In an effort to lead by example and further educate residential solar consumers across America, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is launching the first SEIA Residential Consumer Guide to Solar Power.

Available online, the free guide offers those interested in solar power a one-stop shop to better understand the basics of solar energy and ownership options, and includes key questions to ask solar installers before entering a transaction.

The guide is a result of a joint effort of the leading companies across the solar industry and complements SEIAs existing Code of Ethics by which all SEIA members abide.

“The SEIA Residential Consumer Guide to Solar Power is a must read. It’s a step-by-step checklist that will help consumers seamlessly transition to clean, affordable solar energy,” said SEIA president and CEO Rhone Resch. “Consumer protection is an issue of highest priority and is vital to solar’s future growth across America.”

Today, the residential solar market is growing at a record-breaking pace. According to the newly-released U.S. Solar Market Insight report Q1 2015, the market segment increased 76 percent from this time last year. By 2016, industry projections forecast enough clean solar energy in the U.S. to power 8 million homes.

“Across America, solar power is providing a cleaner, more affordable alternative to electricity generated by coal and gas—and the number of solar homes is rapidly increasing,” said Lyndon Rive, CEO of SolarCity. “The solar industry has always put consumers first and worked hard over the last three years to develop industry best practices such as: technology performance, warranties, contracts, and financing terms for solar products. It’s not a coincidence that the industry’s leading solar companies all have A or higher ratings with the Better Business Bureau. The SEIA Residential Consumer Guide to Solar Power, released today, is another example of our industry’s commitment to put customers first.”

“Solar power provides significant benefits to you and to the environment, but make sure you do your homework before you sign up. A little research upfront can help you get the most out of your investment over time, and the SEIA Residential Consumer Guide to Solar Power is a simple but valuable resource to help homeowners in asking the right questions,” Vivint Solar CEO Greg Butterfield said.

One of the components of the consumer guide is a section entitled “Working out Differences” that’s devoted solely to potential problem resolution.

“The solar industry is committed to consumer protection and transparency,” said Nick Mack, general counsel at Clean Power Finance. “Solar companies rely on referrals and consistent payments for financed solar systems, so it is in our own best interest to protect consumers and provide them with a positive experience.”

“With solar fast becoming a top go-to choice for home investments for Americans, ensuring consumers have the information they need to make a sound financial decision is critical. The SEIA Residential Consumer Guide to Solar Power provides them with that valuable information,” said Andrew Savage, Chief Strategy Officer at AllEarth Renewables.

The guide is only the first release in a series of efforts by SEIA, and the industry, to promote increased consumer protection across the entire solar marketplace. In addition to the guide, free digital access is available to NREL-SEIA standardized solar contracts along with the SEIA Code of Ethics.

“Today, demand for solar is stronger than ever because consumers are realizing significant savings while promoting the use of clean, renewable power in their communities,” said SunPower CEO Tom Werner. “My best advice to those considering solar is to insist on high performance solar technology that provides a great return on your investment, and find an experienced, knowledgeable dealer to install it.”

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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