If your interest in solar has been sufficiently piqued, let’s discuss how to become an owner. 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. Plus, there is all the paperwork associated with adding solar to your property. Local solar installers 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:
From there, they will design a PV system to best fit your requirements. You should receive a preliminary proposal to review. It is important at this point to ask questions or request design changes.
Once you have reviewed the proposal and indicate a desire to continue with 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, reviewing your current electrical setup and determining a plan of action to move forward.
After your site visit another proposal will be created with greater accuracy and specifications, if needed. You will have time to review this design and make any additional edits-this is entirely custom after all. 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. 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.