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You having the knowledge to make an educated decision is a priority to us. Click each category below to discover the questions you need to be asking yourself and your potential vendor.

About the company

1. How long has your company been in business?

2. How long have you been installing solar?

3. How many installs have you done?

4. What is your install timeframe?

5. Do you have other customers I could contact?

6. What licenses and insurance does your company have (Contractor license, liability insurance, worker's compensation)?

7. Will you handle all ncessary work or will you be subcontracting?

8. Do you have a commercial facility or warehouse location where you keep a solar inventory?

9. Who will be working with my utility company?

10. Who will be setting up the inspection and ensure it gets approved?

Questions to ask yourself

1. Are there additional costs that aren't included in my quote?

2. Am I taking advantage of all of Western Iowa Power Cooperative's programs to save on my energy bill without making a capital investment?

3. I will no longer qualify for Switch Makes Cents, what will that do to my bill?

4. How many kilowatt hours am I using in a year and how are they being used?

5. What percent of my bill is currently under the Switch Makes Cents Program?

6. Would I be able to break out my service to keep my Switch Makes Cents?

7. What type of rate increases do you I think will happen over 25 years?

8. What will this do to my property taxes?

9. Will I need a building permit?

10. What will insurance cost me?

11. What if there would be a fire?

12. Am I needing financing, what cost will that add?

13. How long do I plan to live at this home?

14. What value will the array add to my property if I choose to sell my home?

15. Will I be using as many kilowatts in the future as I use today?

16. Do you know if you will be able to take all the tax credits?

17. Would your project qualify for a REAP (Rural Energy for America) grant?

Maintenance

1. What do I need to do to maintain my array?

2. How accessible will the system be for maintenance and repairs?

Safety

1. What voltage is your array?

2. Is it GFDI equipped?

3. Will I need to fence in the area or prepare the area before install?

4. How would I locate a wire issue if one would arise?

5. How does your panel respond to voltage imbalance?

Sizing

1. What percent of my electrical usage will be offset?

2. What are you using for my electric rate to compute my payback?

3. How many years will it take to pay off and are you assuming all tax credits when calculating?

4. How much land area will the array require for install?

Warranty

1. What is your warranty?

2. Does the warranty start from date installed or from when the panels and inverters were delivered to you? How long have they been in inventory?

3. What is the durability of your system? (Wind speed, hail, etc.

Production

1. How would my load be staged?

2. How can I monitor production? Extra cost?

3. Where is the best place to install my panels?

4. What about shading?

5. If shading occurs, how much of my panel and array will be affected?

6. Will I need to change angle or make adjustments to achieve max production?

7. If a panel is damage will my array continue to produce until repaired?

8. What is the life expectancy of the system? Inverter?

9. Does your product have a production warranty and what does it include?

10. Can you show me my expected production by year including degradation?