How to Buy Solar: Awareness Series

Solar can significantly eliminate your monthly electric bill and reduce your carbon footprint. It also offers a safe and reliable investment by providing protection from rising electricity costs.

2021 is the perfect time to invest in solar energy with the multiple layers of government rebates and financial incentives at an all-time high. Have you concluded that solar power is the right option for your home or business? There are a few important things you should consider. Like any industry that involves people, consumers need to pay close attention to protect themselves.

In the beginning of the year, CPUC published a 24-page Solar Consumer Protection Guide that requires all homeowners to sign before they are allowed to buy solar-powered project.

Buy Solar after reading all documents

The sole motive of this document is to protect homeowners against aggressive door-to-door salespeople who push for digital signatures on handheld tablets. The document strictly advises consumers against signing any contracts before they have reached a comprehensive understanding of the project and its full implications.

At Staten, we avoid such pressure tactics. You buy only when you understand it. 

So, coming back to the agenda, we have rounded up some checkpoints here, so you can make the right decision:

  1. Is solar right for your property?

Not all solar companies in the market are looking out for you, some just really want your money. Only a genuine installer can tell that how much beneficial a solar system is on your roof. Your roof will determine the number and position of your solar panels. Roofs with north-facing sides are favored for their exposure to sunlight – but east and west-facing (or a combo of all the above) are still pretty good if your roof space requires it.

Only an experienced and professional installer like Staten can advise you on the best position and angle for your solar panels to be in, factoring in location, sunlight, and any shade you may get throughout the day.

  1. Don’t Sign Any Contract Until You Understand it well

Don’t act impulsively when receiving an unexpected call, or email with some catchy deal. That could be a scam, so watch out for indicators during the interaction. Be especially suspicious of any company that desperately tries to get you to sign-up or issue payment right away. Before signing up or enter into any agreement do your own research. Take plenty of time before signing anything.

  1. Concept of ‘Free-Solar’

Please be aware that it basically means a solar lease or power purchase agreement. You definitely may not have to pay anything upfront but eventually pay a monthly fee/charge to your solar installer for the electricity you use.

Keep in mind that your electricity bill will not go to zero if you install one of these third-party-owned systems. But again, same may be possible when you choose to install batteries along with it. 

  1. Rebates

The idea behind solar energy is pure. Companies want our society to rely less on grid energy and become more self-sufficient. But like most pure ideologies, charlatans can exploit the idea for their gain. Many solar panel scams claim to offer government rebates. Please make sure it is you who get most of those rebates, not the installers.

  1. Increased Home Value

Yes! It is true that solar increases your home value. But there is a catch when you take a lease. The added complication of a solar lease – includes the need for an additional credit check – which eventually has the potential to deter some prospective home buyers. Here is another catch, you can buy it with cash or simply finance it through a bank.

If you have any dilemma about whether you should pay upfront, lease or simply finance your solar pv system, read our article here.  

  1. Technology & Company

When going solar, make sure the product used during installation should also be available afterward. For instance, sometimes the hardware you install isn’t available later when you want it.

The other risk associated with solar is the new companies in this field. For example, you installed a solar panel system with some newly established firm that simply went out of business after 2-4 years. So choose a well-played player like Staten for your solar installation.

  1. Pay Attention

Don’t think that if you read everything regarding solar, that your job is done. Please be attentive that your installer installs the material/product they offered to you in the agreement. Before installation, you must check that the products are not damaged during transportation. They should meet local and national electrical standards.

Addressing a comprehensive list of questions on the Solar PV System, Staten Solar’s ‘Solar 101: Awareness Series’ will focus on the knowledge which will help our consumers to make a firm decision before actually going solar. Stay tuned.


Staten Solar is California’s leading solar installation company with 12+ years of national and international experience. With industry-leading turnaround times and unparalleled customer service, we make solar easier than it’s ever been.

We are here to help you go solar! If you have any questions about what to expect or want to buy solar, we’d love to help you. Contact us today to get started!