Residential Solar Panels: How Long Does It Take To Install?

how long does it take to install

When you are planning to install solar panels on your home, you’ll probably want to know how long the process will take. If you have gone through the benefits of solar, the goal will be to get the panels installed as soon as possible so you can start offsetting your energy costs. To understand how long it takes to install solar panels, you need to understand the several installation steps. Here are some steps that need to be completed during solar installation and how long each of them might take.


Home Assessment


Once you have chosen a solar panel installer, the first thing they will do is to assess and approve your site. A representative of the solar installer will come and inspect your roof or yard to find out if it’s possible to install solar panels. For instance, they can check to see if your roof has enough space and if it’s structurally capable of supporting solar panels. Apart from that, the solar expert will also ensure that there is nothing obstructing the sunlight. This step will likely take about one to two weeks.


Application for Permits


Before you can install solar, you need to obtain some permits from your local government. You may also need to notify the homeowners’ association so you can get approval to start the installation process. The permits needed vary depending on where you stay. As such, the time it takes to obtain these permits also varies with your local government. Most areas require that you obtain a photovoltaic permit, general electrical permit, and sometimes a construction permit. This step will take about three to six weeks.


Solar System Design


The duration of the solar system design process is dependent on where you want to install the panels and how many of them your home needs. In some instances, the solar installer may need to order some parts that are not in stock. This will increase the time it takes to install your panels. If some of the parts are coming from overseas, you might need to wait several weeks for the equipment to arrive. Furthermore, you may need to get approval for your solar system design before the installation can begin. If there are any changes that need to be made, this step becomes longer. Solar system design usually takes up to two weeks or more, depending on the availability of materials. Fortunately, the design process can be done at the same time as permitting.


Solar Panel Installation


This step requires the least amount of time. In most instances, a solar installer will be able to complete the installation in a few days. The installation company will come to your house with all the necessary equipment, and they will get to work right away. If you are lucky, the process can be finished in a single day. However, it generally takes a few days to complete. Depending on where the system is being installed and the number of panels you need, a solar installation can take up to two days.


System Inspection


After installation, you will need to wait a bit before you can start using your panels to generate power. A local inspector will come to your site to ensure that everything is installed correctly. This step might seem like an unnecessary delay, but it’s important to make sure that the installation is safe and ready to start delivering electricity. Depending on your location, an inspection can take up to a week.


Permission-to-Operate with a Utility Company


This is the final step. Before you can use your system, you should submit an application to get your utility company to connect your system. In some locations, the utility company will install a meter that measures the amount of electricity you are generating. This step will likely make you anxious. Fortunately, it’s usually completed in less than two weeks.


It can take a few weeks from the moment you find a reliable solar installer to when you can start enjoying solar energy. This might seem like a long process, but don’t let that discourage you. The solar installation comes with a lot of significant benefits that you can’t miss.


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