Diamond Certified Companies are Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

  • Why this rating is the most accurate.
  • Our editors gather deep company info.
  • Performance is Guaranteed.

Diamond certified companies are top rated and guaranteed

Why Trust Diamond Certified Solar Companies Rated Highest in Quality?

Photo: Your Energy Solutions (2017)

You are the customer. If your goal is to choose a solar company that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified solar contractor. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated solar power company and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top-rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you’ll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS IN THE Alameda County – Solar CATEGORY

Jim Gitas is a 10-year veteran of the solar industry and CEO of Your Energy Solutions, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (888) 928-1425 or by email.

Jim Gitas

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Jim Gitas: Green Aspirations

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

PLEASANTON — Before he was providing energy solutions for Bay Area homeowners, Jim Gitas had an accomplished career in a different type of Green business. “I used to own one of the largest independent mobile paper shredding companies in the Bay Area,” he explains. “I got started working with my mom when I was nine years old. She was a pioneer in the recycling industry—in 1979, she created one of the first mobile document shredding trucks. I remember riding in the passenger seat and watching people’s reactions as this huge beast roared down the street. When I reached adulthood, I decided to keep working in the recycling industry, and that’s where I stayed for 20 years until I sold my company.”

While Jim could have retired comfortably at this point, he felt there were still big things in store for his professional career. “I was too young to retire and decided I wanted to get into another aspect of Green business,” he says. “I was particularly intrigued by solar and started researching it. In 2007, I started my own solar and energy efficiency company, and I’m still at it today. I’ve been trying to break the laws of physics since I was a kid, so this is the closest I can get to doing it!”

Today, as CEO of Your Energy Solutions, Jim says his favorite part of his job is interacting with customers. “Besides having a passion for renewable energy, I really enjoy meeting different people. My job allows me to do that and enrich their lives as well, which is very rewarding. I’ve had many customers contact me over the years and tell me how happy they are about their decision to switch to solar. When everyone is happy, it makes your job very enjoyable.”

A resident of Danville (where he lives with his wife and two children), Jim likes to stay active in his free time. “I walk 10 miles a day during the week and try to get in a 20-mile walk on the weekend,” he says. “It was actually my dog, Revel, who got me into walking. He’s half Pomeranian and half Husky, both of which are very hyper breeds, so he needs to walk a lot to get all that energy out.” Jim also enjoys aquatic activities like fishing and jet skiing, and he has a special passion for music. “I play piano a little bit and was a singer when I was younger. Both of my kids are very involved in music, so we’ve kind of become a musical family, which has been a really cool experience.”

In regard to a professional philosophy, Jim shares a bit of wisdom he received from his mother. “My mom imparted a lot of her values to me and my brothers, and we all carry that forward to this day,” he affirms. “The biggest lesson I learned from her is to treat your customers the same way you want to be treated. We’re all customers at some point, so it’s important to show your customers respect and treat them ethically and honestly. If you plant good seeds, you get good fruit, so that’s what I try to do every day.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: If you could immediately master any musical instrument, what would you choose?
A: The guitar. I’ve never really been able to play it because my fingers are too big.

Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
A: Both. I only sleep about four hours a day—I go to bed around 2am and get up around 6am.

Q: What’s your favorite movie?
A: “Braveheart.”

Q: What was your favorite toy as a child?
A: Those big, wooden cable spools. As a kid, I found one and learned how to stand up and walk around on it, kind of like a unicycle. To this day, if I see one, I’ll jump up on it and roll around. It really trips people out!

Q: What’s your favorite thing to eat for dessert?
A: Ice cream.

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Considering Roof Size When Choosing Solar Panels

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PLEASANTON — It may seem like all solar panels are the same, but this isn’t the case. Most solar manufacturers offer different grades of panels, ranging from standard efficiency to high efficiency. Naturally, the higher the efficiency of a panel, the higher… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Roof Size and Solar Panel Selection

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Complete Video Transcription:

PLEASANTON — Host, Sarah Rutan: When it comes to designing a solar energy system, one good principle is to let your roof be your guide. Today we’re in… Read more

Sean O’Brien is a 40-year veteran of the roofing industry and general manager of Sierra Roofing & Solar, a Diamond Certified company since 2011. He can be reached at (510) 244-2720 or by email.

Sean O'Brien

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Sean O’Brien: Roofing Livelihood

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

DUBLIN — When Sean O’Brien first started roofing as a teenager, it was just a way to make money on the weekends—he never realized it would lead to a lifelong livelihood. “During high school, I had a friend whose dad owned a roofing company, so we got recruited to help out on the weekends,” he remembers. “After graduating, I wanted to get into some aspect of construction, and since I had some experience with roofing, I figured that would be an ‘in.’ So, I walked into the largest union roofing company in Sonoma County, met the owner and somehow convinced him to hire me. To this day, I appreciate him for giving me a chance, because I’ve enjoyed my career in the roofing industry very much.”

Today, as general manager of Sierra Roofing & Solar, Sean says his favorite part of his job is serving customers. “At the heart of it, we’re a service company, and the service side is what I enjoy most. I just like going to customers’ homes and being the guy who can provide the service they need. That’s always been the thing that drives me, and I continue to find it rewarding.”

A lifetime Bay Area resident, Sean says there’s no place he’d rather be. “I spent my younger years in Marin and Sonoma Counties before moving to the East Bay in 2003. After all these years, I still think the Bay Area is the greatest place on earth. The weather, the people, the beaches, the mountains, the redwood trees…I love this place!”

Outside of work, Sean engages in a variety of active pastimes, from sports to family gatherings. “I enjoy playing golf, going to San Francisco Giants games and hanging out with my family,” he says. “Besides my wife, Sharon, and my two grown children, Kevin and Christina, I have a lot of family in the area, including my mom, four sisters and several cousins, so we spend a lot of time together.” However, as much as Sean likes staying active, every so often he likes to just unwind. “Going to the beach is the number one way I like to relax. Now that I live in the East Bay, I go out to Half Moon Bay most weekends to enjoy the serenity of the ocean.”

In his life and career, Sean espouses the importance of maintaining a temperate perspective. “I’ve found it’s always best to consider the long term and not get too caught up in what’s happening in the moment—especially if things aren’t going your way,” he advises. “Instead of getting frustrated by a momentary setback, it’s better to look at the big picture and do the best you can. After all, even if today wasn’t your best day, you get another shot tomorrow morning. The same is true if you’re having a great day—you should take pride in doing well, but you should also keep in mind that tomorrow may not be as successful. Basically, it’s all about keeping an even keel and doing the best you can every day.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Sean says he’d head to the golf course. “If the weather was nice, the first thing I’d do is grab my clubs and play a round of golf while everybody else is at work and the course is empty. In the long term, I hope to do a lot of traveling. My wife is already semi-retired, so we’re starting to look at places we’d like to visit when that time arrives.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
A: An early bird—I can’t remember the last time I stayed up past 9:30pm.

Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
A: Thanksgiving. It’s like Christmas but without all the stress of buying gifts—just good food and good times with family.

Q: Music or talk radio?
A: I like them both. I usually toggle between NPR, sports talk and various music stations.

Q: What was your favorite toy as a child?
A: My baseball. Give me a glove, a bat, and a ball and I was a happy kid.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Gummy bears.

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A Program To Maximize Roof Lifespan

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DUBLIN — Making the most of a new roof isn’t about paying less for it—at least, not upfront. The fact is, by investing in quality at the outset, you’re more likely to save money in the long term than you are… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: The Value of a Roof Maintenance Program

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Complete Video Transcription:

DUBLIN — Host, Sarah Rutan: After having a new roof installed on your home, consider protecting your investment with a proactive maintenance program. Today we’re… Read more

SELECTED PHOTOS FROM THESE TOP RATED COMPANIES

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INDUSTRY INFORMATION AND RESEARCHED ARTICLES BY THE DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESOURCE

  • GAF

  • Amerimax

  • Duralum

  • Lennox

  • Enphase

  • SolarWorld

  • SolarEdge

  • LG

  • SMA

  • Sunpower

Advent Solar
Amonix Inc
Atlantis Energy System Inc.
B P Solar
Canrom Photovoltaics
DayStar Technologies
Energy Photovoltaics
Evergreen Solar
First Solar
GE Energy
Global Solar Energy
Innergy Power Corp
Kyocera Solar Panels
Matrix Solar Technologies
Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics
Mitsui Comtek
Pacific SolarTech
SANYO Energy
Sanyo Semiconductors
Sharp Manufacturing
Solar Power Industries
Sunpower Corporation
Sunwatt Corporation
Sunwize Technologies
Terra Solar Global
United Solar Ovonic
Fronius Solar Inverters
SMA Technologies
SunTech

solar panels
solar energy systems
home solar systems
solar water systems
solar lighting
solar panel installation
solar hot water heating
solar electricity
solar generators
solar photovoltaic panel installation
solar inverters
residential solar power
commercial solar power
solar generators
portable solar power
solar roofing
solar power kits
solar modules
solar concentrators
solar thermal systems
alternative energy solar systems
pv panels
renewable energy systems

Alameda
Albany
Ashland
Berkeley
Castro Valley
Cherryland
Dublin
Emeryville
Fremont
Hayward
Komandorski Village
Livermore
Mount Eden
Newark
Oakland
Piedmont
Pleasanton
Russell City
San Leandro
San Lorenzo
Sunol
Union City

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Know What You Want
Know What You Want from a Solar Array for Your Home or Business

Making an investment in harvesting solar energy is an important decision. You will get the best results from your investment if you have some idea of what you want your solar investment to do for you before you begin talking with representatives from solar contractor in Alameda County.

Be able to answer the following:

  • Do I want a Diamond Certified solar energy company that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Guarantee?
  • What do I want from an investment in solar power?
  • Do I want to reduce the amount of electricity I buy from the utility by generating some of my own?
  • Do I want to generate more electricity than I need so that I can sell some for a profit?
  • Do I want my solar investment to provide hot water and heating/cooling
  • If I’m interested in generating electricity, have I used a free solar calculator to give myself some idea of the cost and benefits? (Free solar calculator)
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What To Ask In Person
How To Interview Alameda County Solar Contractors in Person

Some questions simply cannot be answered until a qualified site assessor visits your home or business, as the quality of sunlight can vary significantly from site to site.

These sample questions will get you started and can supplement your own questions about your new solar panels and solar energy system.

  • How will the site assessment work?
  • Is my home or business site better suited to one type of solar power over another? If so, why?
  • If the site is suitable for a solar thermal system, how much work will be required to make the solar energy system deliver heating, cooling, and hot water beyond simply getting the solar array onto my roof or other part of my property?
  • How does selling back electricity work in Alameda County? Is that something I can accomplish with this solar panel system?
  • How long does a solar installation like the one I’m considering take?
  • When can I receive a written estimate for my solar system installation?
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  • What To Ask References
    Interview Former and Current Clients of Alameda County Solar Companies

    It’s best to choose a Diamond Certified solar company because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from solar panel installers in Alameda County, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company. Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified companies. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews. That’s because all research is performed in live telephone interviews of actual customers.

    If you can’t find a Diamond Certified solar contractor/installer within reach, you’ll have to do some research on your own. If you do, it’s wise to call some references provided by your solar contractor/installer. Keep in mind, though, that references provided to you by A;ameda County solar contractors are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process. That’s because references given to customers from companies are cherry-picked instead of randomly selected from all their customers.

    If you do call references on your own, specifically ask for a list of the company’s 10 most recent customers. This will help avoid them giving you the names of only customers they know were satisfied.

    • Did you have a solar array installed at your home or business by (name of the solar company in question)?
    • Did you receive a site assessment from (name of the company in question)?
    • What kind of solar array did you have installed?
    • How satisfied were you with the work?
    • Has the solar array operated the way you expected?
    • Have your energy bills been reduced as much as you expected?
    • (If you have a PV array) Are you selling electricity back to the utility?
    • If so, how has the experience been for you?
    • Are you making as much money as you expected?
    • How does payment for excess electricity work for you?
    • Would you recommend that someone else invest in a PV array large enough to sell electricity back to the utility?
    • How did the federal and state incentives figure into your decision to invest?
    • How did the federal and state incentives affect your ability to pay for the solar investment?
    • Do you have any advice or information we haven’t touched on yet?
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  • Review Your Options
    Cooperate with Your Alameda County Solar Panel Installation Contractors

    The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

    It’s best to choose a Diamond Certified solar contractor because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from a solar energy company in Alameda County and the greater Bay Area, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company. Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified companies. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews.

    It’s best to choose a Diamond Certified solar contractor because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from a solar energy company in Alameda County and the greater Bay Area, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company. Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified companies. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews. That’s because all research is performed in live telephone interviews of actual customers.

    If a Diamond Certified solar company isn’t available in your area of Alameda County, or you can’t find one suitable for your necessary solar panel installation work, you will have to do some research on your own. An Internet search with the terms “solar contractor installer” and “Alameda County” will yield a number of results. Once you have found a solar contractor and installer, you will want to be certain that the company is properly licensed.

    All contractors performing work valued at $500 or more must hold a current valid license from the Contractors’ State License Board. Licenses can be checked at the CSLB website. Additionally, the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) PV installer certification is a voluntary certification that provides a set of national standards by which PV installers with skills and experience can distinguish themselves from their competition. Certification provides a measure of protection to the public by giving them a credential for judging the competency of practitioners.

    Learning the basic terms and concepts of solar energy will make your working relationship with your solar contractor/installer much easier. Having realistic expectations about the cost of an array and how long it might take for an array to pay for itself also will help. Use a solar calculator to give yourself an idea of the money involved. Know what you are spending on energy before having a site assessment. Be prepared to hear that your site may not be suitable for a specific type of solar array, but do ask for a explanation.

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  • How To Work With
    Cooperate with Your Alameda County Solar Panel Installation Contractors

    It’s best to choose a Diamond Certified solar contractor because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from a solar energy company in Alameda County and the greater Bay Area, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company. Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified companies. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews. That’s because all research is performed in live telephone interviews of actual customers.

    If a Diamond Certified solar company isn’t available in your area of Alameda County, or you can’t find one suitable for your necessary solar panel installation work, you will have to do some research on your own. An Internet search with the terms “solar contractor installer” and “Alameda County” will yield a number of results. Once you have found a solar contractor and installer, you will want to be certain that the company is properly licensed.

    All contractors performing work valued at $500 or more must hold a current valid license from the Contractors’ State License Board. Licenses can be checked at the CSLB website. Additionally, the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) PV installer certification is a voluntary certification that provides a set of national standards by which PV installers with skills and experience can distinguish themselves from their competition. Certification provides a measure of protection to the public by giving them a credential for judging the competency of practitioners.

    Learning the basic terms and concepts of solar energy will make your working relationship with your solar contractor/installer much easier. Having realistic expectations about the cost of an array and how long it might take for an array to pay for itself also will help. Use a solar calculator to give yourself an idea of the money involved. Know what you are spending on energy before having a site assessment. Be prepared to hear that your site may not be suitable for a specific type of solar array, but do ask for a explanation.

    Read moreRead less
  • Be a Good Customer
    How Can You Be a Good Solar Energy Customer?

    It’s the Alameda County solar company’s responsibility put in quality solar panels and solar energy systems using the best possible installation techniques.

    But you play a big part in the success of your solar system installatin, too. Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring a Alameda County solar contractor.

    • Be clear and upfront with the solar contractor/installer. Let them know what you want from your solar investment, the long-term outcome you’re expecting from your solar sytsem and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations.
    • Remember, a friendly smile goes a long way in maintaining a professional and cooperative working relationship.
    • Before you hire a solar panel installer in Alameda County, restate your expectations and goals, and reiterate to the solar company representative your understanding of the agreement. Most problems with local solar companies occur because of a breakdown in communication. By being clear about your expectations and theirs, you can avoid most conflicts.
    • Ask your solar panel installer if you should call to check on the progress or if he will call you with updates.
    • Be sure your service representative has a phone number where they can reach you at all times while they’re installing your solar array. The work will move along more smoothly if your solar contractor can reach you for any necessary updates, questions or work authorizations.
    • When your solar system contractor contacts you, return calls promptly to keep the solar panel installation on schedule.
    • Pay for the work promptly.

    Why would you want to be a good customer? Solar contractors in Alameda County appreciate customers who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with. Your good customer behavior sets the tone from your end and creates an environment conducive to a good relationship. Things may very well go smoother and any problems may be more easily resolved.

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Check The Work
Check the Home Solar Panel Installation

Make certain you know what you are buying and that it meets your specifications before it’s installed.

Once the work is complete, check your invoice carefully to make certain you received what you have paid for. Compare the estimates you were given to the final prices on the invoice.

Politely but firmly request explanations for discrepancies. Honest mistakes can be made; checking the invoice can help correct them promptly.

A complete solar installation invoice usually includes the following items:

  • The name, physical address and license number of the solar contractor.
  • A complete list of all solar system work performed.
  • An itemized list of all new solar panels, solar fixtures, materials and replacement parts installed.
  • The total cost, including the amount due for labor and solar panel materials.
  • Any applicable warrantees or guarantees provided by the solar panel manufacturers and the solar installation company.
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Written Warranties
Insist on Written Warranties for All New Solar Panel Installations

Written warranties will protect you and your home against faulty solar systems or poor installation. A good written guarantee for solar energy system installation should include:

  • The solar contracting firm name, physical address and contractors license number.
  • What solar system materials and work are covered, including whether the solar contractor will replace or repair the solar panels/solar energy system or give you a refund if you have to place a warranty claim.
  • Your responsibility if you need warranty work (i.e., if you have to pay for labor when filing a claim or pay a prorated amount).
  • Terms and limitations of the new solar panels or solar panel repair warranty.
  • If the solar installation warranty coverage is transferrable to the new owner if you sell your home.
  • Any exclusions to the warranty must be in writing.
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Top 10 Requests
Popular Solar Panel and Home Solar System Brands

When investing in home solar panels, you will want to be certain that you are investing in value. Your solar array should provide you with many years of operation.

The brands listed below are among the most widely used in Alameda County. Some companies have established reputations for reliability, while others are newer companies working with exciting advancements in the solar industry.

Ask your solar system installer which brands they most recommend for your home and why.

DayStar Technologies
DayStar manufactures thin-film photovoltaic panels aimed principally at utilities and commercial customers. However, the design of DayStar’s arrays is such that residential customers can use the thin-film panels in a standard mounting system.

Evergreen Solar 
Evergreen Solar manufactures photovoltaic cells for use by a variety of manufacturers in the United States. The company specializes in a high-efficiency method for manufacturing silicon wafers.

First Solar Products   
First Solar offers a complete line of solar thermal products for use in all climates and all seasons. Evacuated tubes and special coatings allow for the heating of water even under cloudy skies and freezing tempertatures.

Fronius USA LLC
Fronius produces inverters for use with photovoltaic arrays, turning the DC current produced by PV into AC current used in your home or business and on the grid.

GE Energy
GE offers a very large selection of energy products for a variety of scales of operation. Included in the GE line are photovoltaic arrays for residential and commercial customers with good performance under a variety of conditions, a GE warrantee, and end-of-life recycling.

Mitsui Comtek 
Mitsui provides photovoltaic arrays to Berkeley-based PowerLight Corporation, which uses a patented rooftop installation system to lower installation costs.

Pacific SolarTech 
Pacific SolarTech offers a blended photovoltaic and concentrator technology in the form of modules which can be used by residential and commercial customers as well as utility-level generators. The concentrator feature allows the modules to use a fraction of the silicon used in conventional arrays.

Sunpower Corporation 
Sunpower Corporation offers photovoltaic arrays of several types to residential and commercial customers, government customers, and power plant customers. Sunpower offers up to a 25-year warrantee on their products and on installation by their network of dealers.

Sunwize Technologies residential and commercial photovoltaics
Sunwize provides photovoltaics for residential and commercial customers both on- and off-grid as well as government customers. Sunwize has 20 years in the solar business and serves a wide variety of customers in a wide variety of applications.

Terra Solar
Terra Solar specializes in photovoltaics for residential and commercial customers. The company is vertically integrated and has its own research and development, manufacturing, and sales. Terra solar offers thin-film PV for building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV).

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Glossary Of Terms
Solar Energy FAQ

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified solar contractor or solar system installer?

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified solar contractor or solar system installer?
A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a solar system contractor or solar installer with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only solar contractor/installer rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most companies can’t pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you’ll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified solar contractor/installer.

Q:  Why should I invest in solar panels for my home or business?
A:  A solar array is an investment that will pay for itself and then earn a profit in most locations in the US. This is certainly true almost everywhere in California.

Q:  Solar energy seems expensive, so how can I make my money back?
A:  New financing options enable homeowners and businesses to start saving money as soon as their solar panels are active.  Every dollar you don’t spend on buying energy from a utility is a dollar in your pocket.  This adds up quickly, and it adds up even more quickly as energy costs rise.

Q:  If solar power works and can be cost-effective, why does it need government support?
A:  The federal government has supported every major energy source through R&D support and various incentives.  Oil, natural gas, hydroelectric, biofuel, and nuclear industries all have received government support and continue to receive support today because energy drives our economy.  The State of California supports solar partially to help increase the state’s supply of electricity without building new power plants and partially because solar energy can be harnessed right here in California.

Q:  Don’t I have to have lots of expensive batteries to have solar electric power?
A:  Batteries are only necessary if you want to get off the grid.  As long as you stay connected to the grid, you don’t need to install batteries with your new solar power system.

Q:  Do I have to get off the grid to use solar power?
A:  No, you can stay connected to the grid to use solar electric power.  If your solar array generates electricity, your home or business will draw power from your array first, then the grid as needed.  If your array doesn’t generate as much electricity as you need, or if it’s night, your home or business will draw what is needed from the grid.  If you generate more power than is needed, the excess will go to the grid and earn you money.

Q:  Aren’t all solar products made in China?  I want to support American business.
A:  U.S. solar installations generated $6 billion in direct value in 2010, including manufacturing sales.  Of this 75% ($4.4 billion) went into the US economy.

Q: How do I know what kind of solar array is right for my home or business?
A: The answer depends on what you want from your solar array and how much money you are willing to invest.  A small passive solar thermal array is relatively inexpensive and can provide you with heat for water and heating your home.  An active solar thermal array costs more but heats water and heats and cools your home more efficiently than a passive array.  Photovoltaic (PV) arrays are more expensive than solar thermal arrays, but you can use them to offset electricity consumption in your home or business and even sell energy to the local utility.  A Diamond Certified solar contractor/installer can help you determine the right kind of solar array for your home or business based on your specific site, your needs, and your desired level of investment.

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Frequently Asked Questions
Agencies and Associations for Solar Energy Systems

State of California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) (http://www.dca.ca.gov/)
Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) (http://www.seia.org/)
California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA) (http://calseia.org)
American Solar Energy Society (ASES) (http://www.ases.org/)
Northern California Solar Energy Association (http://www.norcalsolar.org/)…

State of California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) (http://www.dca.ca.gov/)
Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) (http://www.seia.org/)
California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA) (http://calseia.org)
American Solar Energy Society (ASES) (http://www.ases.org/)
Northern California Solar Energy Association (http://www.norcalsolar.org/)
Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) (www.solarelectricpower.org)

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