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If you’re thinking of buying a photovoltaic (PV) system, one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make is which photovoltaic system installer to choose. PV technology converts the sun’s rays into electricity, giving you the power to produce your own energy without noise, pollution or moving parts.

A PV system never runs out of fuel and doesn’t cost you a penny beyond maintenance to operate. You’ll get the most from your investment if you choose a reputable photovoltaic system installer. Utilize these tips to sort through the bids you have received.

It’s about more than just the price. Often you get what you pay for, so be skeptical of the lowest price, especially if it’s significantly lower than the other bids you have received.

Make sure the bids are for the same type of system. Comparing the price of a ground-mounted system to a roof-mounted installation is like comparing apples to oranges. Plus, different PV modules generate more electricity with smaller square footage, which affects the system’s size and corresponding bid.

Understand the system’s maximum energy-producing ability. Make sure the bids from each photovoltaic system installer state the system’s maximum electricity production capabilities (in watts or kilowatts). It’s particularly beneficial to get information regarding average annual energy production (in kilowatt-hours) because the amount of sunny days in Ohio varies from that in other states.

Consider the warranty. A good manufacturer’s warranty is very important when comparing bids. Choose a photovoltaic system installer who offers at least a five-year warranty, which covers the full cost to repair or replace defective parts.

In addition, Ohio law also requires a photovoltaic system installer to offer at least one year of free labor when removing defective components and installing new ones. Look for annual maintenance as part of an installer’s package as well.

Get the total cost. 
Every bid should also contain information regarding installation, hardware, grid connections, permits and sales tax that add up to a comprehensive cost. Your installer should also provide you with details about the 30 percent federal tax credit and other incentives for qualified solar installations.

To get your PV system installation underway, please contact us at Stack Heating & Cooling. We’re a trusted photovoltaic system installer serving the Greater Cleveland area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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