Install Solar Panels

How Long Does It Take To Install Solar Panels?

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You’re ready to start contacting solar providers to get answers to your questions because you’d like to begin benefiting from greater energy independence and lower utility bills. How long does it take to install solar panels: you might be wondering. Installing solar panels and getting them approved is a lengthy process that takes time. A highly skilled team of in-house installers typically completes the installation process in one to three days.

You can find out more about the installation of solar panels by reading on.

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How Does Solar Installation Process Work?

A few essential steps must be taken during the solar installation process to guarantee that your solar PV system is ideal for your home and properly registered with your town. The time between our first meeting and installation typically ranges from 90 to 120 days, but it could be as little as 30 to 45 days depending on your town’s permit procedure.

The Boston Solar team will be with you from the first call until your system is turned on because we don’t use any subcontractors and our entire solar team is vertically integrated. Additionally, this speeds up the procedure for you.

Install Solar Panels

How To Install Solar Panels?

Step 1: Site Assessment

One of the first steps after selecting a solar company is to have your site evaluated to make sure it is suitable and secure for solar. Our company will send a qualified site assessor to your house to look at the roof and other components to make sure they can support a solar system. In a site assessment, there are three main things we watch for:

  1. Your Existing Service Panel
  2. Roof Condition and Paper
  3. Roof Dimensions, Vent Locations, Shading

Our aim is to make sure that the weight of the solar panels on your roof and the amount of energy you want to produce on your electrical panel can be safely handled. Additionally, the professionals will check to see if anything is preventing your solar panels from receiving the most sunlight exposure possible and will confirm that we have enough space for the number of solar panels suggested.

On the day of your site assessment, a qualified assessor will show up to gather any HOA records, survey the property, measure the amount of sunlight and roof exposure, and make any necessary notes for future repairs or upgrades to accommodate your solar system.

Typically, it takes a week or so from the time the contract is signed until the site visit is scheduled.

Step 2: System Design & Engineering

A group of engineers will check the designs and modify the plans to meet local code requirements using the information from the site assessment. The solar building plans will then be verified and approved by a design engineer before being submitted to the city for permits. All of our customers’ design and engineering needs are fully supported by us. We have extensive experience with residential engineering and design, so we are knowledgeable about the permit procedure. This reduces the amount of time the city needs to review the plans and the likelihood that corrections will 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 city. The primary concern of our engineers is adhering to city regulations, and our secondary goal is to maximize return on investment for our clients.

We will confirm the general layout with our customers before we apply for permits to make sure the system design accurately reflects expectations. The plans will then be checked by a design engineer before being approved and sent to the city for permits.

Step 3: Solar Permit Application

Just like with any construction project, installing solar panels on your home requires the proper permits. This is crucial because, without final approval from your city’s Building and Safety Department, you won’t be able to apply for solar billing. Even if you don’t have a service panel with a permit, you will still need to apply for one as part of the solar installation process.

The process of installing a solar energy system takes the longest when obtaining the necessary permits from your city. Depending on your city’s Building and Safety department, different permits may be needed to install solar for your home. Typically, you’ll need to apply for both an electrical permit and a solar PV permit. It usually takes 2-4 weeks, but it has occasionally taken as long as 4 months. Due to COVID-19, cities had to alter their procedure and may only be able to accommodate a small number of in-person appointments.

Step 4: Solar Panel Installation

Your solar installation business will set a date to install the machinery on your roof after issuing your permit. Unexpectedly, for most people, the installation itself is usually the easiest step. Depending on the system size, an installation will typically take 4-6 hours. If permission is required to install equipment in the garage, for instance, you only need to be present.

The majority of home solar panels can be installed in a single day, depending on the size of the solar energy system. In addition to solar panels, solar inverters, wiring, cables, and racking, our installers come prepared. Work on the electrical wiring is the first 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 several different roof plans, or has a complicated roof.

This process could take a day or two, depending on the size of your roof and home solar system.

Step 5: Final Inspection And City Approval

After the installation is finished, our team will contact the city to set up an inspection. For the solar panels to be installed properly and in accordance with city code, a city building inspector must visit the site. This crucial step ensures that the solar energy system was installed correctly, safely, and with the equipment specified in the approved engineering plans. Since installing a solar energy system is essentially installing a power plant on your roof, it is crucial that the city inspect everything to make sure it was done correctly and safely.

Additional inspections beyond those required by the City’s Building and Safety Department may be required by some cities and jurisdictions. For instance, in Chino Hills, California, you must first obtain 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 within their service area, necessitates an inspection request that also asks them to unlock the electrical meter. Inadequate inspection requests may necessitate additional inspections.

On the day of the inspection, a technician will be dispatched to your property to welcome the inspector and guide them through the installation. Corrections can happen, and when they do, they need to be made right away. Depending on the season and the city’s backlog of inspections, the inspection stage can change.

This step could take up to a week, depending on your city’s department of building and safety and how quickly the inspector can arrive. It could take more time if there are any corrections.

Step 6: Permission-to-operate With The Utility Company

Activating your solar energy system requires one more significant step even after your permit has been fully issued and finalized. To switch to solar billing, you must submit an application to your utility company. The utility company will notify you and our installation team when they have approved to give you Permission-to-Operate once they have received the solar billing application and the signed-off job card from the city inspection. Solar billing, or more accurately, net energy metering (NEM), is a billing mechanism that allows the owner of a Solar Photovoltaics (PV) System to store energy in the electric grid. You can send excess solar power to the grid in exchange for credits when your solar panels produce more electricity than you require. Therefore, until you complete this last step, even if your solar energy system is operating, you won’t be getting credit for any excess that you sell back to your utility company.

Depending on your utility provider, this process could take a week or a month.

Read More: Can You Put Solar Panels on A Mobile Home?

Factors That Impact How Long It Takes To Install Solar Panels

It can take anywhere from three (3) weeks to several months to complete a solar installation. Your solar energy project might take much longer than expected due to a number of factors. The following are the main contributing elements to delays:

HOA Approval

Your homeowner’s association (HOA) might also want to be informed of and require an approval process for solar panels because they are a significant change to your home.

Main Panel Upgrade

43% of our customers have required a main panel upgrade from a 125A service panel to a 200A electrical panel. Going solar involves more steps and calls for an additional electrical permit when a service panel is present. Additionally, the main panel upgrade necessitates 2-3 city inspections. three inspections: the preliminary, the thorough, and the final.

Unpermitted Structures And Service Panel

Any unapproved structures or the main service panel could cause your solar energy project to be significantly delayed. All of the work done on your home must be authorized by the city, or the unapproved work must be removed, in order to receive their approval.

Solar Equipment Availability

The availability of your solar equipment may be impacted by COVID-19 and the seasonality of solar. By the time your installation is supposed to take place, certain solar panels, inverters, and other essential solar parts might no longer be in stock. If they are not already in stock, specialized parts might need to be ordered. This will lengthen the installation process for your solar energy system. You might need to submit a fresh set of plans to the city’s Building and Safety department when attempting to use equipment that differs from your original plans.

Roof Repair

Your roof might not be built to last 25 years even though your solar energy system is. According to the rules of our business, we always advise roof repair if it appears that your roof will need it in less than ten (10) years. The timeline for your solar installation project will be further elongated if your roof repair needs a permit.

How Long Does It Take to Recover Solar Panel Investment?

You might be wondering how long it will take for the system to pay for itself after your solar panels are installed. The following are the procedures to determine your solar system’s payback period:

  • How much electricity does your home typically use? Your estimated payback period should be shorter as soon as your solar panels start producing energy the higher your prior electricity bill was.
  • Calculate the system’s total cost: Before taking into account incentives, the total cost of solar panels consists of the gross price of the panels, equipment, installation, and maintenance.
  • Find out what you receive annually: Solar incentives, rebates, and federal tax credits are frequently available for homes with solar panels. Additionally, your state might provide financial aid for solar installation.
  • Subtract your benefits from your total costs: The duration in years needed to fully recoup the cost of the solar system and start seeing financial benefits should be this figure.

Most people, on average, recoup their investment in seven to twelve years, depending on the state they call home.

Some Solar Panel Incentives

Utilizing federal and state solar incentives is one of the best ways for homeowners and businesses to see a return on their solar investments. The following incentives are available to people and businesses in North Carolina:

  • Tax credits for solar investments: Through 2032, the ITC will give businesses and homeowners a 30% tax credit.
  • Net metering: In North Carolina, you are able to actively recoup your investment by selling any excess energy your solar system generates to utility companies.
  • Solar electric systems are exempt from property taxes. There may be additional incentives for specific counties, cities, or utility companies, so it’s always a good idea to research what your local area has to offer for solar installations. This abatement exempts homeowners and businesses from having to pay property taxes on 80% of the value of their solar system.

Final Thoughts

Working with a knowledgeable, reputable solar installer is the best way to ensure that your solar panel installation will be completed as soon as possible.

It’s worth the wait to install solar because they can help us in many ways. Thus, do not wait any longer. Every home needs it, in my opinion.

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