I’m amazed when I see a solar website without a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) page. Sadly, we live in short-attention span world where consumers want quick answers to the most obvious questions — even when the answers aren’t so obvious or simple.
Nevertheless, if visitors don’t find the answers to their questions on your website, you can be sure they’ll click away to another Google search until they do find them.
I’m not going to write the answers to the questions below, since they’re going to be a little different for every installer, especially in regards to specific state incentives. However, I will give some tips to point you in the right direction.
1) How much does a solar system cost?
This is absolutely the most frequently asked solar FAQ on the planet. Don’t just say that it depends on many factors, yada, yada, yada, get a quote. These customers are really looking for a number, not an explanation. If you don’t have a simple website estimator tool, then give a price range with the explanation that everyone’s price will depend on a home’s current energy usage and how much of their bill they want to offset. At the end of that statement, be sure to have a “call to action” along the lines of: “To get a free accurate quote, please fill out this form, or contact us,” etc.
2) Do I need batteries?
Pretty straight forward. Explain your local net metering policy and that it’s like a virtual battery, so no batteries needed. Also mention the extra expense of batteries.
3) What’s a solar lease or solar PPA?
Couch this around financing solar, and briefly explain both the advantages and disadvantages of leasing/ppa versus buying. If you offer a solar leasing/ppa program, certainly mention that and its (typically) low upfront costs.
4) What happens when it’s cloudy or raining or at night?
This is another chance to explain net metering and to reassure customers that they will always have electricity and be tied to the grid.
5) What’s an SREC?
Few might actually ask this question, even in SREC states. But if they’re worth anything in your state, you should have the question and answer. Any financial benefit is an enticement to get a free quote.
6) How old can my roof be to go solar?
Give your standard answer. I’ve heard many ranges, so I won’t discuss here. Be sure to point out that you can refer them to a quality roofer that will give them a discount if one is needed. Of course, if you don’t have a quality roofer referral, find one.
7) How does solar work?
I’m often surprised about people who don’t know the difference between solar PV and solar thermal, so be sure to briefly explain that difference and what kind of solar service you provide. Often, people think that "solar" is one or the other, not realizing there are two main solar technologies that can apply to them. For PV, mention the sun, the panel, and the inverter, and be sure to mention that there are no moving parts, so very little maintenance. An included diagram would be helpful. For solar hot water, a diagram for a closed loop system would be helpful.
8) Do you provide any type of financing?
This is another opportunity to mention your leasing program, PACE, or any loan programs you have with a local bank or solar panel manufacturer. It may also be good to mention that the combined loan/leasing/ppa payment and new utility bill can be x% to x% lower than the old utility bill.
9) How long does it take to install solar on my home?
Be honest here about your install times. Also, mention typical wait times for your city to approve. Transparency is best.
10) What rebates and incentives are available?
Mention any local rebates, SRECS, and the 30 percent ITC, and that because every home is different, it’s best to get a free accurate quote “to see how much you can save.”
There are many more solar FAQs, but the above list is a good start. If customers are visiting your website, their main concerns are going to be costs, reliability, convenience, and safety. Mold your FAQ’s around those issues, but don’t go beyond 15 questions. Too much information can overwhelm first time visitors and scare them away for a few months.
So, keep it simple, but accurate, and have a friendly, transparent tone. Also, don’t forget that you can link a brief answer to more detailed information on your website — for example, on how solar works or further explaining SRECS.
Want to add more FAQ suggestions to the above list? Feel free to add your favorites below. UnThink Solar.
The information and views expressed in this blog post are solely those of the author and not necessarily those of RenewableEnergyWorld.com or the companies that advertise on this Web site and other publications. This blog was posted directly by the author and was not reviewed for accuracy, spelling or grammar.