How to Choose a Solar Provider

Hiring A Solar PV Contractor

1. Do your research

  • If you are new to solar, read the Solar Consumers Guide. This document will walk through all the important terminology and different solar technology available. If you are only interested in Solar Photovoltaics (PV) or solar electricity, SESA offers Solar PV 101 classes in Edmonton quite regularly. Please see our class list for more information.
  • Check the Solar Energy Society's "Alberta Solar Providers Directory" for companies that offer the services you want. You can filter the companies by clicking on the check boxes on the right side of the page.

2. Solicit multiple quotes

  • It is best to ask for quotes from 2 to 4 companies.

3. Expectations from the quoting companies

  • A phone conversation to answer all of your questions
  • An economic analysis based on the information you provide, satellite photos of your site, and your electricity bills.  Make sure they don't "just" divide your bill by the kWh on your bill to come up with an electricity price because that is not the correct way to do it.
  • A visit to your site – usually free or with a small deposit fee if there is a large distance to travel.  The fee can be refundable if you choose their company for your PV system. We do not recommend hiring any company that does not visit your site before submitting a bid.

4. Enquire about

  • Number of systems the company has installed
  • PV installation certification for their company
  • Length of time being in business
  • Warranties for their products and their installation labour

5. Request references

  • It is really important to ask for 3 to 6 references of similar projects.

6. Request documentation

  • Proof of comprehensive general liability (CGL) insurance
  • Proof of Workers Compensation Board (WCB) insurance, both at the start and at the end of their work on your PV system

7. Require a complete contract, showing

  • the project and installation timetable
  • which company is doing the work
  • data sheets providing the specifications of the equipment they will be installing
  • the DC and the AC capacity of the PV system that they will be installing
  • the amount of energy they expect your PV system will generate over the year
  • warranties for their product and their installation labour
  • schedule for payments
  • details of their change order process
  • their dispute resolution process