Ready to go green? Installing solar panels on your home will reduce your environmental impact, cut your utility costs, and help to secure an independent energy future for your family. Although some homeowners choose a do-it-yourself approach, most elect to have their panels installed by professionals. Below are three tips to help you choose the right full-service installer for your system.

1. Understand Local Licensing Requirements

Solar system installation in the United States is a partially regulated industry. Several states require that contractors obtain licenses, while many others do not. Although the solar industry is mature and filled with reputable companies, the varying licensing requirements can sometimes make it hard for consumers to navigate the installer landscape.

To begin, determine if your state has any specific licensing requirements for solar contractors. If not, look for companies certified with either the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) or the Solar Rating & Certification Corporation (SRCC). Although these certifications are voluntary, they can help provide peace of mind that your installer is well-qualified.

2. Discuss Component Selection and System Design

There's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to residential solar design. Every home and location is unique, and every homeowner has their own specific requirements. Don't be afraid to discuss these issues with installers before you settle on a contractor. In many ways, your installer's approach to system design can tell you a lot about how their company operates.

In general, look for contractors that are willing to understand your needs and budget. These installers will try to fit a system to your specific requirements so that you can get the most out of your purchase. Taking this bespoke approach to solar design will help you to be happier with your purchase over the long run, even before you break even on your costs.

3. Ask About Long-Term Support

Most installers will stand by their work, but warranties and support can vary from company to company. Solar panels typically don't require much maintenance, but make sure you talk with your installer about warranty coverage and the claims process. You're making a significant investment in your home, so you want to be sure that you can quickly resolve any issues you may face.

Your solar system is something that you'll enjoy for years and even decades to come. Taking the time to select an installer will minimize installation issues and help you to obtain a reliable and efficient source of energy for your home. Contact a solar installation professional to learn more.