Step 2: How to Hire

You’re ready to go solar, and you’ve received a few quotes. How do you decide which eligible contractor to work with?

The most challenging decision

Your choice of contractor is just as important as the system itself and how you choose to finance it. Remember that the contractor’s service and workmanship will impact the safety, energy production, and overall performance of your solar installation for decades.

Choosing an Eligible Contractor

In order to qualify for Connecticut's solar incentive, homeowners need to work with an eligible contractor

The Connecticut Green Bank qualifies these companies, ensuring that they have properly trained and licensed staff, have adequate insurance coverage, and offer a minimum 5-year workmanship warranty.

Licensing & Training

In Connecticut, a solar contractor must have a Connecticut Master Electrician’s license (E-1) to obtain the proper permitting and interconnection approvals. Additionally, if the solar contractor sub-contracts the electrician’s work, they must have a Home Improvement Contractor’s license, and salespeople require Home Improvement Salesperson licenses as well.

The Connecticut Green Bank requires that all companies have at least one NABCEP Entry Level accredited professional on their staff. The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) offers training and testing for this certification. At a minimum, a company should have a NABCEP-certified professional provide quality assurance for every system that the company installs. Ideally, any crew that the company sends to work on a project in the field will include at least one professional with this certification.

Insurance

In order to qualify to offer the Connecticut Green Bank’s solar rebate, all solar contractors are required to carry at least $1,000,000 of Commercial General Liability coverage.

Workmanship warranties

One way that installers differentiate their work is through the warranties they offer specific to the workmanship of the installation. 

This is different from the manufacturing warranties on the equipment (panels and inverters), and specific to the labor and expertise of designing and constructing the solar system that incorporates this equipment.

Workmanship warranties vary in length, typically from 5-15 years, and the longer the warranty the greater assurance that the installer will stand behind the system design and construction for a significant portion of the life of the system. To offer rebates to homeowners, the Connecticut Green Bank requires all Eligible Contractors to offer a 5-year workmanship warranty. At minimum, this warranty covers all system components for 5 years against breakdown and from degradation in the system’s energy output of no more than 10% from its original levels.

Many of Connecticut’s Eligible Contractors participate in the EnergySage Solar Marketplace and can offer online quotes to homeowners ready to go solar. Click here to enter the Marketplace.

Use of sub-contractors

Some of Connecticut’s eligible contractors may use sub-contractors for all or a portion of the installation work. However, the eligible contractor is ultimately responsible for the final product.

Performance Monitoring

Connecticut Green Bank requires eligible contractors install an approved revenue grade performance monitor on each system. These monitors enable you to confirm that your system and panels are performing correctly, and allow you to track your system’s production.