Depending on your city and HOA, permitting can take a few weeks. Your solar installer will be on top of this process to help speed it up as much as possible.
Once a site inspection is completed, your contractor will design a custom solar power system to fit your home and energy needs. This typically takes between one and four weeks.
Once you’ve selected the type of solar system that meets your energy goals and local regulations, the installation team will assess your roof to ensure it can accommodate the panels and inverter. They’ll also install electric wiring that connects the solar panel array to your home, a battery (if you’ve opted for one), and the city grid, which will kick in when your solar panels aren’t producing electricity.
Depending on your state’s requirements, this phase can take 2-6 months. After the Parker solar installers install your inverter, wiring, and racking, your local inspection team will double-check that everything meets the regulations. Once they approve, your utility will send you a “Permission to Operate” (PTO) letter that signals it’s time to flip the switch and save!
Once your site assessment is complete, an engineer will start the system design process. They will look at your house’s energy use, roof characteristics (orientation and pitch), and local utility company requirements to determine the best layout for your solar system. They will also consider any roof or electrical upgrades that might be needed.
During this timeframe, your installer will apply for all the necessary permits. While this can add up to a few weeks of waiting, a good solar company will stay on top of it and communicate progress with you.
On install day, your Colorado solar installers installation team will set up their workspace on the ground or your roof and get to work. They will install the mounting system, remove any shade obstructions and then place and connect your panels to your inverter and battery if you’ve opted for backup. Then they will install a meter and electrical wiring.
Every solar installation requires a permit from the local municipality’s building department. The process for obtaining this permit will vary depending on your location and the size and type of solar power system you’re installing.
For example, larger installations may need extra permits compared to smaller residential solar systems. Additionally, many jurisdictions now use an online submittal and approval process to streamline the permitting process for solar projects.
During the design stage, your installer should help you determine whether you need to get any other required permits before beginning construction. For instance, if you live in an HOA community, you’ll need permission from the association before proceeding with the solar installation. Some communities also have historical preservation ordinances that must be followed. You must meet these requirements to avoid additional delays and costs. To prevent this, make sure your contractor complies with all local regulations.
After installing your solar system, it must pass inspections before you can “flip the switch” and generate energy. These inspections are required to ensure that your home’s electrical system can handle the additional load of your PV system and your solar-ready breaker box.
Inspectors will double-check the installer’s work, comparing it to a checklist that covers building codes, fire safety requirements, and more. For example, inspectors will check that the racking is attached securely to your roof and that the electrical system has sufficient capacity for your PV system. They may also look at the location of AC and DC disconnect switches to ensure emergency personnel can find them.
Passing local inspections can take a few weeks, depending on your city. Once the examination is passed, your local utility will send your solar company a letter permitting you to operate (PTO). This is the final step before generating energy and connecting to the grid.