You may be interested in learning how long the solar installation procedure will take when obtaining solar for your house.

The objective is to transition to solar energy as soon as possible to begin reducing your reliance on power.

Understanding the solar process and minimizing the time it takes for our clients to profit from residential solar is one of our main differentiators.

Continue reading to learn how long it takes to install solar panels and the typical variables that might affect the time frame.

Process of Solar Installation Broken Down

Installing solar panels and having them certified is a lengthy procedure that takes time.

In California, the process of becoming solar takes around 45 days after a signed contract is received.

When you have effective project communication and skilled installation partners, even if this may seem like a lengthy time to some, it will be well worth it.

The permitting procedure and the time it takes for the utility provider to complete your application for solar billing are the main causes of the delay.

Although you won’t be participating in the installation process directly, it is our top responsibility to make sure you are aware of what is going on.

What a homeowner might anticipate after deciding to go solar with Forme Solar is broken down below.

Depending on your location, your solar provider, the solar panels you choose, and if you’re also building a new service panel or battery backup, the time it takes to go solar might vary.

Step 1: Site Evaluation

One of the next stages after selecting a solar business is to have your site evaluated to make sure it is suitable and secure for solar.

Your house will be visited by a qualified site assessor from our firm who will check the roof and other components to see whether they can support a solar system.

During a site inspection, we focus on three main areas:

  1. Currently Installed Service Panel
  2. Roof condition and documentation
  3. Roof size, vent placement, and shading

Our aim is to make sure that your electrical panel can safely manage the quantity of electricity you wish to generate and that your roof can support the weight of the solar panels.

The specialists will also validate that nothing is preventing your solar panels from receiving the most sunshine exposure possible and that we have enough space for the quantity of solar panels suggested.

On the day of your site assessment, a qualified assessor will show up to gather any HOA records, examine the area, measure the amount of sunshine and roof exposure, and make any notes on any renovations or repairs that may be required to make room for your solar system.

It may take around a week from the time the contract is signed until the site visit is scheduled.

Step 2: System Design and Engineering

A team of engineers will check the designs and modify the plans to suit local code standards using the site assessment data.

The solar construction designs will then be checked and approved before being submitted to the city for permits.

All of our customers’ design and engineering requirements are fully supported by us.

We have extensive experience with residential engineering and design, thus we are knowledgeable with the permission procedure.

This reduces the amount of time the city needs to study the plans and the likelihood that modifications would be needed.

Every project has a distinct design, and every city has particular laws, ordinances, and processes to make sure your system complies with the standards established by the jurisdiction.

Our engineers’ first goal is adhering to local rules, and our second objective is maximizing return on investment for our clients.

To make sure the system design accurately satisfies expectations, we will check the general layout with our clients before we file for permissions.

The drawings will then be reviewed and approved by a design engineer before being submitted to the city for permits.

Step 3: Applying for a solar permit

As with any construction job, getting the appropriate permissions is necessary before you can put solar panels on your house.

This is crucial because without final clearance from your city’s Building and Safety Department, you won’t be able to apply for solar billing.

Even if you don’t have an approved service panel, you will still need to get one as part of the solar installation procedure.

The most time-consuming step in installing a solar energy system is getting the necessary permits from your city.

The Building and Safety department of your city will determine which permissions are necessary for installing solar on your house.

You typically need to apply for both an electrical permit and a solar PV permit.

Usually, it takes 2-4 weeks, although it has sometimes taken as long as 4 months.

Cities have to modify their procedures in order to comply with COVID-19, and they may only be able to host a small number of in-person appointments.

Step 4: Installing solar panels

Your solar installation firm will set a date to install the machinery on your roof after your permit has been approved.

To most people’s surprise, the installation itself usually takes the least amount of time.

Depending on the size of the system, a typical setup will take 4-6 hours.

You just need to be present if authorization is required to install equipment, such in the garage.

The majority of house solar panels may be installed in a single day, depending on the size of the solar energy system.

All of the necessary equipment, including solar panels, an inverter, cabling, cables, and racking, is brought by our installers.

The electrical wiring will be worked on in the initial stage of installation, which is followed by the solar panel installation.

Your solar energy system may take several days to install if it has many solar panels, is mounted on many distinct roof layouts, or has a difficult roof.

This phase might take one or two days, depending on the size of your roof and home solar system.

Step 5: Final inspection and city approval

After the installation is finished, our staff will contact the city to set up an inspection.

To confirm that the solar panels were erected in accordance with local law and appropriately, a building inspector from the city must visit the location.

This stage is crucial because it confirms that the solar energy system was set up legally, securely, and using the tools specified in the authorized engineering designs.

Since installing a solar energy system is effectively establishing a power plant on your roof, it is crucial that the city inspect everything to make sure it was done professionally and safely.

Additional inspections beyond those required by the City’s Building and Safety Department may be required by certain cities and authorities.

For instance, in Chino Hills, California, you must first acquire a Fire Department Inspection before requesting Chino Hill’s Building and Safety department’s Final Approval.

A final signoff for SDG&E in Chula Vista, California, which is inside their service area, requires an inspection request that includes a request to unlock the electrical meter.

A second inspection may be necessary if the proper inspections are not requested.

A technician will be sent to your house the day of the inspection to welcome the inspector and guide them through the installation.

Corrections may happen, and when they do, they ought to be made quickly away.

Depending on the season and the city’s backlog of inspections, the inspection stage might change.

This phase might take up to a week, depending on your city’s department of building and safety and how fast the inspector can arrive.

It can take longer if any adjustments are necessary.

Step 6: Permission from the Utility Company to Operate

You still need to take one more significant step to activate your solar energy system once your permit has been entirely granted and approved.

Applying to your utility provider to convert to solar billing is the last step.

The utility provider will inform you and our installation crew of their permission to award you Permission-to-Operate after they receive the solar billing application and the signed off work card from the municipal inspection.

The owner of a solar PV system may store energy in the electrical grid via the use of solar billing, or more precisely, net energy metering (NEM).

Overage power from your solar panels will be delivered to the grid in return for credits when it is produced in excess of what you need.

Therefore, until you finish this last step, even if your solar energy system is on, you won’t be earning a credit for any surplus that you sell back to your utility provider.

This process might take a week or a month, depending on your utility provider.

Factors that Affect the Time Required to Go Solar

The time it takes to finish a solar installation might range from threeweeks to several months.

Your solar energy project may be considerably delayed and time-extended by a number of issues.

The following are the main causes of delays:

#1. A HOA’s approval

Your homeowner’s association (HOA) may also want to be informed since solar panels are a big improvement to your house and could need to go through an approval procedure.

#2. Main Panel Improvement

A primary panel upgrade from a 125A service panel to a 200A electrical panel was necessary for 43% of our clients.

Going solar involves more procedures with a service panel and needs a second electricity permit.

Additionally, a main panel update requires 2-3 municipal inspections.

A preliminary inspection, an extensive examination, and a comprehensive inspection.

#3. Roofing Repair

Your roof may not be built to endure 25 years even if your solar energy system is.

According to our company’s philosophy, we advise roof repair if it seems that your roof will require it in fewer than ten years.

The time needed for your solar installation job will be further extended if your roof repair needs a permit.

#4. Unauthorized Buildings and a Service Panel

Your solar energy project may experience significant delays due to any unpermitted buildings or a main service panel.

All of the work done on your house must be authorized by the city, or the unapproved work must be removed, in order to get their approval.

#5. Solar Gear Is Readily Available.

The availability of your solar equipment might be influenced by COVID-19 and the seasonality of solar.

By the time of your installation, some solar panels, inverters, and other essential solar parts could no longer be in stock.

If specialized components are not already in stock, they may need to be ordered.

The installation of your solar energy system will take longer as a result.

You may need to submit a fresh set of plans to the city’s Building and Safety department if you want to employ equipment that differs from your original plans.

Waiting to get solar for your home is worth it!

Even while going solar may seem like a lengthy process, you shouldn’t let that deter you from making the move.

You will save money by choosing solar since utility companies are always boosting their power costs.

Electricity prices won’t decrease or disappear.

You can fix the price of energy for years to come by switching to solar power.

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Written by Bob Matsuoka
Bob Matsuoka is a blogger and founder of RVing Beginner blog. He has been blogging for over five years, writing about his own family’s RV adventures, tips for people who are interested in buying an RV or taking their family on an adventure by RV.