More than a million homes have already gone solar in the U.S., and many more homeowners are considering installing solar PV systems. If you are considering taking your control back from the power companies, you might be interested in what is happening during the installation process and what to expect. There are 5 main steps that you should know about between first signing and the physical installation of the panels.
Step 1: Site Survey & Consultation
The first step in the installation process after speaking to one of our sales representatives is the site survey and evaluation. The site survey takes place to obtain detailed information on the condition of your roof, and take measurements to assist the engineers in design. During this process, an installer will come to your home to verify the planned system design as well as check the roof, attic, electrical setup, and battery placement.
Step 2: Permitting and Essential Documentation
At this point in the installation process, the results of the site evaluation should have come back and any changes that were needed, are now to be approved. If there were changes from the original design, the homeowner may now review those changes and give feedback, or approve the final design before it’s sent for permit approval.
Why is the permitting process necessary? Permit approval is necessary so everyone installing a solar system is in accordance with safety codes (fire, electrical, and structural). The installer will send permitting documents, such as the design approved in the previous stage, to the city to be approved.
Step 3: Proposal & Cost-Benefit Analysis
If you decide to go solar, our team will create a detailed proposal that outlines the work involved, your solar panel installation cost, and your system’s anticipated monthly and annual electricity output. If you’re interested in adding battery backup to your system, we’ll also review the details and costs associated with solar energy storage.
Your proposal will also include an overview of the solar energy financing options and leasing opportunities available to you. This information allows you to perform a cost-benefit analysis and determine how quickly you can expect a return on your investment.
Step 4: Solar Panel Installation
Installation just takes a few days, usually one to two. You don’t necessarily even need to be home during installation. This is when you let the professionals do their job and you can sit back and relax. Note that your power will likely need to be turned off for a few hours.
We start by ordering all of the necessary components for your installation from our supplier partners. We work with many leading manufacturers and have access to competitive prices on some of the most advanced solar energy systems on the market.
Step 5: Final Inspection & Connection
Once the installation is complete, the city inspector comes out to make sure that everything has been done in alignment with the scope of work that was permitted. The final step in turning your solar system on is for the utility company to approve the system for connection to their grid. The homeowner/installer applies for utility connection showing the contract and scope of work that has been installed. The utility representative will inspect the project to make sure it is in accordance with the utility guidelines.