What Happens If Your Solar Company Closes, and How to Avoid It
Oct 16, 2017
by EmPower Solar
SOMEONE KNOCKED ON YOUR DOOR, YOU SIGNED UP TO GO SOLAR, AND NOW THEY’RE OUT OF BUSINESS – SOUND FAMILIAR? YOU’RE NOT ALONE!
After hearing news about your solar installer closing down, you’re probably thinking, “What happens to my system now?” Thousands of Long Island and New York City residents are in the same boat after Level Solar closed in September and several others have closed earlier this year. Many of these homeowners are protected by a 20-year agreement and, or, a manufacturer’s warranty that will long outlive the installer that happened to put their system up.
Why is this happening?
Solar is evolving from early adopter to mass deployment, attracting many new businesses, some looking to make a quick buck. Some businesses used aggressive sales tactics such as door knocking and cold calling to generate fast business growth, and many of these operations have come and gone.
Many well established Long Island solar companies, like EmPower Solar, have been around since the early 2000’s. After the big New York solar boom of 2013, many national companies opened offices here and others popped up seemingly overnight. Unfortunately, they didn’t all exactly embrace the same “amazing customer experience” culture that we did and instead focused on rapid growth. As a result, many of them received low customer satisfaction ratings, and frankly, didn’t make it. There are companies, like us, who focused on consistent, sustainable, and scaled growth, and these are the ones that will continue to have a place in the local market for the long haul.
What do I do if my company is no longer around?
Step 1. Don’t panic. If your auto mechanic closed shop, you’d find another one, right?
- If you own your system – the choice is yours! Do your research to find a reliable and high-quality company any time you have a service need. Luckily, EmPower Solar has a full-time service department and we’ve already helped hundreds of homeowners who no longer have a local service provider. If you need your solar panels serviced, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 516-837-3459 x 12156
- If you have a solar lease or have a long-term solar PPA agreement – there is likely an alternative company scheduled to pick up the service agreement you signed. Most of these agreements are for 20 years and the terms of your agreement shouldn’t change just because they’re being serviced by another company. Find out from your initial service provider who that company is and make sure you’re either paying your bill every month or mentally setting aside that money if there’s been a lapse in your billing cycle.
The bottom line is: Solar on Long Island is a strong, robust, dependable, and long-lasting industry. When done correctly, companies will continue to find success in the marketplace. You can find industry projections and insights here:
As for us, EmPower Solar continues to receive unprecedented customer satisfaction ratings from our clients and has had several record years in a row by EmPowering more homeowners than ever.
Going solar is always the right decision and Long Islanders should feel safe and secure in making the decision to go solar. Like any other big home improvement, it is important to do your consumer research, and know what questions to ask. We’ve put together a checklist of important topics to cover when doing your solar research.
The most important things to look for: (THE THREE Ps – People, product, pricing + production. Or, who, what, and how much?)
- PEOPLE: Company History & Reviews:– Who is the company? How many years have they been in business? Where are they based, where do their employees and clients live and are they credible? Look up online reviews, call some of their clients, and drive by their installations.
- PRODUCT – What technology is being offered? SunPower’s high-efficiency panels range from 327 – 360 watts per panel. Anything below that is 5-year-old technology. Are they proposing central or micro inverters? (Hint – micro inverters are better, newer technology.) It’s also important to ask about the financial condition of the manufacturer. SunPower is backed by Total – a top 10 global company.
- PRICING AND PRODUCTION – How much are they charging and how much are they saving you? No sense buying a small system for a cheap price if you’re still stuck with a high energy bill from the utility company. Smart consumers think LONG TERM and look at how much they will spend and how much they will save over the lifetime of the solar system.