From saving on your electricity bills, to helping save the planet, installing solar panels on your home comes with many appealing benefits. Choosing to invest in a solar energy system is a great way to increase the value of your home. While each home and its owners are different, no matter the size of the system, the same steps to going solar are the same for everyone. Follow along to see the first 5 steps to going solar.

Get an Estimate

The first, and most important step to even see if you are capable of installing solar panels into your home, is contacting a solar installer company for an estimate. While this process may seem easy, it can be quite time consuming as you may be contacting several companies until you find the right one. We recommend doing your research, asking friends for referrals, or take a look at certified independent contractors.

Many solar installers will more than likely offer a free quote, and will ask you a number of questions about your home such as electricity bill history, the type and age of your roof, and any specific questions about your utility provider, so make sure you have all of this information on hand! You will also learn about different financing options from the installer.

Evaluation

After you have gathered all of your information from the company you have chosen to go with, the next step is for the installer to come out to your home and do an onsite evaluation. During this, they will inspect your roof, electrical system and perform a shade analysis. The goal of this step is for the installer to gather all of the information they need to proceed onto the design phase.

Design and Permitting

After the installer has come out and has gotten all of the details they need, they will create a custom detailed system that is designed specifically for your home. This will include the number of panels, orientations, wiring of the systems, and how it will be connected to the grid. They will also provide you with projected energy offset. The installer is responsible for submitting this design to your city or county permitting departments. This step is long, because we all know going through permitting is quite a pain. However, upon working with your installer, you should ask if they have strong relationships with the permitting offices. A strong relationship can possibly speed the process up a little bit.

Installation

Of course, the most exciting step! It is in this step that you finally get to see everything come together, and start experiencing the benefit of your investment! Keep in mind, that it may be necessary for you to be present during installation, since installers will be accessing your yard and roof. An installation usually lasts between one and three days depending on the size and complexity of your system.

Inspection and Commissioning

You can see the light at the end of the tunnel…you’re almost there! The last step requires your local utility and jurisdiction to inspect your system to make sure it was installed up to coding and your permit. Since sometimes it can be a hassle to get these people onsite, expect this step to also take a little longer as well. However, one you are signed off, it’s time to flip the switch and start saving on your electric bills!

If you’ve reached the end, congratulations! You’re saving money and the planet at the same time!