Find a Contractor & Tips for Contractor Selection
Many home improvement projects and upgrades start with finding a qualified contractor. NYSERDA not only offers advice on finding the right contractor but maintains a statewide list of contractors approved to work in NYSERDA’s programs. Using one of our approved contractors helps ensure professional, high-quality work.
NYSERDA partners with contractors who are trained and certified to deliver the highest-quality energy efficiency services for your home. We partner with specialized contractors such as those focused on home energy assessments, residential solar project experts, and contractors installing and servicing heating and cooling systems.
Tips for Contractor Selection
Use the below five-step guide to help find the right contractor.
Step 1: Get Recommendations
- Ask friends, neighbors, and coworkers who recently completed a home efficiency project for recommendations. Word of mouth is a great place to start.
- Take a look at online resources you trust that post ratings and reviews of contractors.
- Compile a list of at least three potential contractors.
Step 2: Research Credentials
- Check for qualifications, such as licensing and insurance. For example, some municipalities require contractors to be licensed and will provide a list of licensed contractors on their website.
Step 3: Interview Candidates
- Conduct phone or in-person interviews with at least three contractors.
- Ask detailed questions, such as:
- How long have you been in business?
- What services do you specialize in?
- Are you a BPI Gold Star contractor? What professional certifications do your employees maintain?
- How many projects like mine have you completed in the last year?
- Can you provide a list of references?
- How many other projects would you have going on at the same time as my project?
- What types of insurance do you carry? Contractors should have personal liability, workers’ compensation, and property damage coverage.
- Can you provide a certificate of insurance?
- Will you use any subcontractors on this project?
- What is your customer complaint resolution policy?
Step 4: Ask for Estimates
- Get written, itemized estimates from the final candidates. Estimates should be sufficiently detailed so you can easily compare bids from different contractors.
- Don’t automatically choose the lowest bidder. You should consider experience and quality of work. These can be reasons for the higher bid.
- Ask for an explanation to see if there’s a reason for major differences in price.
Step 5: Check References
- Checking references for your list of final candidates will give you the confidence to make a final decision.
- Ask references detailed questions such as:
- Were you satisfied with the contractor’s work?
- Was the work completed on time and on budget?
Energy Assessments and General Efficiency Upgrades
Home Energy Performance Contractors
How They Help. NYSERDA-approved home energy performance contractors are specially trained professionals who use state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and comprehensive analysis to identify where your home is wasting energy and the improvements needed to make your home more comfortable and energy efficient.
Clean Heating and Cooling Contractors
Air Source Heat Pump Contractors
How They Help. NYSERDA-approved air source heat pump contractors can assess whether an air source heat pump is right for your home, conduct a quality installation, and provide routine maintenance to your system, as needed.
Find approved air source heat pump contractors.
Cordwood Boiler and Wood Pellet Boiler Contractors
How They Help. These NYSERDA-approved contractors are qualified to install eligible cordwood boiler and wood pellet boiler systems.
Ground Source Heat Pump Contractors
How They Help. These NYSERDA-approved contractors can assess whether a ground source heat pump is right for your home, review financing options, conduct a quality installation, and apply for the NYSERDA ground source heat pump rebate on your behalf.
Find approved ground source heat pump contractors.
Solar Hot Water (Solar Thermal) Installers
How They Help. These NYSERDA-approved contractors have demonstrated technical competence in the solar hot water field and specialize in installing solar water heaters.
Multifamily Building Contractors
How They Help. NYSERDA’s approved network of multifamily building contractors work hand-in-hand with you to find ways for your building or property to use energy more efficiently.
Renovation and Construction
Low-Rise Residential Contractors
How They Help. NYSERDA partners with New York ENERGY STAR® home builders who can provide homeowners with comfortable, durable, environmentally friendly homes that are cost-effective to own and operate. They renovate and build homes with energy-saving features and high-quality building methods to reduce energy usage.
Residential Solar Contractos
How They Help. NYSERDA maintains a network of participating residential solar contractors who can install a solar electric system of up to 200 kW at a home or property. These contractors will inspect your location to determine the best system size and placement options, assist with paperwork in applying for NYSERDA incentives and financing options, and perform the installation.
Small Wind Turbine Contractors
How They Help. NYSERDA’s approved small wind turbine contractors have been selected on the basis of their experience installing wind systems, training, education, and recommendations from past customers.
Find approved small wind turbine contractors.