How to Find Good Solar Contractors in Contra Costa County CAMany more consumers and businesses are installing solar power in Contra Costa County. Solar panels have gotten smaller and more affordable while the benefits have grown dramatically. Installation of solar energy systems for homes and businesses has become its own licensed specialty performed by state licensed solar contractors.
The following research by The Prime Buyer's Report identifies the best solar companies in Contra Costa County and issues related to hiring them including both residential and commercial solar contractors.
Updated March 20, 2014
|High Definition Solar|
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1190 Burnett Ave Suite F
Concord, CA 94520
State Contractor's License #949189
Areas Served: Entire Bay Area & Contra Costa incl. San Ramon CA, Danville CA, Concord CA, ...
Services: solar contractors for home solar power, solar electricity, solar conversion, solar ...
Key Brands: Bosch Solar, Canadian Solar, REC Solar, Sharp Solar Electricity, Yingli Solar
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1445 Koll Circle, Suite 109
San Jose, CA 95112
State Contractor's License #910849
Areas Served: Santa Clara County incl. San Jose CA, Mt View, Milpitas, Los Gatos, Palo Alto, Los ...
Services: Solar electric systems, solar installation and design, solar pool heating, solar ...
Key Brands: Canadian Solar, Enphase Micro-Inverters, ET Solar, Fronius Inverters, SMA Solar ...
Solar contractors in Contra Costa County are required to be licensed by the state for your protection, such as the specialty C46 license specifically for solar installation including solar power, solar heating, and solar pool heating systems, as well as solar repair and maintenance. If the solar contractor has employees, they are legally required to have workers' compensation insurance to protect you the customer from being sued if an injury occurs during work performed at your property.
Solar contractors are not required by law to have general liability insurance; however, all solar companies bearing The Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 designation have general liability insurance coverage to reimburse you in the event of any damages, in addition to passing all other requirements for certification as Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 such as our research phone calls to their previous customers, hiring only documented workers, verified license and workers' comp insurance, clean complaint record, and more.
Home solar power is a great option for clean, renewable energy. Whether on or off the grid, home solar energy systems come with a number of benefits, including federal and state tax credits. As the home solar energy industry expands, the number and types of jobs performed by solar contractors in Contra Costa County expands as well. They can install all of the necessary components for a new residential photovoltaic system, solar water heating, solar pool heating, and more. These home solar contractors can guide you through the solar system design process to arrive at the optimal solar electrical or solar thermal system for your home solar energy requirements.
Solar Water Heating is Different From Solar Power
Some solar contractors may do only solar water heating or only solar electricity, or both. What's the difference? Solar hot water systems are to generate hot water for your home only, and not to generate electricity for other appliances. Solar water heating systems include storage tanks and collectors.
Most solar water heaters require a well-insulated storage tank. In two-tank systems, the solar water heater preheats water before it enters the conventional water heater. In one-tank systems, the back-up heater is combined with the solar storage in one tank.
There are two types of solar water heating systems: ACTIVE, which have circulating pumps and controls, and less-expensive PASSIVE, which don't.
Types of ACTIVE Solar Water Heating Systems
Direct Circulation Systems: Pumps circulate household water through the collectors and into the home. They work well in climates where it rarely freezes.
Indirect Circulation Systems: Pumps circulate a non-freezing, heat-transfer fluid through the collectors and a heat exchanger. This heats the water that then flows into the home. They are popular in climates prone to freezing temperatures.
Types of PASSIVE Solar Water Heating Systems
Passive solar water heating systems are typically less expensive than active systems, but they're usually not as efficient. However, passive systems can be more reliable and may last longer. There are two types.
Integral collector-storage passive systems: These work best in areas where temperatures rarely fall below freezing. They also work well in households with significant daytime and evening hot-water needs.
Thermosyphon systems: Water flows through the system when warm water rises as cooler water sinks. The collector must be installed below the storage tank so that warm water will rise into the tank. These systems are reliable, but contractors must pay careful attention to the roof design because of the heavy storage tank. They are usually more expensive than integral collector-storage passive systems.
SOLAR COLLECTORS FOR SOLAR WATER HEATING
For residential solar water heating systems, there are three types of solar collectors:
Flat-plate collector: Glazed flat-plate collectors are insulated, weatherproofed boxes that contain a dark absorber plate under one or more glass or plastic (polymer) covers. Unglazed flat-plate collectors-typically used for solar pool heating-have a dark absorber plate, made of metal or polymer, without a cover or enclosure.
Integral collector-storage systems: Also known as ICS or batch systems, they feature one or more black tanks or tubes in an insulated, glazed box. Cold water first passes through the solar collector, which preheats the water. The water then continues on to the conventional backup water heater, providing a reliable source of hot water. They should be installed only in mild-freeze climates because the outdoor pipes could freeze in severe, cold weather.
Evacuated-tube solar collectors These use parallel rows of transparent glass tubes. Each tube contains a glass outer tube and metal absorber tube attached to a fin. The fin's coating absorbs solar energy but inhibits radiative heat loss. These collectors are used more frequently for commercial solar applications.
Solar Power Systems (Solar Electricity)
Solar electric systems, also known as photovoltaic (PV) systems, convert sunlight into electricity for your home. PV solar panels can be mounted at a fixed angle facing south, or they can be mounted on a tracking device that follows the sun, allowing them to capture the most sunlight over the course of a day.
Because of their modularity, PV systems can be designed to meet any electrical requirement, no matter how large or how small. You also can connect them to an electric distribution system (grid-connected), or they can stand alone (off-grid).
Solar Contractors in Contra Costa County Can Provide Numerous Services
Aside from all-inclusive solar power units, solar contractors in Contra Costa County can install solar pool heating systems, solar attic fans, and several other auxiliary solar components. Good solar contractors in Contra Costa County may also have experience with other solar energy sources, can convert appliances to run on home solar electricity, maintain or modify existing solar energy systems, repair faulty home solar energy systems, or provide design advice to update your facility with turnkey solar electricity.
If you want to reduce your electrical bills in Contra Costa County and the remove the guilt of draining a non-renewable energy source, solar contractors in Contra Costa County can safely convert your outdated electrical system into an efficient, clean, and environmentally friendly source of power with home solar energy systems. If you're considering converting to home solar power, check out some of the state sponsored benefits at the California Energy Commission Web site.
Solar Contractors in Contra Costa County Offer Many Parts and Materials
Converting your home or business with solar power is a comprehensive process with many auxiliary options. Solar contractors in Contra Costa County use a number of specialized materials to outfit indoor, outdoor, industrial, commercial, or residential structures with solar power, including solar collectors, in-roof collectors, absorber plates, open- or closed-loop solar storage tanks, two-way sweat ball valves, pressure relief valves, and psi pressure gauges. These home solar companies also supply the photovoltaic cells and panels, flexible solar panels, flexible panel accessories, pv modules, boiler drains, evacuated solar collectors, flat plate solar collectors, and solar hot water controllers.
The solar contractors can do a lot more than basic power source retooling. In addition to whole-facility solar energy conversions, solar contractors in Contra Costa County install solar water heaters, solar spotlights, solar landscape lighting, solar stationary or floating fountains, solar fountain pumps, solar garden lights, solar Christmas lights, solar birdbaths, solar sign lights, solar flag lights, solar security systems, solar cameras, or solar security lights. If you wish to extend your environmental conscientiousness to the other energy drains to your life, they can even convert autos, RVs, or marine vehicles to solar power as well. Good home solar contractors in Contra Costa County sell portable solar power systems, solar sealed lead acid batteries, LED solar lighting systems, solar panel kits, solar electronic kits, solar PDA battery chargers, solar 12 volt battery chargers, travel solar battery chargers, or solar cells by the watt.
If you wish to share your newfound environmentalism with the individuals in your life, some solar specialists in Contra Costa County even sell educational solar cells, educational solar kits, and books on solar energy systems. With all the tools and accessories that Contra Costa County solar contractors offer for your photovoltaic energy conversion, it's easy for you to harness the clean and renewable energy of the sun and feel good about your commitment to the environment.
Some Solar Contractors in Contra Costa County Are Much Better Than Others
The Prime Buyer's Report lists these solar contractors in Contra Costa County: High Definition Solar, Clean Solar, Solar Springs, Snow Solar Systems, Alcor Solar Specialists, H-Ion Solar, Inc., Light Energy Systems, Catch the Sun Solar Electric, Next Energy Corp. Other solar contractors in Walnut Creek, Pittsburg, San Ramon and Richmond CA that might still be in business include: Wired Into The Future, Inc., Heliodyne, Inc.. Didn't find what you wanted with the TOP 10 Solar Contractors in Contra Costa County? Then click here to see additional companies in this category.
When it comes to solar in Contra Costa County CA, ask these questions about the abilities, experience, and credentials of solar companies you're considering hiring:
• How long have they been installing solar in Contra Costa County?
• How many solar installations have they done similar to yours, in terms of size of job, residential versus commercial, solar electricity versus solar water heating, etc.?
• Can the solar contractor give you names and numbers of customers who had a similar kind of solar installation done who you can call as references? (All solar companies bearing the Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 symbol have already had their customer references called by research staff at The Prime Buyer's Report so you don't have to.)
• How much practical experience does the solar contractor have with the specific type of solar system you want? Solar electricity systems require different experience from solar heating or solar pool heating systems.
• Will they do a written analysis of your current energy use and the expected cost savings to be gained from the solar system they are proposing? Is there a written guarantee of that savings differential?
• Can the solar company vouch that all employees sent to your property are legal to work in the U.S.? (All solar companies in Contra Costa County bearing The Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 symbol have already signed an agreement to only hire documented workers.)
• Are there currently any rebate programs, whether federal, state, county or local that can help defray the cost of your installation, and will the solar contractor apply for those rebates for you or is it up to you?
• How will they determine pricing?
• Will the solar contractor show you proof of active workers' compensation and liability insurance? (All solar companies bearing the Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 symbol have already had proof of insurance verified by research staff at The Prime Buyer's Report so you don't have to.)
• What are the manufacturer warranties on the solar panels or other equipment they plan on installing for you and what do they cover?
• Does the solar contractor provide a written warranty for their labor, aside from manufacturer warranties on the equipment?
• Will permits be needed? If so, will the solar contractors be responsible for getting them or do they leave that up to you?
• Do the solar contractors and their own employees actually complete the solar work or do they hire subcontractors, and if so, what are the names of those companies?
When you've chosen the best solar contractors in Contra Costa County for your specific needs, make sure they are properly licensed by the State of California. (All solar contractors bearing the Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 symbol have already had their license verified by research staff at The Prime Buyer's Report so you don't have to.)
Licensing & Trade Associations Related to Solar in Contra Costa County
ASES American Solar Energy Society (http://www.ases.org/)
BBB Better Business Bureau (http://www.bbb.com/)
CALSEIA California Solar Energy Industries Association (http://www.calseia.org/)
CEC California Energy Commission (http://www.energy.ca.gov/)
CSLB Contractors State License Board (http://www.cslb.ca.gov/)
DCA California Department of Consumer Affairs (wwww.dca.ca.gov)
Diamond Certified www.diamondcertified.org
ISES The International Solar Energy Society (http://www.ises.org/)
SEIA Solar Energy Industries Association (http://www.seia.org/)
SEPA Solar Electric Power Association (http://www.solarelectricpower.org/)
Media & Web Publications for Solar Contractors
Green Power Magazine
Home Energy Magazine
Home Power Magazine
Power Engineer Magazine
Solar Today Magazine
The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the TOP 10 Solar Contractors in Contra Costa County within the following zip codes:
94513, 94531, 94598, 94575, 94582, 94507, 94563, 94519, 94528, 94596, 94806, 94514, 94522, 94521, 94807, 94509, 94518, 94564, 94802, 94517, 94526, 94523, 94527, 94803, 94525, 94850, 94547, 94530, 94569, 94561, 94556, 94553, 94549, 94597, 94570, 94805, 94572, 94506, 94801, 94595, 94820, 94511, 94548, 94583, 94524, 94520, 94804, 94516, 94808 and 94565
Solar Alamo CA
Quality Solar Alamo CA 94507
Solar Brentwood CA
West Coast Solar Brentwood CA 94513
Solar Concord CA
Alcor Solar Specialists Concord CA 94521
Light Energy Systems Concord CA 94518
Next Energy Corp Concord CA 94520
Solar Crockett CA
AEE Solar Crockett CA 94525
Solar Pittsburg CA
UL Solar Power Pittsburg CA 94565
Solar Pleasant Hill CA
Snow Solar Systems Pleasant Hill CA 94523
Wired Into The Future Pleasant Hill CA 94523
Solar Richmond CA
Regrid Power Inc Richmond CA 94804
Sun Brothers Richmond CA 94804
Sunbrothers Solar Sculptures Richmond CA 94804
Sunwater Solar Inc Richmond CA 94804
Solar San Ramon CA
Sky Power Solar San Ramon CA 94583
Solar Walnut Creek CA
Lamorinda Solar Walnut Creek CA 94597
Nu-Tech Energy Products Hagler Walnut Creek CA 94598
Solarwinds Walnut Creek CA 94597