So you’ve decided to make the switch to solar power! That means you’ll be cutting your electricity bill for the next 25 years (maybe 40+), you’ll be adding equity to your house, and you’ll be doing something positive for the environment. You understand the benefits of solar energy and you've decided to join millions of other renewable energy users in the U.S. Now you’re probably wondering: when will your system be ready to produce electricity?
If you’re also thinking about how to prepare, how long everything takes, and whether there are any disadvantages of solar energy, let us calm your worries.
We’re here to give you a better idea of the project timeline and what’s involved in the process.
Choosing a Company
You may be in the middle of shopping for your solar company —or maybe you’re just starting out. While you’re researching companies and deciding who you can trust, you might check out places like Energysage.com or Cleanenergyauthority.com, or any number of different solar quote aggregators. It’s important to compare and call up the companies that you’re considering. Eventually, you’ll talk to your solar company. But after discussing the benefits and receiving a quote, you might still have questions. You’ll get a better idea of the details once your team can move on to the Site Assessment.
A solar professional will come to your house for a visit and complete a site assessment. They’ve already done their homework after your consultation. They’ve used tools like Google maps to check the azimuth, direction of your roof, and the shading on your property in order to better coordinate where your residential solar panels should be placed. But now, they need to confirm your system design by verifying measurements, inspecting your roof or property, and adjusting for a more precise measurement of shade and whatever obstructions are blocking your roof. It takes approximately 1-2 weeks to go through your consultation and site evaluation.
Once you’ve agreed on your system pricing and arranged financing, your team can start the more in-depth work. Before starting the installation, the design of your solar panel system must be approved. The site evaluation provided the solar design expert with the information they needed to accurately adjust the system plan, your quote, and the best way to build the conduit and make everything look perfect. It takes approximately 1-3 weeks to properly map out your project and email you for final approval.
The next step is getting permission from the city to start construction. This phase timeline is dependent upon local bureaucracy. In some jurisdictions it goes quickly, while in others the wait can be drawn out. Your solar professional usually is accompanied by a determined permitting expert who gets to know government officials by name and develop a rapport with them.
A good solar company will consider permitting from the start of the project and communicate realistic timeline expectations to their customer. The final documentation is the longest part of the wait, taking anywhere from 2-8 weeks.
As soon as permits have come through, your project is ready to go! Your solar team ensures that the project parts and equipment are ordered, and the installation crew is prepared so that they can smoothly install your solar panel system. The hands-on installation generally takes 2-5 days!
When your construction is finished, the city or county is required to do a final inspection before your system can be connected to the grid. Depending upon the time of year, the backlog of solar inspections, and the speed of your local government, the estimated time to complete this step is between 1-4 weeks
Before you can start producing solar energy, your system needs to be connected to the local grid. In order to get your system connected, utility companies require project documentation. The solar company completes this requirement while submitting an application with the utility company, which usually takes 1-2 weeks. The utility must then install the bi-directional meter and have it come on line to track how much energy you’re producing. This process can take between 2-4 weeks.
Altogether, dealing with the utility takes between 3-6 weeks. The best that you and your solar team can do here is be patient.
From initial site assessment with your solar salesperson to when the system finally goes online can take between 2-3 months on average. Most of the frustration customers may face comes from delays with the permitting process or utility interconnection. While these factors are out of our control, companies like YellowLite work hard on their part to make up for it. Our team is determined to expand renewable energy and help you reap the benefits of solar power!
Get started on your solar project by speaking to a YellowLite solar consultant today!
Call us at 216-333-1364
Email us on https://www.yellowlite.com/contact-us/