have experience working with businesses similar to yours.
… whether they offer a warranty
Naturally, for something as big as commercial solar installation, you’re going to want a warranty to go with it!
When choosing a commercial solar power company, always check if your panels will be covered under warranty, and if your installer will honour them.
The industry standard warranty for solar panels is 10 years – we here at Pacific Solar go a little further, however.
As an LG Solar Platinum Partner (one of only a dozen in Australia), we’re able to offer all of our commercial solar installation customers a dramatically longer warranty period than our competitors.
All LG panels are covered by an industry-leading 25-year warranty – that’s 25 years of guaranteed non-stop savings!
… how many years of industry experience they have
This is the BIG one – that’s why we saved it for last!
Never settle for a no-name solar installer. Going cheap in commercial solar installation may save you a couple bucks upfront, but it comes with huge downsides (that many business owners aren’t aware of!)
For starters, as a boom market, there are plenty of newly-established operators that quite frankly don’t have a clue what they’re doing.
Not only that, but experience also serves as a sign that they’ll be able to work on your business.
As we’ve mentioned before, no two businesses are alike. Each comes with unique challenges in installation, as well as system design.
The solutions to these challenges can’t be taught – they can only be obtained with experience (like ours!)
Choose Pacific Solar for commercial solar installation in Melbourne
The success of your commercial solar installation depends on a range of considerations – in particular, the level of experience and service your commercial solar power company brings to the table.
Are you planning commercial solar installation in Melbourne? If so, give Pacific Solar a ring!
Our team has worked as electrical contractors since the 90’s, making the switch to solely solar installations in 2008 – well before the rush.
Since then, we’ve been helping businesses all over the country slash their power bills and save cash.
And you can be one of them!