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

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Diamond certified companies are top rated and guaranteed

Why Trust Diamond Certified Solar Companies Rated Highest in Quality?

Photo: Freedom Solar, Inc. (2013)

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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Gary Kluck is a veteran of the home improvement industry and CEO of Quality First Home Improvement, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2008. He can be reached at (877) 297-8594 or by email.

Gary Kluck

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Gary Kluck: On the Upbeat

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

CITRUS HEIGHTS – Gary Kluck has a lot on his plate. Between managing a home improvement company with more than 180 employees to singlehandedly running a household, it’s easy to think the stress might get to him now and then. However, Gary says maintaining a positive outlook goes a long way toward achieving both inner peace and outward success. “I’m a ‘glass half full’ kind of guy. I have a very upbeat personality, so when I do get stressed, I just stay calm and look at the positives of the situation, and pretty soon I’m back to normal.”

Born and raised in Wisconsin, Gary got his start in the construction industry at an early age. “I began working for my father when I was about 12 years old,” he remembers. “He was in home improvement and did a lot of concrete work and rough framing. I started out doing mostly grunt work, but I continued to learn and develop my skills, and I’ve been immersed in it ever since.”

Gary’s westward migration began in the early 1980s and included a five-year stint working in Colorado before he eventually reached Northern California. When the company he had been working for went bankrupt following a change of ownership, Gary reached out for advice on his next move. “I called the original owner of the business and asked him what I should do next,” he recalls. “He said, ‘Go do your own thing.’ I took his advice and started my own company, and it was the best decision I ever made.” Today, nearly a decade later, Quality First Home Improvement, Inc. is going strong with Gary at the helm.

In addition to running a business, Gary is employed as a full-time father and homemaker, raising his youngest of four daughters while his wife, Tamara, is pursuing her own career out-of-state. “A few years back, my wife decided to go to medical school to become a physician,” he explains. “She’s actually in Pennsylvania doing her residency right now, so I’m kind of like Mr. Mom for the next couple years.” Though his responsibilities keep him busy, Gary does find time to play golf with his friends on a regular basis. He also takes advantage of the occasional opportunity to get away from it all. “We have a cabin up at Eagle Lake, and we like to go out there to do some boating and fishing and just enjoy the peacefulness of nature.”

Gary attributes much of his personal and professional success to the power of positive thinking. “We attract what we think and feel, so it’s important to feel great and think great,” he says. “That’s what I tell all my employees, and it’s really how I built the company. When we started, there were four of us; now, there are 181. By putting out positive energy, we’ve been able to attract positive people who want to do good things.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: Green Bay Packers.

Q: What’s your earliest memory?
A: Digging up worms in the garden when I was three or four years old.

Q: Do you do any celebrity impersonations?
A: I used to do a pretty good Humphrey Bogart, but it’s been a while.

Q: What were you most known for in high school?
A: Playing basketball. I could really jump—as a 6’1” forward, I could out-jump our 6’4” center!

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Sit by the fire.

Q: If you had a theme song, what would it be?
A: “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin.

Read more

3 Things to Check for During a Roof Inspection


SACRAMENTO — If your home is your biggest asset, your roof is its first line of defense. What’s more, ignoring your roof can cost you an exorbitant amount of money in the long term. That’s why it’s important to check… Read more

How to Prevent Concrete Cracks


CITRUS HEIGHTS — Many homeowners like to tackle their own concrete projects, whether that means installing a patio cover or renovating a driveway. Laying concrete may seem like a simple task, but there are certain aspects that can complicate the process.… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: 3 Signs Your Roof Needs to be Replaced

Complete Video Transcription:

SACRAMENTO — Host, Sarah Rutan: It may be easy to ignore your roof, but doing so can lead to costly consequences. To learn more, we're… Read more

Dean A. is a 10-year veteran of the solar industry and president of Highlight Solar, a Diamond Certified company since 2014. He can be reached at (877) 312-4241 or by email.

Dean A.

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Dean A.: Power Driven

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN JOSE — Considering that he has a master’s degree in electrical engineering, it wouldn’t be a stretch to describe Dean A. as “power driven.” “I’ve always been intrigued by power systems,” he affirms. “I used to be in engineering and did a lot of design, but when solar started to come into its own, I was intrigued and decided to get involved in the industry.” Dean began his solar career in 2008 by acquiring a franchise from a major solar company, but it wasn’t long before he decided to strike out on his own. “A couple of years after I started the franchise, the company announced it was going to cut its residential services and focus solely on the commercial market. However, I believed the residential market was going to be very lucrative, so I decided to break off and establish my own solar business.”

Today, as owner of Highlight Solar, Dean says his favorite part of his job (other than his ongoing fascination with the technical aspects) is making a positive impact. “Not only is solar power a great financial investment for consumers, it also has a significant ecological effect. We’re helping make the environment cleaner and better for the next generation, which is very rewarding.”

As a resident of San Jose (where he lives with wife and three children), Dean expresses his appreciation for life and work in the Bay Area. “We have amazing weather and amazing people,” he says. “The cultural diversity is fantastic, and I really like how open people are here. Plus, as far as running a business goes, there’s plenty of opportunity to strive and grow.”

Outside of work, Dean engages in a variety of personal hobbies and family activities. “I enjoy science, especially astronomy and technology, so I’m always reading about those subjects,” he says. “I also like to play volleyball, go hiking and camping, and relax on the beach.” In addition to enjoying the local surroundings, Dean likes traveling to foreign destinations. “Every year, we make it a point to visit a new country, which is a great way for us to expand the kids’ horizons.”

In regard to his professional career, Dean credits a good part of his success to an emphasis on customer satisfaction. “Our customers are the backbone of our business, which is why we do whatever it takes to make sure they’re satisfied,” he affirms. “We go to great lengths to bring them the latest products and technology, and we continue to educate customers and consumers in general about the entire concept behind solar.”

When asked what his life might look like if he were to retire tomorrow, Dean says he’d devote more of his time to volunteering. “I would probably get more involved in the local community. My wife and kids do a lot of volunteering for various community events and causes, so if I had more time, it’d be very rewarding to do more of that with them.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: Coffee or tea?
A: Coffee in the morning, tea at night.

Q: What’s your favorite style of music?
A: Jazz.

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Dishdash in Sunnyvale.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: Malaysia. The country has amazing tropical beauty, and I hear the people are very nice and down to earth.

Q: Have you ever read a book more than once?
A: “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson.

Read more

Solar Financing Options


SAN JOSE — When it comes to financing a solar power system, there are numerous options to choose from, each with particular benefits for homeowners in varying financial situations. Gaining an understanding of each of these options will help you decide… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Solar Financing Options

Complete Video Transcription:

SAN JOSE — Host, Sarah Rutan: When planning to install a solar power system, one of the first things you’ll need to decide is how you’re going… Read more

Rich Moore is president of Freedom Solar, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2013. He can be reached at (408) 758-5685 or by email.

Rich Moore

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Rich Moore: Renewable Enthusiasm

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter

CAMPBELL — Rich Moore began his career in the high-tech industry, but he’s always been interested in renewable energy, so when an opportunity arose to get professionally involved, he didn’t hesitate. “I was working with semiconductors and microchips for Texas Instruments, but I found myself looking into renewable energy more and more, especially solar,” he recounts. “When a friend introduced me to one of the first solar integrators in the Bay Area, I was immediately interested. In 2005, I started doing solar full-time, and in 2009, I founded Freedom Solar, Inc.”

A decade after making his seminal transition, Rich says he continues to find gratification in his renewed livelihood. “I enjoy dealing directly with customers and seeing the end results of our work. It’s very satisfying when your job consists of installing products that save your customers money and benefit the environment at the same time.”

Originally from Chicago, Rich came to the Bay Area in the mid-1980s and today resides in San Carlos, where he appreciates the area’s many favorable attributes. “I like the pace, the diversity and the fact that we have a well-educated population,” he says. “Also, since I grew up in the Midwest flatlands, I really appreciate the climate and terrain.”

Outside of work, Rich engages in a number of active pastimes. “I’m a bit of a sports nut, so I enjoy both watching and participating in team sports,” he says. “I’ve coached youth sports for 25 years and served on several boards, so it’s been a real passion of mine.” Rich also likes traveling with wife, Susan, tracing his family’s genealogy and relaxing at the beach. Additionally, he takes time to keep in touch with his daughters, Aryn and Hannah, who are pursuing respective careers in the biotech and electrical engineering fields. “Between Susan, who’s a mechanical engineer, and myself, it’s no surprise that our daughters have an inclination toward math and science.”

As a professional in the solar industry, Rich says providing long-term value for his customers is of the utmost importance. “When I meet with a new customer, I look at them as someone I’m going to have a relationship with for the next 35 years, because that’s how long my product will last on their roof. That’s why I make sure every system we install provides a long-term solution. Not many products come with a 25-year warranty, so it really ups the ante when it comes to customer satisfaction.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Rich says he’d take a trip around the world. “I think it would be fun to circle the globe over the course of a year. My wife would be with me, of course, but if our daughters were able to get away and join us for part of it, that would make it even better.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What are your favorite sports teams?
A: Even though I haven’t lived there in more than 30 years, I’m still a fan of Chicago teams like the White Sox, Bulls, Bears and Blackhawks. Of course, being a long-time Bay Area resident, I also follow the local teams.

Q: Did you play any sports in high school?
A: Yes, I played basketball.

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Blue Line Pizza in San Carlos.

Q: What’s your favorite comic strip?
A: “In the Bleachers.”

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

Read more

Two Common Questions about Solar


CAMPBELL — While a lot of homeowners are interested in solar energy, many have questions about the various aspects involved. Here are two common questions solar companies receive from consumers: Is solar a good investment? To answer this question, there… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Two Common Questions about Solar Power

Complete Video Transcription:

CAMPBELL — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’re interested in solar power but don’t know much about it, you’ll want to know the answers to two basic questions.… Read more

Tom Amitay is district manager of NRG Clean Power, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (831) 708-8978 or by email.

Tom Amitay

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Tom Amitay: A Powerful Opportunity

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

CANOGA PARK — Tom Amitay was pursuing a career in finance, but when he saw the opportunity presented by the burgeoning solar industry, he decided to get in on the action. “From a financial standpoint, I was struck by the growth potential of the solar industry,” he affirms. “However, I was also attracted to the fact that it was clean energy, which made it not only lucrative but something that would actually benefit the planet. It wasn’t long before I left my finance job and started doing sales for a solar company.”

Today, as district manager of NRG Clean Power, Tom says his favorite part of his job is passing on the benefits of solar to his customers. “Working in solar gives me an opportunity to make a living by helping people save money. Not only that, I’m also helping save energy and reduce pollution, so it gives me a good feeling to know I’m having a positive impact.”

Despite being born in the United States, Tom grew up in Israel, where his parents were originally from. After serving in the Israeli army, he returned to the U.S. and resides today in San Jose, where he says he appreciates the cutting-edge atmosphere. “I really like the innovative environment we have here. No matter how far we come with technology, there’s a feeling that we can go further and do more.”

Outside of work, Tom likes to stay active with pastimes like playing basketball and hiking on local trails. He also enjoys going to the movies and hanging out with friends.

In his life and career, Tom espouses the value of perseverance. “I believe that if you work hard, good things will happen for you,” he explains. “I’ve experienced that in my own life—I started at the bottom and worked my way up, and it has been well worth it. I continue to work hard in my current position and look forward to my future progress.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Tom says he’d see the world. “I’d probably travel for a while. Maybe I’d do a tour of Europe—I haven’t been yet, so that seems like a good place to start.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The Golden State Warriors.

Q: What kinds of movies do you like?
A: Action movies.

Q: What’s your favorite TV show?
A: “Game of Thrones.”

Q: What’s one website you visit on a daily basis?
A: Facebook.

Q: If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future?
A: The future—maybe 20 years from now just to see what technology is like.

Read more

A Little-Known Fact about Solar Panels


CANOGA PARK — While most people have a rough idea of how solar power works, there are still a few little-known facts about solar panels and how they function. For example, when solar panels are installed, they’re not in direct contact… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Strategic Solar Panel Placement

Complete Video Transcription:

CANOGA PARK — Host, Sarah Rutan: When it comes to installing solar panels on a roof, strategic placement can provide some added functional advantages. Today we’re in… Read more




  • GAF

  • Amerimax

  • Duralum

  • Lennox

  • Enphase

  • SolarWorld

  • SolarEdge

  • LG

  • SMA

  • Sunpower

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

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

Blossom Valley
East Palo Alto
Holy City
Los Altos
Los Altos Hills
Los Gatos
Monte Sereno
Monte Vista
Morgan Hill
Mountain View
Mt Hamilton
New Almaden
Palo Alto
Redwood Estates
San Jose
San Martin
Santa Clara


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

Investing in a solar energy system for your home or business is a decision that you’ll want to carefully consider. 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 contractors in Santa Clara County.

Ask yourself the following questions in preparation for hiring a solar power company:

  • Do I want a Diamond Certified solar company in Santa Clara County that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Guarantee?
  • What do I expect from an investment in a solar power system for my home?
  • 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
Questions to Ask Santa Clara Solar Panel Installers 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.

  • How will the solar 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 solar thermal, how much work will be required to make the array deliver heating, cooling, and hot water beyond simply getting the array onto my roof or other part of my property?
  • How does selling back electricity work in Santa Clara County?
  • How long does an installation take?
  • When can I receive a written estimate for the solar panels and solar panel installation?
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  • What To Ask References
    Hear What Previous Solar Company Clients Have to Say

    It’s best to choose a Diamond Certified solar panel company 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 contractor in Santa Clara County, you will have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company.

    If you can’t find a Diamond Certified solar 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 company.

    Keep in mind, though, that references provided to you by local solar energy providers are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process. Instead, it’s a probability that the solar panel contractors will give you the contact information for only the clients that they know were satisfied with their new solar installation.

    If you do call references on your own, 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.

    Sample questions to ask include:

    • Did you have a solar array installed at your home or business by (name of the 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?
    Read moreRead less
  • Review Your Options
    Before You Hire A Santa Clara County Solar Energy Company

    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 company because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass.

    If a Diamond Certified solar system contractor isn’t available or suitable, you will have to do some research on your own. First, you will want to verify that the solar power companies you’re considering are 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 for validity and any outstanding complaints or violations. 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.

    Be a Smart Solar Power Consumer
    Learning the basic terms and concepts of solar energy will make your working relationship with your solar energy contractor 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
  • How To Work With
    Before You Hire A Santa Clara County Solar Energy Company

    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 a Diamond Certified solar system contractor isn’t available or suitable, you will have to do some research on your own. First, you will want to verify that the solar power companies you’re considering are 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 for validity and any outstanding complaints or violations. 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.

    Be a Smart Solar Power Consumer
    Learning the basic terms and concepts of solar energy will make your working relationship with your solar energy contractor 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 your solar contractor responsibility put in quality solar panels and home solar systems using the best possible installation techniques. But you play a big part in the success of your contractor, too. Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring a Santa Clara County solar companies.

    • Be clear and upfront with the solar contractors you’ve hired. Let them know what you want from your solar investment, the long-term outcome you’re expecting and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations.
    • Remember, a smile can help forge a good working relationship and keep the peace in a disagreement.
    • Before you hire a solar panel installation service in Santa Clara County, restate your expectations and goals, and reiterate to the solar company representative your understanding of the agreement. Most problems with local solar contractors occur because of a breakdown in communication. By being clear about your expectations and theirs, you can avoid most conflicts.
    • Ask your solar 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 panel contractor can reach you for any necessary updates, questions or work authorizations.
    • When your contractor contacts you, return calls promptly to keep the solar contractor/installer on schedule.
    • Pay for the work promptly.

    Why would you want to be a good customer? Solar contractor/installers in Santa Clara 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.

    Read moreRead less
Check The Work
Verify That the New Solar Panels Meet Your Expectations

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 warranties or guarantees provided by the solar panel manufacturers and the solar installation company.
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Written Warranties
Ask for All Solar System Guarantees in Writing

Written warranties will protect you and your home against faulty solar systems or poor installation. A complete 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 transferable 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
Favored Solar Panel Manufacturers

When investing in solar, 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 Santa Clara County.

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 warranty on their products and on installation by their network of dealers.

Sunwize Technologies
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 PV Panels
Terra Solar specializes in photovoltaic solar panels 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 photovoltaic panels (BIPV).

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.

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.

Sharp Solar Panels
Sharp has an extended history in the solar industry and offers photovoltaic arrays for residential, commercial, and utility use.

Read moreRead less
Glossary Of Terms
Glassary for Solar

Below are key solar industry terms and descriptions that will help you navigate your way through your solar investment process from beginning to end.

A knowledgeable representative from a solar contractor/installer will need to come to your home or business to assess the suitability of your site for a solar investment. Once your site has been assessed, issues such as cost of an array, the most suitable array, and financing will come into play.

Also known as: site assessment

federal incentive for solar
Tax credits offered by the federal government to help offset the cost of purchasing a solar energy array. In some instances, tax credits may be replaced by grants.

Also known as: federal solar tax credit

net excess generation (NEG)
The electricity generated by a PV array beyond the needs of the home or business. In most places, NEG is sold to the local utility.

net metering
A two-way flow of electricity between the grid and a home or business. When the home or business needs more power than a PV array is providing, electricity flows into the home or business. When the home or business is generating more electricity than it needs, the extra electricity (also called net excess generation, or NEG) flows to the grid. The home or business pays the utility for electricity flowing into the home, while the utility pays the home or business for electricity flowing to the grid.

 solar contractor/installer
A solar contractor installs, modifies, maintains, and repairs thermal and photovoltaic solar energy systems.

solar photovoltaic
A system for converting solar radiation (sunlight) into electrical power using semiconductors. Photovoltaic cells are combined into modules, which are combined into arrays. The arrays are connected to the electrical system of a home or business.

Also known as: photovoltaic, PV

solar thermal
A system for converting solar radiation (sunlight) into heat energy for space heating and cooling and for heating water using a solar collector or array, insulated piping, and a hot water storage system.

Also known as: solar hot water

state incentive for solar
Rebates and tax breaks sponsored or mandated by the State of California to make solar investments more affordable for California homes and businesses. The incentives take a number of forms, from rebates for solar thermal arrays to favorable rules for electricity buy-back (called net metering).

Also known as: California Solar Initiative, solar rebates

thin film solar cell
An emerging photovoltaic technology in which a solar cell made by layering one or more layers of photovoltaic material on a thin substrate. The total thickness may be measured in nanometers.

Also known as: thin film photovoltaic cell

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Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions for Solar Companies

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified Solar Contractor/Installer?
A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a solar contractor/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 spend money on solar energy 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 arrays 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 any batteries.

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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