Going solar is a wise choice that can provide your home with clean energy for decades. But signing a solar contract can be exhausting, especially when you talk to companies that negotiate with dishonesty and provide disreputable service. That’s why we have created this guide to your solar rights.
At Option One Solar, we value customer satisfaction and transparency, making sure you know exactly what we are doing. We support The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and require all our solar customers to read and sign The California Solar Consumer Protection Guide. This 23-page document contains essential information about the solar industry and your rights as a customer.
We’ve created this simple guide to help you understand what your rights are, and what to look out for when looking for the right company.
Your Rights As An American Solar Customer
There are laws protecting American homeowners in California that buy solar, and there’s a reason they exist. Some bigger solar companies are just in business to make money, and these laws were created to protect homeowners like you from deceitful businesses like them.
Let’s go over your solar rights:
- Any solar provider must give you time to read The California Solar Consumer Protection Guide. If they do not allow you to read this guide, they cannot connect your solar system to the electric grid.
- The Solar Disclosure Form must be provided to you from your preferred solar company and The Contractors State License Board (CSLB).
If this document is not included in your contract, DO NOT SIGN IT!
- The solar company must provide you with a full copy of your contract and financing agreement in your language.
- You have the right to cancel your contract 3 business days after it is signed, for any reason. If you are 65 years of age or older, this cancellation period is extended to 5-days.
Option One Solar has made the education of these rights part of our normal installation process. We have nothing to hide, and we feel the need to educate and protect all solar customers.
Find The Right Solar Company
The California Solar Consumer Protection Guide provides an easy, step-by-step process to help you find the best solar company for your situation. Not all companies are the same, and some may not last throughout the entire life of your solar system.
Quick guidelines for finding the right solar installer:
Step #1: Create a list of local solar companies
Doing a quick google search for solar companies in your area can help you find local companies to talk to. Be sure to look for companies with high ratings and good reviews. Local companies are usually better than nationwide providers, both in price and quality.
Step #2: Only use solar companies with a CSLB license
For peace of mind, you should go with a solar company that has a current and valid license as a contractor. If the company you’re talking to does not have a license, they are not the same company that will be doing the installation of your system. Likewise, if the contractor is not the same company as your solar provider, then getting service for your solar panels could become difficult.
Step #3: Get 3 solar quotes
After you’ve got a great list of licensed solar contractors, be sure to get at least 3 quotes before choosing one. Even if you already know which company you want to go with, this will help you negotiate the best price.
Step#4: Ask solar questions
Here is a quick list:
- How long has the company been in business?
- What kind of background does the company have?
- How well are your home and location suited for solar?
- What types of warranties does the company provide?
Your Solar Rights On Electricity Bills
At the end of each month, homeowners usually receive an electricity bill that provides a summary of how much electricity they used. When you have solar, sometimes you produce more electricity than you use. The utility company has to compensate you for the extra energy, which is referred to as NEM.
What is NEM?
NEM stands for Net Energy Metering. When you produce solar energy, your utility company has a special arrangement called Net Energy Metering. With NEM you earn financial credit for all the extra electricity you send back to the utility company.
Now, at the end of each month, your bill will provide details on how much electricity you used and how much you sent back to the grid. Your credits, if not used, will transfer to the next month. Usually, the only charge will be for a connection fee.
True-Up Solar Settlement Bill
Known as the “True-Up Bill”, the settlement at the end of each year for solar homes. This bill is where you are charged for the net electricity you consumed after subtracting the NEM credits. If you produced more electricity than you used, you will be eligible for “net surplus compensation” which is typically 2-3 cents per kilowatt-hour.
That’s correct! With solar panels on your home, the local utility company might just have to start paying you. If you are ready to go solar, be sure to let us provide a free quote. Option One Solar has been the leading solar installer in the High Desert for many years.
If you have already received a quote from other companies, one of our solar sales experts would happily review it over the phone with you and let you know if it’s a good investment. We will analyze the proposal and ensure you are being quoted fairly. Give us a call at 760-646-8444.