We’re asked a number of common questions when discussing our solar power options with clients, and one of the most frequent areas here revolves around timing. From the concept and design phase up through installation and related themes, it’s completely understandable that prospective solar clients want to have an idea of how long the process of installing solar panels will take on their home or commercial building.
At Intermountain Wind & Solar, we’re happy to answer these questions and more for any of our residential or commercial solar power installations, service or other solutions in Salt Lake City and other parts of Utah. While the precise timing of a solar panel installation will vary somewhat between clients, there are a number of similar or even identical steps that will be followed during this process, and we’re happy to give you a general primer on their timing and the sorts of expectations you should have headed into a solar panel purchase, starting with the very earliest steps.
The very first step of any solar panel installation involves a professional from a solar company like ours coming out to your site and assessing it. They’ll be looking at a few different elements, starting with the roof but also involving a few other features – the goal here is to confirm that the structure and surrounding property can adequately support a solar panel system.
One of the things we’ll consider here, for instance, is whether your roof can handle the weight of the solar panels you’re considering. We’ll also investigate your electrical system to confirm it has enough capacity for the amounts of energy that will be produced by your new solar power system. We’ll also see to basic tasks like confirming your structure has an unobstructed view of the sun, plus take all the basic measurements that are required for installation.
Exact timing on this assessment will vary depending on the time of year and the appointment schedules of our solar professionals. We’re often able to arrange appointments within just a day or two, though waiting periods might be longer during the busiest times of the year.
Solar power installations often require the proper permits from local authorities, just like many other construction jobs that will be done on properties. The specific permit or permits will depend somewhat on your local government and what they require, and this will obviously have an impact on how long it takes to get these permits – some local governments move a lot faster than others, to say the least. But generally speaking, you’ll need a photovoltaic permit, an electrical permit and perhaps a construction permit.
Additionally, you may have to consider homeowners’ association rules and regulations if you live within the bounds of an HOA. You might have to get approval from your HOA in writing in some situations. This process can take a few weeks if you’re handling multiple steps here, but many are able to handle it much faster.
Once we’ve clarified all the proper permits and have prepped your site, it’s time to design the system prior to installation. This is one area where timing depends largely on your solar provider, and where working with a reputable installer like ours is so valuable: We have all our parts well-stocked, and don’t have to wait days or weeks to ship them in from other states or countries. You won’t sit around for weeks waiting for us to fill an out-of-stock component that’s required for your system.
The only potential delays here might be getting approval for some part of the installation, whether from government or our solar experts.
Next up is installation, which is actually often one of the quickest steps involved in the process. It generally only takes a day or two to install new solar panels, and the technicians working for us are fully equipped to handle these jobs quickly and affordably. Covering everything from basic wiring up through the actual roof installation and securing of the panels, they’ll complete the job in as little as a single day for certain smaller roofs – and no longer than a few days for even larger commercial roofs.
Once the solar panel system has been fully installed, you will need to arrange for a local inspector to visit the site. This inspector is in charge of objectively confirming the installation quality and code compliance of the setup, plus to check on important health and safety thresholds that must be met.
This is another where the time of the year may impact how long this takes. During the busiest times, backlogs for inspections may make getting an appointment take a few days or even a week; during slower seasons, you can often obtain an appointment the very next day.
And finally, once your new solar panel system has been inspected and confirmed for quality, it’s time for the final step: Applying with your local utility company so they’ll connect your system fully. This often involves the installation of a meter that shows how much energy your system is producing – whether or not this is the case often impacts the timing of this step significantly, as it may take the utility company a few days or even a week or so to get to your home or building.
As you’ve seen here, a solar panel installation can take as little as a week or two – or as long as a month or two, depending on the variables in question. However, for those who plan in advance and consult with our team for assistance, limiting this timeline is simple and easy.
For more on the timing factors involved in a solar panel installation, or to learn about any of our solar power services in Salt Lake City, speak to the staff at Intermountain Wind & Solar today.
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