Residential solar electric systems can provide energy independence for homeowners.  BUT, remember …  its always good to play an active role in the process.

Although the actual solar panel install and wiring may only take a few days, there are other considerations and factors that come into play when completing a solar installation.  Here are the steps that PPC Solar experiences when handling a residential solar installation (and I bet its similar for other installers).

What are the steps involved in going solar?

 

Step 1 – Feasibility

  • Site feasibility analysis
  • Preliminary proposal (including financial analysis) and estimate

Step 2 – Finances

  • Assessment of available incentives
  • Evaluation of financing options
  • Preparation and filing of paperwork

Step 3 – Site Planning and Design

  • System design
  • Project planning w/ homeowner
  • Contract executed
  • *In-depth engineering and logistical analysis (if required)

Step 4 – Engineering

  • Specification of system details
  • *Structural engineering (if required)
  • Final system design

Step 5 – Procurement & Install

  • Procurement of materials
  • Photovoltaic array installation
  • Inspection
  • System testing and commission

Step 6 – Operations & Maintenance

  • Training/System Owner education
  • System monitoring
  • Administration and execution of warranty coverage
  • Field service and technical support

Comprehension of the key steps will help you set realistic expectations and communicate more effectively with your installer.  Before the contract is signed, be sure to ask your project manager what to look forward to during the process.  It is helpful to understand how your solar electric system will be sited, sized, installed, and maintained correctly!