Today, over 3% of electricity in the United States comes from solar energy. Florida homes and homes around the country are switching to solar to reap the benefits.
However, the solar installation process follows a specific timeline. If you want to understand solar installation better, this is the guide for you.
Keep reading to learn the steps.
Engineering Site Visit
Engineers will review Florida homes twice before further steps can be taken.
The general site visit will take place before you sign a purchase agreement with a solar installation company. During this visit, the engineer will evaluate your property and consider the following:
- System size
- Angle of roof
- Roof type
This visit ensures that your home will be compatible with solar energy. An installer may also come with an engineer to take photos of the property and conduct measurements of the roof.
The engineer will sign off on your Florida home if they believe it is right for solar panels. Once this is complete, you can work with the top solar company in your area to review and sign a solar contract.
After you sign a purchase agreement, an engineer working with your solar installer will evaluate the electrical status of your home.
This evaluation double-checks that your home is compatible with the PV system of your choosing.
The second site visit occurs soon after you sign the solar contract. Engineers look at your electrical panel to see if it needs upgrades. If you need to upgrade this panel, your solar panels will require more amps of current.
If your current system is too old, you might have to replace it outright before solar installation can begin.
Permits and Documents
Installing solar panels, like any big financial decision, involves paperwork. Most of this paperwork is handled by the installer. Nevertheless, it’s smart to ask about this paperwork to understand what goes on behind the scenes.
While your installer focuses on documentation, you can begin applying for Florida solar incentives. State and federal solar incentives can offset your upfront investment if you qualify.
Look into the following to get the best discount on your solar system:
- Federal ITC
- Clean energy initiatives
- Local solar programs
- Solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs)
- Government rebates
As the homeowner, you are required to fill out paperwork that involves building permits. Permits are specific to the area in Florida where you live.
An installer will know the requirements and restrictions in the state they operate in and can guide you in the right direction. Ask them what permits you need and they might be willing to fill out this paperwork for you.
The timeline for this step depends on how long it takes the installer to submit your paperwork. If they have a lot of clients, the time frame will be longer.
If you are eager to get the installation process rolling, follow up with your installer to see where they are in the document signing and submission.
An installer can order your solar system equipment once the paperwork is complete. They order the items listed in your solar contract through their primary distributor.
Solar panels and inverters are the main components of your system you’ll want to look into. An installer will recommend a brand depending on your home inspection.
To compare brands, consider efficiency, aesthetics, durability, and price.
After your order is sent, your Florida home is added to a queue. An installer will have your equipment arrive on the day of installation. It takes around one to two months before paperwork is approved so this step might take a while.
Not only does the time until installation depend on when the equipment arrives, but it also depends on how many projects are in your installer’s queue.
Solar installation companies tend to be less busy in the winter so you can try to get your solar installation completed during the colder months.
Now that you’re ready for the solar installation process, installers will get started on your project! Installing a solar system can take anywhere from one to three days depending on its size.
If you need a power meter installed for net metering, a few extra hours will be added to your total timeline.
A solar installer will follow these steps on installation day:
- Roof prepping
- Placing electrical wiring
- Installing racking to support solar panels
- Placing solar panels on the racking
- Connect solar inverters to the solar panels
Reputable solar companies will breeze through these steps with no problem.
Approval and Interconnection
The final step to going solar in Florida is the interconnection. Most homeowners think that when their system is installed, they can use solar energy right away. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Once your solar panel system is on your roof, a representative from your town’s government will inspect the system. They will double-check the work of the installer before giving the okay.
Following this local inspection, a utility company representative will complete a final evaluation of your home. If there aren’t any issues, your solar system will go live right away.
You might have to wait two weeks or a month before the town approves your solar system. Once a utility company representative verifies your home, interconnection occurs so that you can go live.
Solar Installation for Florida Homes
Solar installation for Florida homes is much like the installation process in other states. Once you verify your home is right for solar panels, this is the process an installation company will complete.
Although solar installation takes time, you’ll be able to reap the benefits once your system goes live.
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