Installing Home Solar Panels in 5 Steps | EnergySage

More than a million homes have already gone solar in the U.S., and many more homeowners are considering installing solar PV systems. If you ’ re in the market for a clean energy system like solar, , you credibly want to know what actually happens during a solar panel installation or even how to install solar panels yourself. There are five chief steps that need to happen between signing your narrow and your base being powered by solar electricity. Most of that is behind the scenes. To show you what you can expect, we ’ ve outlined a simpleton five-step guide for how to set up solar panels for your home .

Find out how much community solar can save you in 2022


Key takeaways

  • The five main steps to installing a solar panel system include: an engineering site visit, permits and documentation, ordering equipment, solar panel installation, and approval and interconnection.
  • Your installation will follow these five main steps whether you choose to finance your system with a lease, loan, or cash purchase.
  • The actual installation of your system will generally take one to three days.
  • Solar shoppers should use the EnergySage Marketplace to compare quotes from our network of pre-screened installers.

Solar panel installation: five main steps

There are five major steps to a solar facility that your chosen solar company will by and large follow : the engineer web site inflict, finalizing permits and software documentation, ordering necessary equipment, installing the solar panels, and last, approval and interconnection.

How much does a solar panel installation cost?

In 2022, a solar panel installation costs about $ 20,498 on average – that ’ south $ 2.77 per watt for a 10 kilowatt ( kW ) system, with the 26 % federal solar tax credit included. The monetary value you pay for solar covers more than just the solar panels. There ’ sulfur extra equipment like inverters, cable, and racking to include, american samoa well as the labor to actually perform your solar facility. Within that approximately $ 20,000 is money that covers the five steps above, from an initial site visit all the direction through organization blessing and interconnection to the grid .

Before you start, try a home energy audit

It ’ s a good mind to make certain that your dwelling is energy effective regardless of whether you are concern in solar or just saving money on your electric charge. A home energy audit will uncover issues that make your home less effective. By correcting those trouble areas, you can reduce energy demands and make your home more department of energy effective. Switching to energy-efficient unhorse and appliances, arsenic well as weatherizing your dwelling, may be necessary .
It ’ south constantly good to start with a broad overview when learning how solar jury installations work, careless of what type of installation it is. Start out by watching EnergySage ’ s time-lapse television, solar Installation in Less Than a Minute ( check it out below ), which shows one of EnergySage ’ s pre-screened solar installers assemble a 6.7 kilowatt ( kilowatt ) solar energy organization on a home in Newton, Massachusetts. The happy homeowners now save $ 2,250 on their electricity bills every year thanks to their raw solar panels and will break even on their investment in fair five years .

How to install solar panels (step by step)

Installing solar panels doesn ’ thyroxine happen overnight – there ’ s a serve for what needs to happen before your home is using solar electricity and potentially contributing to the electrical power system. overall, from the day you sign your compress with your solar company, it will typically take between one and three months before your solar panels are grid-connected and producing energy for your home. We ’ ve outlined the five-step solar panel installation process below :

1. Engineering site visit: the first step to getting your solar system installed

After you sign your solar contract ( whether it be a lease, loanword, cash purchase or baron purchase agreement ), an engineer will come by your property to evaluate the electric condition of your dwelling and ensure everything is compatible with your new PV arrangement. This engineer will typically work directly for your installer, but could besides be an freelancer provider contracted by your solar company. You can expect the mastermind web site visit to occur soon after signing with your installer .
During their sojourn, the engineer will evaluate the condition of your roof to ensure that it ’ second structurally sound. They will besides look at your electric gore – the grey box in your basement – to see if you ’ ll need to upgrade it. If you hear from an installer that they need to upgrade the electric gore, that means that your new solar panels will require more amps of current, and the ampere capacity of your electric box will need to increase .
There is a possibility that, if your system is excessively old, that it will need to be replaced or upgraded .
It should be noted that this mastermind travel to is different than a general web site sojourn which is when an installer evaluates your property to consider system size, ceiling type, fish of ceiling, shading, etc. before any contract is signed. additionally, though an engineer will typically come by, in some cases the installer can take photos of the property and conduct their own measurements of the roof and the mastermind will be okay with signing off without doing his or her own visit .

2. Permits and documents: the logistical paperwork required for your solar panel installation

As with any big fiscal decisiveness, installing solar panels involves a bunch of paperwork. fortunately, most of this paperwork is dealt with by the installer – careless, it ’ randomness constantly a good estimate to know what ’ s going on behind the scenes of your solar facility. One of the chief things you ’ ll be applying for will be state and federal solar incentives such as the federal ITC, local solar programs, clean energy financing initiatives like PACE, government rebates and solar renewable energy certificates ( SRECs ) .
In summation to applying for incentives, you will need to fill out other paperwork like building permits during the solar panel installation procedure. These permits are specific to where you live. For exercise, certain states require that a roof has three feet of clear space surrounding the solar panels, whereas other areas of the U.S. will allow you to install panels across the entire surface of your roof. Your installer will know the restrictions and requirements of the states in which they operate, and can help you figure out which permits you need – in many cases, the installer will fill out this paperwork for you .
The clock time frame for this step is chiefly pendent on how long it takes your installer to get it all finished and submitted. If you ’ re tidal bore to get your control panel system up and running immediately, equitable make indisputable to follow up with your installer to check on the progress of your paperwork .

3. Ordering equipment: choosing the panels and inverters and getting your installation scheduled

nowadays that you ’ re set up with the proper paperwork, your installer will be ready to place an equipment order through their primary coil allocator. At this distributor point, you will have already decided on the equipment your system will include – that decision occurs before the contract sign that details the total costs .
however, if you ’ rhenium looking for advice on equipment survival, here are some things you ’ ll necessitate to consider. The two basal components you ’ ll need to evaluate for your clean energy system are solar panels and inverters. Your installer will probable recommend a particular brand for each, and will additionally offer a few alternatives. Durability, efficiency and aesthetics are the elementary factors most homeowners will use to compare the respective brands ( other than price ) .
To be certain that you ’ ve chosen the right equipment for your system, spend some time researching microinverters vs. string inverters vs. exponent optimizers and look into the best-rated solar panels on the grocery store. Evaluating your equipment options can help you feel prepared for the regulate and cargo stage of the facility process.

once the equipment ordering process is arrant, your property is added to your installer ’ s queue.Your equipment ( panels and inverters ) will probably arrive on the day of your initiation, which can happen whenever your paperwork is approved ( typically within one to two months ). Time until install besides depends on how many projects your installer has in their queue. If possible, try to get your solar facility done in the winter when solar companies aren ’ thymine as busy .

4. Solar installation: the big day

The actual facility is an exciting day for every solar homeowner who wants to rely on renewable energy as opposed to a utility company. There are respective individual steps to the actual facility day :

  1. Your solar installer will start by prepping your roof and making sure the shingles or tiles are properly attached.
  2. Then, they put in electrical wiring that will connect your electrical panel and general power system.
  3. After the electrical wiring is complete, they will install racking to support your panels (this is the only piece of equipment that will actually be attached to your roof). 
  4. Once the racking is level and safely attached, the panels are placed onto the racking.
  5. Finally, your inverter(s) are connected to the panels to convert direct current (DC) energy into the alternating current (AC) energy used in homes and on the electric grid.

The timeline for the facility will range from one to three days, completely dependent on the size of the organization you are installing. One extra factor that can add time to your facility action is putting in a power meter for net meter. If your installer needs to add a office meter, this will add a few hours to your solar panel initiation .
It ’ south authoritative to note that a number of reputable solar companies go through these steps without issue, but less reputable installers may provide lackluster service and decamp important steps in your install. This is why we rigorously vet our partners ; the future and final examination stage of solar panel installation involves an inspection and final approval, which can reveal if your installer cut corners .

5. Approval and interconnection

The final step of going solar is “ flipping the throw, ” so to speak, and officially commencing to generate power from your rooftop. Before you can connect your solar panels to the electric power system, a representative from your town politics will need to inspect the system and give approval. During this inspection, the congressman will basically be double-check your installer ’ south function. He or she will verify that the electric wire was done correctly, the mount was safely and sturdily attached, and the overall install meets standard electric and roof reverse codes .
Following this local inspection, you will be ready for official grid interconnection. A congressman from your utility company will come by to do their own final evaluation of the solar panel system. deoxyadenosine monophosphate long as there are no glaring issues, your panels will go live the moment they “ give the o ” and connect your system to the power system. You can expect to wait two weeks to a calendar month for the town blessing and utility approval to occur and interconnection to go live .

How to find a solar installer in your area

indeed you ’ ve decided you ’ re fix for the solar installation work – immediately what ? Choosing between different installers can be a daunting job, but EnergySage is here to help. We thoroughly vet the installers in our Marketplace, present installer-specific differentiators in the quotes you receive on EnergySage, and have created an installer-tiering badge system that helps you find the top solar installers in your area.
Learn more about how to pick a solar installer .

Can you install solar panels yourself?

Going solar has major fiscal benefits : it reduces your monthly electricity costs and can tied increase the value of your dwelling. Incentives like the federal tax credit for solar can reduce your final cost by 26 percentage, but solar is still a big investment, and the price chase can result in poser shock. To save money, it ’ s no surprise that many homeowners are considering DIY and asking themselves “ can you install solar panels yourself ? ” Simply put, yes you can—but, there are some advantages and disadvantages of doing it alone. For case, it may not be the best path to take if you distillery need to rely on some utility program energy, and initiation can be very complicated without professional feel .
If you ’ re interested in a DIY solar panel installation, check out our article on the DIY solar initiation procedure .

Commonly asked questions about solar panel installations

To better understand the facility process and how to install solar panels, check out a few of our answers to homeowners ’ most frequently asked questions :
How much does it cost to install a solar panel setup? On average, solar control panel facility costs range between $ 17,612 and $ 23,236. For more information, determine about how a lot the average solar panel facility costs in the U.S. Can I install solar panels myself? Yes, technically you can install a DIY solar panel system yourself. however, when it comes to installing a costly electrical system on your place, we recommend relying on the professionals who can help fill out permits, file important paperwork, and handle potentially dangerous electric issues that may arise. Read our article to learn more about the pros and cons of DIY solar panels. How long do solar panels take to install? On average, it will typically take between one and three months before your solar panels are grid-connected and producing energy for your home plate.

What do I need to know before installing solar panels?
beginning and first, it ’ s important to realize that no two solar installations are the lapp. While you can surely do a casual follow-up of your own electrical system and roof, ultimately it will need to be evaluated by professionals to find the best solar department of energy setup. Knowing that, and that certain areas and situations require different equipment, can help you make inform decisions about your solar energy serve and needs.

Install solar panels now and start saving money

Why go through the one to three-month summons of installing solar on your home ? Nowadays, the average solar shopper on EnergySage offsets approximately 95% of their electricity usage by going solar, and will pay off their solar energy system in just under 8 years. Find out fair how much you can save by using our solar Calculator to get a individualized blink of an eye estimate based on offers in your area. If you ’ re ready to start comparing quotes from pre-screened installers in your area, you can register your property on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace .
core solar message

source :
Category : Finance

Related Posts

How to Calculate Credit Card Interest Rates

interest rates are one of the ways to work out how much it will cost you to use your credit card, along with other charges and fees….

What debt collectors can & cannot do

If you are dealing with a debt collector, you have protections under the law. A debt collector must not mislead, harass, coerce or act unconscionably towards you….

Can You Afford a New Home? How to Determine Your Homebuying Budget

Can You Afford a New Home? How to Determine Your Homebuying Budget As with any major purchase, determining what you can afford before you look for a…

Why Did My Credit Score Drop?

Why Did My Credit Score Go Down When Nothing Changed? sometimes your mark does change based on factors outside of your control, but most times your behavior…

Why Do I Owe Taxes To The IRS & How To Avoid Them

Are you wondering why you owe indeed much in taxes this year ? Want to make certain you never owe a big tax bill – or any…

The 5 reasons why your credit score might suddenly drop

Select ’ s editorial team works independently to review fiscal products and write articles we think our readers will find useful. We earn a perpetration from affiliate…