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(KDVR) — Colorado now ranks 13th in the nation for solar power use, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

A 43% drop in cost for solar power over five years is driving higher demand. Installers are targeting homeowners in many new, suburban neighborhoods, hoping to cash in. But some are running into problems that can be costly for customers.

Joni Fields looked forward to enjoying the benefits of going solar.

“Nice to be able to generate our own energy and not be too dependent on the electric company,” she said.

Waiting for 10 months for service after signing a contract with a Utah-based provider clouded her enthusiasm.

“You’re not only making your loan payment on your solar, but you’re paying the electric company as well, so you’re basically paying double,“ she said.

How to choose a solar power installer

The Problem Solvers contacted LGCY Power, which has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. A spokesperson told FOX31 the industry experienced delays in 2022 due to trade constraints with China, which affected the parts supply chain as customer demand skyrocketed.

Many new companies are entering the solar panel market.

Colorado Solar And Storage Association spokesperson Mac Scott told FOX31 that “a lot of companies are starting up and they are trying to get a little traction, but it’s important not to go with the first company you get in contact with.”

The non-profit advocacy group works to educate the public and strongly recommends doing your homework before choosing any provider.

“Make sure they have a master electrician on staff,” said Scott, who added that installers must be certified. Consumers should collect at least three bids, ask to view certification, check registration and follow up with references.