The market size of the Indian solar sector has increased by over 250% from 2014 to 2021. This growth spur is further promoted by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s encouragement of rooftop installations. As of July 2021, homeowners throughout the country are being encouraged to install solar panels on their homes so they can be self-reliant.

Many banks and financial institutes have rolled out financial support and schemes for the installation of solar panels. However, for most homeowners, the major question isn’t how to buy a solar panel? It is: whose solar panel to buy?

India has solar manufacturers and companies of all sizes – start-ups like Loom Solar to established businesses like Tata Solar Power. One question that always arises when deciding to buy a solar product is: which company should I trust?

In this short article, we’ve given the top factors to consider when you are trying to pick a solar company.

Top factors for solar companies

1.  Solar company type

There are three types of solar companies depending upon the audience they cater to:

  • Companies that cater to residential customers only.
  • Companies that cater to EPC or commercial customers only.
  • Companies that cater to residential and EPC customers.

The solar company should first be selected based on the type of customers they cater to. If the solar panel needs to be installed on the rooftop of a home or a commercial building, selecting a company that caters to only residential customers is important.

Why does it make a difference?

Installation of a rooftop on all types of buildings is not the same. The electrical needs of a house are much different than that of a commercial building. It means the design, wiring and implementation is also different. When you select a company that specializes in installing solar panels for residential buildings, you don’t need to cross-check. In the long run, it may reduce expenses on repairs.

2.  Product range

Solar panels are only one part of a large system. For a solar dependent home, other parts are also necessary. The system often includes inverters, batteries, wires and charge controllers. Most solar panel companies provide one or two of these products with solar panels. However, the rest need to be purchased individually. When you are selecting a solar company, it is important to consider its product range.

Why does it make a difference?

Most of the items listed above need to be bought individually. If the company does not manufacture or sell all of these parts, the only option remaining is to go to a different vendor. It causes two problems:

  • It lengthens the process of installation because each vendor needs to be approached individually.
  • You are unlikely to get discounts and will have to spend more money on an installation.

3.  Customer reviews

Looking up customer reviews online is an integral part of deciding which product to buy. But have you ever looked up reviews for a brand?

There are many websites and discussion boards that review both solar brands and their products. It is a helpful resource that can help you select the right solar company. Most reviews include information on:

  • Product – Does the product work as described? Does it come with any warranties?
  • Brand – Is the solar company well-known for providing good service and products? Is the brand ethical?
  • Customer service – How quick is their response time? Do they provide after-sales service?

Why does it make a difference?

When you have looked up customer reviews and blogs online, you can get a fair understanding of the product and the company. Solar panels can easily last up to 25 years. During this time, you may need to call the company for repairs or maintenance. If the company provides poor or slow service, it will affect your everyday energy needs.

4.  Product options

We have already discussed the importance of selecting a solar company that manufactures a range of products, but it is also important to select a company that has various product options. Product options, in this reference, means a company that manufactures various types and sizes of solar panels.

Why does it make a difference?

Solar panels are not one size fits all. Solar panel installations depend heavily on your electrical needs and daily electricity consumption. If you approach a company that manufactures only a few types of solar panels, you may need to compromise. This means your solar system will either produce too much electricity and you will have to feed it back to the grid. Or, it will produce too little electricity and you will have to be dependent on the city’s power grid. Neither option is sustainable.

5.  Location

Location is a criterion that is overlooked when buying solar products. Most major solar companies sell their products on a PAN India scale. However, this is not always true. It is also important to consider whether the company has a retailer or solar partner in your city or neighborhood.

Why does it make a difference?

If the company has a solar partner or retailer in your city, they will contact you immediately for an installation and you can get started on the process. However, if they don’t, you may have to wait for them to ship the product and for the technician to arrive. This increases the time and delays the project.

6.  Company experience

The last and one of the most important criteria is the company’s experience. In this context, ‘experience’ does not always mean: how many years has the company been selling solar panels? Instead, it means: how many solar projects has the company completed?

The solar industry has boomed in the past decade, which means there are many new companies and start-ups. These companies have completed 100+ installation projects even though they do not have the ‘experience in years’. Therefore, when selecting the solar panel company, consider the number of installations they have completed.

These are the top six factors to consider when picking a solar panel company. To simplify the selection process for you, we have created a list of the top 10 solar panel manufacturers in India. You can look through this list to determine an ideal partner for your solar panel installation.