Solar Earth Inc.

How Long Does It Take To Install Solar Panels

If you want to get solar for your home, you should know how long the process will take. You want to move to solar energy as soon as possible to decrease your electricity costs. We see how the solar process works so our customers can get the most out of home solar as quickly as possible. This is one of the things that sets us apart. Please find out how long it usually takes to put solar panels and what kinds of things can change that time frame below.

Breakdown of Solar Installation Process

how long does it take to install solar panels

Installation of solar panels and clearing them are both steps that take time. In California, going solar takes about 40 to 45 days before a contract is signed and sent in. This may be a long time, but it is well worth it if you have good project communication and professional installation partners. Getting the permit and waiting for the utility company to process your solar billing application are taking the most time. 

You are optionally directly involved with the installation process, but we want you to know what’s happening with your job. This is a list of what a person can expect from Forme Solar after deciding to go solar. Time frames for going solar can change based on where you live, the solar company you choose, the panels you buy, and whether you need to add a new service panel or battery backup. 

Step 1: Site Assessment

Once you choose a solar installation company, one of the first things they will do is check your site to ensure it is safe and ready for solar. A skilled site assessor from our company will come to your house to inspect the roof and other parts to ensure they are strong enough to support a solar system. During a site inspection, these are the three main things we look for: 

Your current service panel roof’s condition and the size, location, and shading of the vents and paper roof

Our goal is to make sure that the solar panels won’t damage your roof and that the electricity panel can safely handle the amount of power you want to make. The experts will also check to see if anything is blocking your solar panels from getting the most sunlight and confirm that we have enough space for the suggested panels. 

On the day of your Site Assessment, a professional assessor will come to get any HOA paperwork, look over the site, measure the roof and sunlight, and note any fixes or upgrades needed to make room for your solar system.

While the contract is being signed and the site visit is planned, it can take up to one (1) week. 

Step 2: Design and build the system

A group of engineers will use the information from the site survey to check the designs and make any necessary changes to meet local building codes. Then, a design engineer will check the solar building plans and give their OK before they are sent to the city for permits. We help our customers with all of their engineering and planning needs. We know a lot about the permit process because we only do house engineering and design. This cuts down on the time the city needs to look over the plans and the chances that mistakes will happen. 

Each project is built differently, and each city has its own rules, laws, and procedures that you must follow to ensure your system follows the rules set by the town. The most important thing for our engineers is to follow city rules. The second most important thing is to get the best return on investment for our customers. 

Before we ask for permits, we will review the overall layout with our customers to ensure that the system’s design meets their needs. A design engineer will then check the plans, and the go-ahead will be given to the city for permits. 

Step 3: Apply for a solar permit  

You need the proper permits to put solar panels on your house, just like you would for any other building job. This is very important because you won’t be able to apply for solar billing until the Building and Safety Department in your city gives its final OK. If you want to go solar, you must get a service panel approved, even if you don’t already have one. 

The part that takes the most time is getting the permit from your city for your solar energy system. The licenses you need to put solar panels on your house will depend on your city’s Building and Safety department. Of course, you’ll need a Solar PV and an Electrical Permit. It takes two to four weeks, but sometimes it can take up more than a month. 

Step 4: Solar Panel Installation 

After getting your permit, the company that installs solar panels will set up a time to put the panels on your roof. Most people are surprised that the startup step is usually the fastest. Depending on the size of the machine, an average installation will take between 4 and 6 hours. You only need to be there if someone needs to get in to put something in the garage, for example. 

Most home solar panels can be put up in one day, depending on the solar energy system’s size. When our workers show up, they bring everything they need, including solar panels, a solar inverter, wiring, cables, and racks. Wiring the electricity will be the first step in the construction process. The solar panels will be the last step. It could take more than one day if your solar energy system has a lot of solar panels, is on more than one roof plan, or has a problematic roof. 

For some homes, this step can take one or two days, depending on the size of the roof and the sun-facing panels. 

Step 5: Final Inspection and City Approval

When the job is done, our team will call the city to set up a review. A city building inspector must check the spot to ensure the solar panels are installed according to city code. This is essential because it ensures the solar energy system is set up correctly, safely, and with the right tools based on the approved engineering plans. Because adding solar energy is like putting a power plant on top of your house, the city needs to ensure everything is done right and safely. 

Wiring For An Electricity Panel

Some cities and towns may need more checks than just the ones done by the City’s Building and Safety Department. For example, you will need an inspection from the fire department before you can get final approval from the building and safety department. 

To get a final sign-off from you need to fill out an inspection request form that includes a request to unlock the electrical meter. You may request another one if you need help getting the proper checks.

A technician will be sent to your home on the day of the check to wait for them and show them how to use the system. It is possible for mistakes to happen, and they need to be fixed right away. The inspection stage can be different at different times of the year and based on how many checks the city has already done. 

In some cities, the building and safety department can come quickly so this step could take up to a week. It might take longer if any changes need to be made. 

Step 6: Get permission to work from the utility company

You need to do one more big thing: turn on your solar energy system, even after getting your permit. The last thing you must do is ask your energy company to switch you to solar billing. Once the utility company gets the solar billing application and the signed job card from the city inspection, they will let you and our installation team know they are OK with permitting you to start using your solar system.

Net energy metering (NEM), another name for solar bills, allows people who own solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to store energy in the power grid and get paid for it. If your solar panels make more power than you need, you can send them to the grid and earn credits. So, even if your solar panel system works, you will only get paid for the extra energy you sell back to your power company once you finish this last step. 

This step can take anywhere from a week to a month for some companies.  

What Makes an Impact? How Long Does It Take to Go Solar?

With solar panels, the whole process can take anywhere from three (3) weeks to several months. Some things can make your solar energy job much longer than planned. The most important things that cause delays are:  

HOA Approval 

Your homeowner’s association (HOA) may also want to know about the solar panels because they are a significant change to your home and may need approval. 

Panel Upgradation

Our customers have asked us to update their main panel from a 125A service panel to a 200A electrical panel 43% of the time. Getting a service panel adds more steps to getting solar and needs an extra electrical permit. Upgrading the main panel also requires two or three city exams. Three inspections: one before the lath, one during the strip, and one at the end.

Fixing the Roof 

The solar panels on your home are made to last 25 years, but the roof might not. Regarding our business, we only suggest roof repair if it looks like it will need it in less than ten (10) years. Getting a permit for your roof repair could add more time to installing your solar panels. 

Structures and service panels that aren’t allowed

Any buildings that aren’t allowed or a main service panel that isn’t allowed can cause significant delays in your solar energy project. For the city to permit you, all your work on your home must be legal, or the illegal work must be taken down. 

It Will Be Worth It When You Go Solar for Your House!

The time it takes to go solar should encourage you to make the move. Going solar will significantly help you save money on electricity costs when utility companies continuously boost their rates. There is no way that electricity prices will ever go away. You can secure your electricity rate for years by switching to solar power. 

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