For city-dwelling Americans, utilities make up a huge chunk of their monthly expenditures — $237 on average, as of April 2019.
One way to cut down on such spending is to make your home more eco-friendly. You can cut down on water usage in the shower, or you can swap out traditional light bulbs for ones that use less power.
But you want to make an even bigger difference — you've opted to have a solar panel installation. These harness the power of the sun for power, thus saving you money and preserving the earth's resources. And those are just two of the many benefits to come with solar panels.
What can you expect when it comes time for your solar panel installation, though? Here's how the process will work.
Solar Panel Installation: A Basic Guide
We can't promise that every home's solar panel installation will follow the same timeline or process. However, in general, we take our clients through this process at this pace.
1. Initial Consultation
Once you sign up for a solar consultation, we'll meet with you to make sure Enlyten is a good fit for your project.
Our consultant will learn what you want from a solar installation on your home. We'll also teach you more about what our panels are made of and how they work.
Then, the consultant will analyze your current utility bills and usage. They can then design a solar system that will work for your household.
2. Site Survey and Design
On that note, once you decide to move forward with your solar panel installation, it's time for a site survey.
Our team will visit your home to survey the property. That way, they can go on to design a system that maximizes your space. They will consider your household's energy needs, too, as they will have already learned about your utility usage.
This step typically takes three to five days.
3. Design Review
Once we have finished the design, we won't start working until you give us the green light.
So, we'll schedule a design review — which only counts as one day of the solar panel installation process. You have the final say on the system design so that there aren't any surprises when it's time to install the system.
With your approval, we'll seek the approval of your local jurisdiction and HOA (if you have one) — that's the next and, sometimes, longest step in the process.
You're not the only one who has to say yes to your solar panel installation project. We will secure building permits, and you'll have to get the approval of your homeowner's association if that's necessary for your neighborhood.
On top of that, we will have to send an application to your local utility provider to take part in their net metering program. This step's a great one for you — if you create more energy than you need, you can send it back to the local grid. You will then receive an energy credit, which you can use for nighttime electricity costs, for example.
Getting all of these approvals takes time. Typically, we have to wait 20 to 30 days to move onto step five.
Now that we have the green light from all of the local authorities, it's time to install your solar panels.
Our team works effectively and efficiently. Sometimes, we can complete the entire installation in a day. More involved projects may take two days.
Either way, you won't have to worry about going through the process again for a long time. The lifespan of a solar panel is 35 to 45 years, after all.
6. Turning It On
We can't flip the switch on your solar panels immediately. Instead, they have to pass local inspections. The utilities company will come by, too, to make sure everything's wired up to the grid.
This final step takes 20 to 30 days. But once you have everyone's approval, you don't have to wait any longer — you can turn on your solar energy system and start harvesting clean energy for your home.
Factors That Can Slow Solar Panel Installation
Don't take this timeline completely to heart — not all homes are created equal, as far as their potential for hosting a solar panel installation.
In general, the process favors homes with large, rectangular roofs that face toward the south. Roofing material isn't necessarily important, but the quality of your roof is. If you have any damage or rot lingering beneath your roof, then it isn't suitable to hold these high-tech panels in place.
You can, of course, hire someone to repair your roof pre-panel installation. In fact, you can often schedule your roof to be replaced at the same time that you plan your solar panel setup.
Other than that, listen to your contractor's instructions for preparing your home pre-installation. Clean up trees and branches that could hinder the process. And make sure kids and pets stay inside so everyone's safe while the job gets done.
Don't let these speedbumps deter you, though. But you should make sure you have both the finances and time in your budget to get everything done ahead of your solar panel installation.
Harness the Power of the Sun
Your solar panel installation is just the beginning. It's a long process, but it's one that will pay you back in dividends over the years to come. Not only will you save cash, but you'll protect the earth's resources — and all of that will feel pretty good.
We can help you get there. Click here to schedule your solar consultation.