Every solar project is different. Your roof, your objectives, and the way you use energy mean that we do best by custom-designing a system specifically for you. This involves production estimates, engineering documents, and a lot of due diligence like permitting and loan applications.
But even though your system is tailored to your situation, we follow a clearly-defined process to get the work done. There are differences in every city, but you can generally expect your solar project to go like this:
1. Project Begins
As soon as we have a contract to build your solar, you’ll get a welcome call from our project team. They’ll introduce themselves as your primary point of contact, and go over the specifics of your system. They’ll answer any questions you may have at this point, particularly those of a technical nature, and let you know what you can expect going forward. You’ll get to know your project coordinator fairly well before the process is complete.
Within 3 days
2. Site Survey
Within just a couple days of kicking off your project, a technical expert from our install team will come to your place to complete the plan. They’ll take precise measurements of your roof, assess the underlying structure, and check for shade issues from nearby trees and buildings. They’ll analyze your existing electrical system and check out access to your attic. Any existing conditions that may affect your install will be spotted during your site survey.
Within 2 weeks
3. Design & Engineering
After we’ve made sure we understand the conditions on the ground (or roof!), we start designing your system to the utmost precision. We make sure the panels you’re anticipating will fit on your roof, and we double-check your energy outlook. We create electrical diagrams and factor for any special installation considerations. If local conditions call for it (if you live in a coastal region, for instance) we’ll also do structural drawings to ensure your system will stand the test of time. All this work is done by certified design professionals, and is imperative to a successful install.
Within 4 Weeks
4. Permitting & Approvals
Before we install, we make sure we’ve done all the due diligence to keep you compliant as a property owner. Depending on where you live, we’ll submit your plans to your municipality’s building authority, and get a permit to do the improvement. We’ll also arrange for approval from your Homeowners Association if you have one. As a turnkey solar provider, we’ll do all the legwork–we’ll just need your signature on a few things.
Within 8-10 weeks
The big day comes when the plan is perfected and all the boxes have been checked. We’ll show up–typically early in the morning–with a sizable crew equipped with hand tools, ladders, and safety equipment necessary to working up on the roof. We’ll spend the day fastening rails to your roof with no-leak flashing, securely bolting down the panels, and wiring up the electrical connections. Most installs are finished the same day.
6. Inspection & Commissioning
After the system is installed, the authorities come out to verify our work. In some instances, we’ll be asked to make a correction or adjustment; every permitting district–not to mention every inspector–is different, and may have their own requirements. Rest assured that changes required by the permitting office will be given top-level priority.
Your utility also needs to approve your new system before allowing it to be connected to the power grid. Like city inspectors, utilities all do things their own way. Many perform their own inspections, while others simply require us to send photos. Some will give us PTO (Permission to Operate) the day we request it, while others can take weeks to get us through the pipeline.
Once we’re in the clear with all the stakeholders, we turn on your system, and you start producing real, usable power.
When we come out to turn on your system, we’ll show you how to monitor your production. We’ll help you install the app on your phone, and give you some pointer on how to use it and what to look out for. One great thing about solar is that it mostly takes care of itself…and gives you the tools to know how it’s doing.
See ya next time!
At this point, we hope we’ve knocked your socks off with our communication and quality workmanship. Since solar is extremely reliable and produces for decades, we don’t expect we’ll be getting called back to fix stuff. But we do hope you call us if you buy a new house, or if your friend is jealous and wants to go solar, too. We’d love to have your repeat business and your referrals.
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