9. Choose a reputable contractor/installer

Start with a list of options garnered from website research, your electric cooperative, local or state Better Business Bureaus, renewable energy associations, your state energy office, your state Attorney General’s office, extension service staff, and any other local experts you can call on for assistance and advice. Contact at least a few of those contractors appearing on your list, especially if recommended by multiple state and local experts. Winnow your list after asking many questions checking out other installations the contractor has completed, comparing bids (get at least 3), checking references, and thoroughly examining contracts. If possible, ask a contract specialist or lawyer to review the contract before signing.