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How do I know if a contractor is a licensed professional?

Installation by a professional contractor is required to be eligible for the Cash-Back Rewards offered through the Residential and Enhanced Reward Program (does not apply to smart thermostats - reward available for installations after July 1, 2015). To verify whether your contractor is a professional contractor, ask them for a copy of their professional contractor license. Equipment must be installed according to all applicable building, local, state and federal codes, standards, ordinances and regulations, and manufacturer specifications. A licensed contractor can help you obtain all necessary permits and ensure that all work is done to code. Please use our Find A Trade Ally tool for a complete listing of qualified contractors. You can also ask friends and family for referrals, check references and search for reviews online, including those from the Better Business Bureau.
However you choose to obtain the information, we recommend the following tips when hiring a contractor:

  • Always use a professional contractor.
  • Be sure to get more than one bid for the work (at least three bids are ideal).
  • The lowest bids aren't always the best – compare itemized bids to determine what products or services, including any maintenance and warranties, are included in the costs.
  • Ask for written, itemized estimates that include all potential costs.
  • Ask your contractors what trainings or certifications they have received.
  • Read reviews on online sites like Yelp and Angie's List.
  • Obtain and sign a contract, including: itemized costs, proof of insurance, completion date, and payment terms.
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