Choosing the right commercial solar partner to install your solar system is essential. Beyond the financial benefits of solar, there are several non-financial considerations you should think about when selecting who you should partner with.
In this second article of our three-part series with Ari Nikolopoulos, we explore the top 3 things to consider when choosing a solar provider.
In case you missed part one, we discussed why proactive service is an essential trait for solar providers in our previous article.
Let's face it, there are a lot of solar providers out there. But if you want to separate the best from the rest, there's one critical factor you need to consider: experience.
When choosing a supplier, customers should consider whether the EPC has an in-house engineering, procurement, and project management team with a proven track record of large-scale commercial installations.
You can quickly assess the experience an EPC has by looking at their projects on their website. If they don't have projects at the similar size or complexity as the system you're looking at, that's a big red flag. An EPC should display capabilities in the maintenance of projects as well as the construction of projects, and provide details on how they overcome challenges at a particular site.
Prior behaviour is the best indicator of future behaviour, this theory applies to companies as well. If you can't get a good read on the capability and experience of a company you're talking to, find a customer they've worked with and talk to them directly.
But it's not just about experience. It's also about finding a commercial solar partner that will take the time to learn about your business' entire energy situation and present a sophisticated solution through the sales process. The designs, commercial considerations and professional acumen of the sales person are all representative of the sophistication of an EPC.
We are starting to see a cookie-cutter approach to system analysis and design in the market, and there's nothing wrong with that at the residential scale, however, at the commercial scale it flags some concerns. There are a lot of great software solutions available to solar companies that can automate the analysis and solar design process, shout out to Pylon. However, commercial solar systems require considerations in the design phase which automated software simply cannot recreate.
A good solar provider should have dedicated engineers providing support through the sales process. An indicator of their sophistication is in their ability to provide interval data reports for solar, storage and future expansions without much fuss.
So, what happens after a system is installed at your site? This is the clincher because all the promises made in the sales process are worth nothing unless your partner is prepared to stick with you long-term. As explored in part one, beyond the provider’s technical capabilities, you need to consider the importance of proactive maintenance throughout the lifespan of your solar system. This means you need a reliable solar partner who's committed to providing ongoing support and assistance throughout the lifespan of your solar project.
We encourage all of our potential customers to do their research and due diligence. Our 3 key focus items are obvious, but often over looked. Hopefully this article provides some insights that guide discussions and we look forward to helping anyone with a free solar proposal.
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