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What happens during a California solar panel installation?
April 18, 2022 at 4:00 AM
Solar panels - Hawaii

You’ve just signed an agreement to install solar panels on the roof of your home. Whether you took out a loan to finance the installation, chose to lease the panels, or signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) to replace your utility bills at a lower cost, you know you’ll soon be on the road to saving money on your energy expenses. But in reality, this is only the beginning of a longer, more involved process.

Once your solar agreement has been signed, it’s time to start preparing for your solar installation. What does that process, and the process of the installation itself, look like?

Before your solar panels are installed on your home, you’ll need to work through inspections, a substantial amount of paperwork, and other preparatory measures to make sure everything goes smoothly and that all regulatory needs associated with the project have been met.

You may want more details about how to prepare and what will be done to install the solar system on your home before the process picks up in pace. That’s why in this blog post, we’ll be covering everything from the steps you can expect ahead of your installation to the installation itself and the final requirements before flipping the switch and allowing your system to start powering your home.

Preparing for your installation

Just after you’ve signed the agreement for your solar panel system, you’ll receive a visit from an engineer to evaluate your home’s compatibility with the system. This partially involves taking a look at your roof to determine whether it’s suitable for the panels to be placed on it. The engineer will also take a look at your electrical panel to determine whether it would need to be replaced to accommodate the solar panels.

Once this inspection is over, the next step is focused on paperwork and the logistics of the project. You, as the homeowner, will primarily need to apply for the specific building permits you’ll need for the particular area of California you live in; this is something your solar company should be able to help you with. This is also a good stage at which to apply for incentives, rebates, and other means of making the cost of the installation lower.

The solar panel system installation process

There likely won’t be much you’ll need to do personally on the day of your solar panel system installation. That being said, it may be worth your while both to understand the installation process in basic detail and observe it throughout the day. Staying present during the installation can help ensure that you’re getting exactly what you agreed to and that any concerns on your part can be addressed from day one.

The installers will begin by checking the integrity of your roof and security of the shingles or tiles. From there, electrical wiring is placed that connects the electrical panel (most likely in your basement) to your general power system. Panel racking is then placed on your roof, followed by the panels themselves, before inverters are connected to the panels to convert the energy they produce into a type that’s usable for your home.

Solar panels capture energy from the sun.

The final steps of the switch to solar

Once everything is installed and connected, all that’s left is to allow an inspection of the system from a local government representative, as well as one final evaluation by a representative of your solar company, to ensure that all work was performed correctly. If you’re approved, your panels are ready to go live!

Are you ready to explore how a system of solar panels may work for your home? Solar Switch offers California solar panel installations to qualifying residents. Book an appointment with us for a free consultation to find out how you can benefit from a switch to solar!