What Do You Need To Know Before Going Solar?

Don't sign a solar contract until you read the mandatory California solar consumer protection guide from the CPUC

The Mission Of The Solar Protection Guide

The California Public Utility Commission has just released a new version of their Solar Protection Guide which provides valuable information to homeowners going solar. The CPUC requires that consumers read and sign the guide prior to signing a solar contract.

Watch out for false claims when shopping for solar; Know how to tell the truth from a false claim

The CPUC created the guide to protect consumers by educating them about solar. If you take the time to read the document before going solar, then you’ll be able to spot false claims and make a good purchasing decision.

The Key Changes In The New Version

Consumers must sign the new guide electronically or by hand (wet-sign). The salesperson must disclose the language used in the sales presentation. They must provide license information from the California State Licensing Board, and their Home Improvement Sales Registration Number. You have rights, and you should know them.

Know your solar rights when shopping for solar.

The California Public Utilities Commission recommends that you read the guide 48 hours prior to signing any contracts. They want you to have ample time to read it and make a sound decision.

Download The New Guide Now

Download the newly updated Solar Protection Guide.

Download the new version of the california solar consumer protection guide

Financing: PACE, LOANS & PPAs

The CPUC Solar Guide dives deep into solar financing because many homeowners have been misled by false promises. PACE loans create a tax lien that will put your home in jeopardy if you don’t pay your taxes.

The Pros and cons of solar financing options: Cash, loan, PACE loan, PPAs.

The Solar Installation Process

The solar guide gives a detailed outline of the solar installation process. You should become familiar with the basic timeline so you’ll know that your project is on track.

After you sign a solar contract, these are the steps in the process to be aware of for the completion of your solar project.

Is Solar A Good Fit For Me?

While solar will benefit most people, it’s not right for everyone. There are many considerations to be aware of before signing a contract. Always research your contractor properly and understand your financing terms.

Is solar a good fit for you? Find out by reading the Solar Consumer Protection Guide.

Understanding The Different Rolls

Different entities will contribute to your solar installation, but many consumers don’t have a clue of who does what. The permitting jurisdiction, the utility company, the solar installer, the lender and the salesperson are not necessarily related to each other, but will play a part in your project.

Picking Your Solar Installer

Before you sign a contract, be sure to ask the right questions. The guide has a thorough list of questions for you to choose from. Company background, design, and warranties are a few of the important topics.

Questions to ask your solar installer prior to signing a contract

Check out our post on picking the best solar company for more information about choosing the right solar contractor.

Net Energy Metering & Time Of Use

Your utility provider will enroll you in their Net Energy Metering program, and also put you on a Time of Use rate (SCE, PGE, and SDGE). Understanding how these elements affect your electric bill savings is vital. The guide explains them both, including the True-Up settlement bill.

NEM (net energy metering) & TOU (Time Of Use rates) explained in the California solar consumer protection guide

Solar Bills and Net Energy Metering
PG&E sample True-Up bill
SCE understanding your bill
SDG&E understanding your NEM statement

Read The Solar Protection Guide

I’ve covered many of the key points in the Solar Protection Guide, and it’s filled with even more in-depth info that you should read. Reading the guide is not only smart but it’s also required before signing a contract. Download your copy and be sure to visit our YouTube channel for more pro tips.

Reduce risk by being prepared, proactive and smart
How to pick the best solar company | California Solar Guide