Whether addressing air leakage and insulation issues, replacing your heating or AC system, or installing a solar energy system, selecting a contractor for a home energy improvement job should be treated like any major purchase: Be precise about the job expectations and the products and services being purchased and be diligent in checking the credentials and integrity of your contractor.
Identify several potential hires for your job via usual sources such as the Internet, Yellow Pages, word of mouth, friends, professional associations, etc., and get bids from at least three contractors. Check with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry at www.dli.mn.gov to make sure the contractor is licensed (if licensure is required) and check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints or actions against the contractor. Get references and check out online consumer rating services to learn what others have to say about particular contractors.
Tips on bids and contracts:
For more on selecting a contractor, see the “Home Envelope” energy guide (pages 40-41) or the “Citizen’s Guide to Home Building and Remodeling,” a publication from the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office.
Minnesota Energy Tips is provided twice a month by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources. Contact the division’s Energy Information Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-657-3710 with energy questions.