During the past six months, we’ve seen a significant up-tick in the number of calls from solar contractors who are being required to have an independent party inspect and commission their systems. The requirements are coming from the military and other federal agencies as well as local governments, public schools and private investors. We are also seeing how solar contractors who are offering this on all their jobs are gaining market share by increasing their credibility.
Think of the trust built with customers if you have every one of your systems inspected and commissioned by an independent party. It shows that you have tremendous confidence in the quality of your work – you aren’t afraid to have it inspected, you aren’t cutting corners or hiding anything. And think of the time and money it can save.
We all know that mistakes are made on solar installations; even the best crews occasionally overlook something, get distracted or interrupted, forget to go back and take care of a detail. It happens. We also know that it is virtually impossible to find all of our own mistakes. That’s why writers have copy editors, why software companies have QA departments. And we are fully aware that it is far less expensive to catch and correct a problem when we are still on the job site, before we “hand over the keys”. Avoiding an extra truck roll alone is worth the cost of an independent inspection, to say nothing of the benefit to your customer relations, reputation – the strength of your brand.
There are a growing number of companies specializing in inspections, commissioning and O&M. Most of them (QESolar in New Jersey for example) are located in areas where a robust market can support them and their operations are local and regional. They stay plenty busy close to home. But if you or your project are not in one of these highly developed solar markets, not in California or the mid-Atlantic, your choices for inspection are more limited. There are only a few companies offering inspection and commissioning nationwide. ONTILITY is one of them. Many of you already know our NABCEP certified master electricians. You’ve taken classes from Eddie Haynes, Janet Hughes and Tim Coats. You’ve called them for advice. Now they are on the road providing their expert advice on job sites all over the country. They’ve inspected and commissioned systems from rural Texas to Oakland, from a straightforward 10kW grid-tied system on a school to the largest whole-house battery backup system in the Southwest.
Third-party independent inspection and commissioning: Start including it in your projects, see how your reputation improves and your business grows.