Top 6 Questions To Ask Your Solar Consultant

The most important thing to do while researching solar panels is to ask questions. And if you’ve done any research on your own whether solar panels are right for you, you probably have A LOT of questions.

That’s good! Solar panels are a big investment that can save you lots of money in the long run. But the only way to find out if solar is right for you is to get all the information you can, and get all your questions answered. So, ask as many questions as you need in that process!

The best time to ask questions about solar panels is during your solar consultation. A solar consultation is when your solar consultant will sit down or video call with you to discuss your solar analysis. This solar analysis will outline a lot of details about your solar panel system, such as cost and savings estimates, as well as installation plans.

But what are the most important questions to ask your solar consultant? Don’t worry. We’ve outlined the top questions to ask your solar consultant before installing solar panels.

Here are the Top 6 Questions to Ask Your Solar Consultant.

Top 6 Questions:


As solar panels have become more popular and more affordable, there has been an explosion of solar companies offering their services. Some of these solar companies have grown quite large and have begun offering their services across many states.

You might have heard of several of these Big-Name solar companies. You also might have heard about their reputation with lots of solar customers (spoiler alert: it’s not great…).

Unfortunately, as many of these Big-Name solar companies have rapidly expanded, their quality of service and product have suffered, and so have their customers. That’s the cost some companies are willing to pay for rapid expansion and larger profits.

That’s why it’s important to ask your solar consultant where their solar company is based. While many Big-Name solar companies might have satellite offices in your state, their actual center of operations is halfway across the country – not ideal.

While working with a Big-Name, out-of-state solar company isn’t always a negative experience, it’s important to consider the benefits of working with a local solar company; a solar company based in your state and your area.

Local solar companies have several benefits compared to out-of-state solar companies. First of all, a local solar company has more experience and knowledge about the local solar landscape. They have existing relationships and experience with local utilities, cities, and other contractors that create a smoother and more reliable solar installation process. A local solar company knows the ins and outs of getting the job done in your area.

Local solar companies are also more reliable and stable than out-of-state solar companies. A local solar company calls your state home and is committed to serving your area for the long term. Out-of-state solar companies are notorious for coming into an area, installing as many solar systems as possible until it’s no longer profitable. Then they pack up shop and leave their customers high-and-dry. Not…Good…

Lastly, working with a local solar company is often just a better experience and results in a better solar installation. Not only are you working with local residents who know your state and are committed to serving you far into the future, you’re also working with professionals who know their stuff. Local solar companies often employ their own install crews as opposed to contracting out their installations. This gives the local solar company direct control and responsibility for the quality of their solar installations. From start to finish, a local solar installer is committed to providing a positive experience and quality workmanship.

In short: Ask if the solar company is based in your area or state. Working with local solar companies often results in a better experience and a superior quality solar installation. Local solar companies are committed to quality service and serving you for the long haul.


This is a critical question to ask, and one you might think should have an obvious answer…But it’s not always that simple, unfortunately. Many solar companies can provide a positive experience throughout the solar installation process, but it’s what comes after that might be even more important.

Make sure to ask your solar consultant if they provide service after installation. It’s all fine and dandy to have a solar panel system on your roof, but you want to know that a solar company will be there to help if you have any questions or any problems in the future.

Again, this is a problem with many Big-Name and out-of-state solar companies. Too often we hear of customers who had their solar panels installed, and a few years down the line run into an issue. When they reach out to their solar installer, they are met with disconnected phone numbers, inactive email addresses, and boarded-up buildings. It’s horrible, but we hear about it all the time.

This is why it is so crucial to make certain your solar company will be with you for the long run. While most solar companies can stand behind their service and be committed to assisting you after install day, that’s not a guarantee for every solar company.

As we’ll discuss in the next section, this is where warranties and guarantees become vital.

Green Ridge Solar provides service after installation, and we are always glad to help in any way we can. Contact us today with your solar questions. And use our Solar Calculator to estimate your solar savings.

In short: Ask if the solar company will provide service after installation. Some solar companies are great at installation, but are lacking or nowhere to be found afterwards. That’s another benefit of choosing a local solar company: You know where to find them if anything goes wrong.


Two of the most important aspects of a solar installation are product and service. You want to make sure you’re getting the best product for your money and the best service possible. But what if something goes wrong with either of those? That’s where warranties and guarantees come in.

Most solar installations come with product warranties and production guarantees. These cover both the quality of the product and the expected energy production of your solar panels.

Solar panels today often come with 10- to 25-year product warranties that guarantee their equipment will function as intended, be without defects, and stand up to certain physical and environmental conditions.

On top of product warranties, solar panels often come with 25- to 30-year production guarantees (also known as linear output warranties). Solar production guarantees ensure the solar panels will produce a certain percentage of their original power output after so many years. For instance, a solar panel manufacturer might guarantee their 400 Watt solar panels will produce 90% of their original output, or 370 Watts, after 30 years.

Most solar companies also provide a workmanship warranty. Workmanship warranties guarantee the design, assembly, and installation of your solar panels by the solar company. If something is designed poorly, damaged, or installed improperly, the workmanship warranty guarantees the solar company will fix the issue at no cost to you.

It’s important to ask your solar consultant about these three warranties and guarantees. You want to make sure your solar panels will perform as expected and that your solar company will provide a quality level of service and workmanship. Ask specifically about the terms and conditions of these warranties and guarantees, and get them in writing. The last thing you want is to find out your solar panels are defective, aren’t producing enough energy, or that the solar company screwed up your install and find out it’s not covered.

In Short: Ask what warranties and guarantees the solar company and solar panel manufacturers offer. Be sure to ask specifically about the terms and conditions of solar panel product warranties and production guarantees (aka linear output warranties). Also get specific details about the solar company’s workmanship warranty. And get them all in writing!


The main reason most homeowners and businesses install solar panels is to save money. By producing your own energy from solar panels, you can reduce your reliance on the utility company and decrease or eliminate your energy bills. That’s why you want to aim to produce 100% of your electricity needs from solar panels.

During your solar consultation, your solar consultant will go over the design of your solar panel system and the estimated energy production. They should also provide a chart, graph, or table estimating the production of your solar panels each month in kilowatt-hours (kWh).

This is where you should be a bit critical and maybe a little skeptical of the numbers. Many homeowners and businesses are not well versed in electricity production and might not know what they’re looking at with these estimates. And it can also be a chance for a solar company to cut corners and pad their profits.

Unfortunately, some less-than-reputable solar companies will take this opportunity to undersize or oversize your solar panel system to their financial advantage. The solar company might conveniently overestimate your energy needs and oversize your solar panel system, making them a bigger sale and bigger profit as a result. On the other hand, the solar company might underestimate your energy needs and undersize your solar panel system, making the system more affordable and undercutting competition from other solar companies…at your expense. Undersizing the system can also make it easier to get financing for your solar panel system, making the sale easier to close.

But how do you know if your solar panels will cover 100% of your energy needs? Don’t worry, we can explain. Here is how to estimate your solar energy needs.

First, you’ll need a copy of your energy bill. Your energy bill should tell you how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) you used during that month. If you have copies of your energy bills over the last 12 months, you can add all those kilowatt-hours up to get your average annual energy consumption. If you don’t have all those bills, there is often a chart on your energy bill with energy consumption for the last 12 months. You can estimate from that chart how many kilowatt-hours you used over a year. For a frame of reference, the average US home consumes about 900 kWh per month, nearly 11,000 kWh per year. For example’s sake, let’s say you consume 11,000 kWh per year.

Next, you need to know the quantity and production value of the solar panels. For instance, if your solar consultant estimates you will need ten (20) 350 Watt solar panels, that means those solar panels have the potential to produce 7,000 Watts (7 kW) per hour.

Now you need to know how many peak sunlight hours your area gets per year. Peak sunlight hours measure the number of hours a particular area receives a certain intensity of sunlight. Peak sunlight hours is not the same as the time between sunrise and sunset, as those times of day do not receive sunlight levels as intense (or productive) as during midday. The average peak sunlight hours for a home or business in the US is between 4 and 5 hours. To see peak sunlight hours in your area, check out this map. For example’s sake, let’s assume you have 4.5 peak sunlight hours in your area.

By multiplying the estimated daily production potential of your solar panels by the average peak sunlight hours in your, you get your estimated daily solar panel production. Multiply this by 365 days, and you get your estimated annual solar panel production. In this example, 7,000 Watts multiplied by 4.5 peak sunlight hours is 31,500 Watt-hours (31.5 kWh). Multiply this by 365 days, and you get 11,497,500 Watt-hours (11,498 kWh).

With those details, you can estimate how much of your energy needs your solar panels will cover. All you have to do now is divide your estimated annual solar panel production by your estimated annual energy consumption. In this example, 11,498 kWh divided by 11,000 kWh is 1.05, or 105% of your estimated energy needs. That means that the solar panel system your solar consultant is recommending in this example is pretty spot-on. It meets your energy needs plus just a little extra for comfort.

To make the math simple: 

In short: Ask your solar consultant if your solar panels will cover 100% of your energy needs. This can ensure you’re not getting a solar panel system that is undersized or oversized. To be safe, do your own calculations with the info we provided above.


Estimate your total savings, payments, and total energy usage with our FREE solar calculator.


One true test of a good solar company is the satisfaction of their customers. How was their experience with the company? What was the process like? Is their system what they hoped and were promised? Would they install with the solar company again?

These are all great questions your solar consultant can’t answer on their own. And while you can get a sense of a company’s reputation through reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, BBB, etc., it’s not the same as having an actual conversation with a real customer.

That’s why it’s a good idea to ask your solar consultant if they have a list of customers you can call and chat with. Hopefully your solar consultant has formed good relationships with numerous customers and can recommend a few right off the bat. But if not, ask for several references of customers you can call and discuss their solar experience. You might be surprised at some of the info you will learn and questions you never thought to ask.

To see our customer reviews, visit our Reviews Page. We can also provide references in your area.

In Short: Ask your solar consultant for a list of previous customers you can speak with. Those customers can provide better information than a simple Google review and give you a truer sense of their overall experience with the solar company.


This might be a softball question, but it can really tell you a lot about a solar company and the solar consultant you are working with. After all is said and done and before your solar consultant wraps up their presentation, ask them this simple question: Why should I install solar with your company?

You might get a snigger, you might get a blank stare, but you might also get the answer that clenches your decision whether to work with that solar company or not.

Listen closely to what your solar consultant has to say and think critically about the values you hold and the priorities that are forefront in your mind. Does the solar consultant’s answer place greater emphasis on the value of your investment, the quality and reliability of their service, the depth and strength of their knowledge, their reputation with former customers, or the opportunity they have to foster a relationship with you that places your experience and satisfaction above all else?

Each one of these answers can provide a great insight into who you are dealing with and the company you might choose. And each of those answers will speak differently to each person. It all depends on who you are, what priorities you have, what values you hold, and what you ultimately seek to achieve in your solar journey.

In Short: Ask your solar consultant why you should install solar with their company. Their answer could be the key to your decision whether that person and that solar company are right for you.


Researching whether solar is right for you can be a daunting task at times. There can be lots of conflicting and confusing information about solar panels and solar energy. But the best solution to understanding if solar is right for you is to ask questions, and lots of them.

Thankfully, there are solar companies that are able to answer your solar questions and help you understand solar and have a positive solar experience, whether you install solar panels or not. Take the opportunity during your solar consultation to ask as many questions as it takes to help you be confident and comfortable in your solar decisions.

Just keep these 6 important questions in mind when researching solar panels and solar energy. They will go a long way in helping you determine if solar is right for you, your family, or your business.

Want to find out if solar is right for you? Request your free solar analysis today!

Have questions about solar panels, battery backup, EV charging, or something else? Contact us today and get answers.


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