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Protecting and Empowering American Solar Customers

Thursday, Jan 11 2024

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By
SEIA Comms Team
Rooftop solar panels on a house in California.

Rooftop solar panels in a California neighborhood.

Every solar installation should be safe, reliable, and every customer should have a clear understanding of what to expect when purchasing and maintaining a new solar system.  

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is empowering customers by not only providing them with informational resources but also working to develop national standards that promote fair sales practices to ensure the safe and uniform installation of solar and storage systems.

As an accredited standards-setting organization, SEIA is working with industry partners and consumer protection advocates to create three new standards that will govern the safe installation of solar systems and promote transparency during solar transactions.  

Complete Transparency

The first standard will focus on protecting consumers during residential solar transactions and set expectations for sellers, lenders, insurers, and buyers throughout the purchase. It will standardize and personalize savings estimates, giving customers a clearer picture of their loan terms and potential cost savings over time. Saving money on monthly energy bills is one of the top reasons customers go solar, and establishing a uniform approach will empower them to make more informed decisions.  

The new standard will also set the curriculum for salespeople. In addition to basic information about solar energy and system design, the curriculum will include information on net metering and local policies, information on federal tax incentives, and rules and restrictions for engaging customers. The curriculum will ensure salespeople are offered the base-level knowledge they need to explain solar technology and ethically sell to customers.

Safe and Reliable

The second standard will outline the comprehensive structural, electrical, and engineering specifications needed for high-quality residential solar and storage installations. Installers that follow these standards will have the latest fire safety and building codes needed for safe installations. Greater uniformity across installation specifications will also help ensure the long-term reliability of these systems.

The third standard will govern the training requirements needed to complete residential solar installations and set expectations for all installer training programs. As the solar and storage industry welcomes thousands of new installers in the coming years, this standard will help guarantee that workers in every part of the country receive the technical training needed to set up reliable, high-quality systems.

Empowering Customers

In addition to steering industry, SEIA is also empowering consumers with tools and resources to make a decision that works best for them.    

These tools include a Residential Consumer Guide to Solar Power, which is updated regularly with need-to-know information and is available in Spanish, as well as free model contracts and disclosure forms to make the process transparent and straightforward.  

Going solar is a major purchase. Like buying a new vehicle or a large home appliance, customers should comparison shop and receive multiple quotes from different companies. Customers should also talk to their neighbors about their experiences with solar and use the plethora of resources available to make an informed decision.  

By 2030, an estimated 10 million American homes will have solar power installed. No industry can guarantee 100% customer satisfaction, but SEIA is working at every level to ensure solar and storage installations are done safely and with integrity to improve every customer’s experience.

SEIA will continue to lead the way with innovative solutions and resources, partnering with leaders in government and the private sector to deliver clean, affordable, reliable power to communities across the country.

Learn more about SEIA’s consumer education resources and standards development process on our website.

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