360-746-0859  |  4041 Home Rd Ste A, Bellingham, WA 98226

Questions to Ask Solar Contractors

Getting multiple quotes? We encourage you to do as much research as possible when investing in your new solar electric system. Here are some questions to ask when talking with other contractors, along with our answers. We invite you to download our “Questions for Solar Contractors” worksheet, to help you along the way.


About The Company

Question Answer
How many years has your company been installing solar? 12+ years
Are you a pre-certified contractor with our utility? (Note not all utilities have this program.) Yes
Is there a list of references we can speak with who have installed the specific products you are proposing? Yes
Does your team have any additional solar certifications such as NABCEP or product-specific certifications? Yes
Does your company specialize in solar installations or are you a broader electrical contractor? We are a licensed Electrical Contractor that only installs Solar Electric/Clean Energy Systems
What is your company warranty for the installation of the system and the connections to the roof? 10 years

System Design

Question Answer
What racking manufacturer are you proposing for my site? Racking Varies by Site
Where is it manufactured? United States
How does the racking interface with my roof? What vapor barriers exist to prevent leakage? Triple vapor barrier with all metal flashing
Has your installer designed the system to achieve less than a 1.20 DC to AC Ratio to prevent inverter clipping? Yes
What tools/methods do you use for estimating solar production? Onsite shade analysis and site condition measurements that interface with 30+ years of solar data.
What is the expected variation from the estimated production? Site Specific. Our systems typically perform between 1-4% higher than expectations.


Question Answer
Apart from the electrical permit, is there a structural/building permit required for my project? Varies based on jurisdiction
Is there a current pre-engineered WA wet stamp on the racking that will be used for this project? Yes
Will you comply with WA Fire Code 605.11.3.2 setback requirements? Yes
Will you comply with international plumbing code which informs height restrictions and clearance requirements of roof vents and solar panels? Yes

Other Conditions

Question Answer
What specific additional fees could there be that are not included in the proposal? The cost of a Solar Production Meter will be billed to the customer by their serving utility on the first bill after the solar production meter has been installed by the utility, at a cost of $120 (Seattle City Light) to $83.00 (PSE) for standard grid-tied or $425 (PSE) for grid-tied/battery back-up systems. The cost for Snohomish PUD customers is included in their Western Solar contract.