Timeline for Solar Installation San Diego
From start to finish, Zero Down Solar solar installations at your home usually are completed within 2-3 weeks. That is 2-3 weeks from the time you decide to the final ‘Permission to Operate’ authorization from SDGE/ local utility. And Zero Down Solar handles all of these and every facet of the installation. The actual construction time on the roof is typically only a couple of days, but design, initial permit approval, and the final inspection of your solar system by the city/county take the extra time. We streamline the process for you by taking care of every aspect of the solar installation and even help with a zero down solar loan- should you want one. Our goal is to ensure that solar installation is completed quickly and efficiently and that you immediately start saving money.
Step 1: Interview & Research Solar Installer
Here is our recommended criteria for choosing a solar installation San Diego company:
- High level of maintenance and service offers (find out how long and what is covered in warranties)
- Years of experience
- Read testimonials (you can find us on Yelp and Nextdoor)
Some other steps to get started:
- Analyze past energy bills to determine sizing (we help with this)
- You may need to advise your utility company of the project
- Check with your homeowner’s insurance
Step 2: Paperwork and Site Visits (1–2 Weeks)
Site visits by a team of specialists including solar specialists, electricians, roofers, perhaps even engineers.
Solar contractor will calculate best panel direction and sun intensity in order to determine the best placement of the panels.
Electrician will analyze your existing electrical system and make the necessary changes to allow your house to be safely tied to a solar grid (most older homes will need electrical panel upgrades). This can take a day or more to bring the existing to code.
Roofer or General Contractor will need to make sure the roof structure can support the weight of a rack and solar panels. Plus, you won’t want to have a leaky roof under new solar panels so make sure your roof will last as long as the panels. Reinstalling solar panels after repairing a roof down the road doesn’t make sense.
Step 3: Solar Panel Design Phase (1–2 Weeks)
Digital software can aid the solar panel placement and orientation including recommending locations for the wiring, the connections to components like an inverter and your home’s meter, and the incorporation of additional systems like batteries.
After this point your installer should go over the design with you to assure that you are getting the type and size of panels you want and need. You should have a final say in the design, but remember a redesign can take some time.
Step 4: Submitting for Permits and Approval (1–4 Weeks or Longer)
Once the design is finalized including all the technical documents and data they must be submitted for the necessary permits. San Diego has a strong solar energy market (did you see that the Padres’ Ballpark is going solar?) so our process is streamlined and approval can take just a few days. In other cities the process may take even longer.
An installer who isn’t seasoned can make mistakes during this process and which might result in the permit being rejected. We have been in the solar business for a very long time and are extremely familiar with the permitting process.
Step 5: PV Installation (1 Week)
With a common roof structure, a solar installation could be completed in a single day. More complex systems can take longer. We can give you an estimate before site work starts.
Step 6: Permit Inspection and Final Sign-Off (1–2 Weeks)
After your solar installation is completed, it must be approved by your utility company and/or a city inspector. This is a checks and balances to make sure your installer did a safe and quality job to local code. At the end of solar installation San Diego, SDGE will also install a new meter that allows for net metering of your electricity. Once this has been done your new solar system can finally be activated.
Timelines vary from area to area. However, here in California we are often able to complete an installation in just one month- that is from design to final ‘Permission to Operate’ from SDGE/local utility. Once you’ve gone through these steps, you’ll have a reliable and productive solar system that can easily produce electricity for 25 or more years.
Learn more about Solar Installation in San Diego