C46 Solar Contractors 

If you are considering solar for your working farm or business, it is important to do your research and find a good solar contractor. A solar contractor company is a business that installs solar panels on your property, whether that be on your roof or on your property or acreage. There are many solar contractors in California, so how do you choose the right one? In this article, we will explain what a solar contractor is–including C46 solar contractors–as well as what to look for when choosing one. We will also discuss the California Solar Initiative and how it can help you save money on your energy bills!

What Is a Solar Contractor?

The solar power industry is a growing field full of those manufacturing solar equipment, financing solar powered projects, and installing the actual equipment. So, what is a solar contractor, and where do they fit in? A solar contractor is an individual who installs, repairs, and maintains solar panels on people’s buildings or properties—whether for commercial or residential uses. A solar contractor must be licensed to install the equipment properly, and requirements vary on a state-by-state basis.

What Are C46 Solar Contractors?

Solar contractors can work anywhere but are particularly busy in states that see a lot of sunlight, such as California or Florida. C46 solar contractors are contractors licensed to “install[s], modif[y], maintain[s], and repair[s] thermal and photovoltaic solar energy systems,” according to the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Contractors State License Board of California.

What Was the California Solar Initiative?

Also known as “Go Solar California,” the California Solar Initiative (CSI) was a state-funded program promising financial incentives to business owners and homeowners for transitioning to solar power. It began in 2006 and offered cash incentives to interested parties up until the end of 2016, when the price of installing solar power became significantly more affordable for the average citizen. At this point, cash incentives no longer seemed necessary, as more and more people began voluntarily making the switch to solar.

In order to qualify for these incentives, home or business owners had to follow a series of steps, beginning with an energy efficiency audit. They then had to find a licensed solar installer, apply for rebates, and install an approved solar system before claiming their incentive. Fortunately, many major power companies in California signed on with this initiative, including Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), and Southern California Edison (SCE). This made saving money on their energy bills all the easier for the average Californian who already got their energy through SCE, SDG&E, or PG&E!

There were a handful of subprograms that came with the CSI, including incentives for Single-family Solar Affordable Solar Housing (SASH), Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH), and incentives for solar water heating and other thermal technologies as well.

While the California Solar Initiative may have concluded at the close of 2016, the interest in transitioning to solar power did not die with it. Today, solar photovoltaic systems and solar thermal power plants produced 17.31% of the state’s energy generation, not including the upwards of 200,000 homes that have made the choice to install solar panels on their roof. That’s over 33,670 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of energy!

What Is the Contractors State License Board?

Responsible for governing all of California’s contractors, the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is responsible for protecting the public from unqualified, unregistered, and unlicensed contractors charging upwards of $500 for construction services. The CSLB is also responsible for issuing C46 licenses to solar power contractors in the state of California. They administer examples, manage applications, and maintain a database of current and expired contractors in the state of California.

Before an individual is able to apply to the CSLB for their C46 license, however, they must have at least four years’ worth of experience as a solar installation journeyman and pass an extensive exam put on by the Contractor State License Board. Additionally, applicants must be over 18 years old, be a current U.S. citizen with proof of identity, and not currently be on parole or probation.

How to Choose a Solar Installer

Now that you understand a little bit of the “behind the scenes” of the average solar contractor, you may be wondering what you should look for in a solar contracting company! Especially if you live in an area that is blessed with an abundance of solar energy, there are likely many competitors out there—so how do you choose a solar installer you can trust? In the following section, we will outline some easy pointers for how to choose a good solar installer.

  1. Experience. One of the simplest questions you can ask a contractor to get a feel for their level of expertise is how many years they’ve been in the industry. But you don’t really want to stop there when it comes to asking them questions about their field. Make time to get curious and ask about their process, their equipment, warranties, and any incentives you might be eligible for before they come and install PV or thermal equipment at your farm or business. This not only clues you in on the quality of work you are likely to receive, but also establishes more trust between the contractor and the client.
  2. Qualifications. Of course, a contractor could promise you the moon and the stars—but if they aren’t properly licensed or qualified, you may end up with shoddy craftsmanship and a loss on your investment rather than a return. Make sure the pool of C46 solar contractors you’re choosing from are licensed with the CSLB, and even ask if they have certifications or awards with the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) for good measure.
  3. Reputation and transparency. Plenty of people who are highly qualified in their field are a downright pain to work with or for. This point goes back to that initial conversation with the contractor where you ask them about their process. Look for contractors who take the time to answer all your questions and give you an idea of what you can expect through working with them. Also, take the time to sift through their reviews and see what past customers have had to say about the quality, timeliness, and transparency with which the contractor was able to get the job done.
  4. Thorough assessment and quote process. Something that often gets overlooked in the installation process is the actual condition of the area where the home or business owner wants to solar technology installed. A good solar contractor will assess the roof  or building for structural integrity and will be held accountable for any damage that may occur as a result of installing the equipment. Additionally, a solar contractor worth hiring is one that will take your aesthetic preferences into mind when planning a setup for you—so look for a contractor who is flexible and creative with their design!
  5. Price point for quality and/or guarantee. The Return On Investment (ROI) on investing in solar panels alone is often enough of a reason to make the transition—but if the contractor can sweeten the deal at all with high-value, low price systems or guarantees of performance or ROI, you should consider working with them. At the end of the day, transitioning to solar power should save you money, in spite of the initial cost—not fail within a few years of installation.

Best C46 Solar Contractors in California

Whether you’re looking for a solar contractor for agricultural, commercial, or industrial purposes, it’s important to find a solar contractor who is not only experienced in their field, but licensed and fully qualified as well. One of the best things you can do when selecting between C46 solar contractors for your solar project is to have a long conversation with each contractor about their methods, equipment used, and any incentives for which they may help you qualify. With each passing year, solar power only grows more and more efficient—so why not make the switch today and start saving money on energy, or even making money?

Looking for the best C46 solar contractors in California? Contact Renewable Technologies today for a quote!

Previous Post
Best Solar Companies in Stockton, CA
Next Post
California Energy Storage Contractors