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Contractor Selection Tips

Choosing a contractor is a key step in making your energy efficiency or renewable energy project a success, whether you are renovating an historic home, building a new office space, or installing a solar system. Hiring a contractor unfamiliar with the requirements of your job or working with an unlicensed installer can lead to a number of problems. Fortunately, there are many resources to help you choose the right contractor for the job.

Energy Trust recommends working with a trade ally contractor from our list. Trade allies are on the front lines of offering energy-efficiency and renewable energy services and products to help you use energy wisely. When you refer to this network of licensed and insured independent contractors, you are choosing from a group that is up-to-date on the latest Energy Trust standards, quality control requirements and incentives. They can also help you complete your cash incentive applications. Trade allies receive additional training and support that Energy Trust does not provide to nonaffiliated contractors.

Considerations when choosing a contractor:

  • Be sure your contractor has the correct licenses. At a minimum, a contractor should hold an Oregon Construction Contractors Board, or CCB, license, or for Washington customers, a Washington contractor’s license. You can verify Oregon CCB information here, and Washington license information here.
  • Check online resources to see how the contractor is rated. Angie’s List, the Oregon CCB, the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, the Better Business Bureau of Alaska, Oregon, and Western Washington, and any references provided by the contractor can all be good resources.
  • Review your bid and understand the work to be performed. Trust, quality, professionalism and a commitment to stand behind the work can be as important as the bid’s total cost. Consult resources created by the CCB, such as “16 ways to avoid remodeling, repair, and construction problems”.
  • Ask friends and family for recommendations, and if you don’t know where to start, Energy Trust can help. We can refer you to highly qualified trade ally contractors from our list. Call 1.866.368.7878 or search our website for local trade allies matching your needs.
  • Concerned about potential contractor-related scams? Click here to view a list of potential scams and tips to avoid them.