Steps To Solar Ownership

There are multiple paths to solar ownership that you can take. You can go the DIY route, but you’ll likely spend more time learning how to install the equipment, where to purchase the system, and how to design it to code than it’s worth. In addition, there is quite a bit of paperwork required when adding solar to your property.

The other path involves bringing in local solar installers. Quality solar installers will provide you with a design, choose the proper equipment to meet your needs, install the array, and handle the majority of the paperwork required. They can take the guesswork out of the project by can help with all this and more.  

When you call an installer they’ll likely ask a few basic questions to get the ball rolling. Things like;

  • historical energy usage over the past year,
  • your goal for a solar system (reduced bills, battery backup, energy independence)
  • property details

From there, an installer will design a PV system that best meets your goals and requirements. You should receive a preliminary proposal to review the deisgn. At this point in the project, it is important to ask questions and request any desired design changes.

Once you have reviewed the proposal and indicated a desire to continue with the installation, the installer will perform a site visit. You and the install representative will walk through your property ironing out location details for the array. You will review your current electrical setup and determine a plan of action to move forward.

After your site visit, another proposal will be created with greater accuracy and specifications. You will have time to review the design and make any additional edits. Remember, this is entirely custom work. When all details are worked out, a contract will be signed and typically a down payment will be required.

Now the fun begins! Interconnection and permitting paperwork will be done. Most solar installers will handle this for you. If not, you’ll need to begin contacting your utility company (for interconnection and marking of any underground lines) and the city or county typically has to grant you a building permit. The difficulty of this task varies depending on the city and utility company. Let’s assume you’ve picked an installer who handles this, then all you should need to do is provide a signature or two.

Materials are ordered and once received, installation can begin! Depending on the job size, installation will range from a few days to a few weeks. The utility must inspect the system,  change your meter and give permission to operate.  That is your cue to sit back and enjoy years of clean, renewable energy.