Ideally, a solar array would be installed immediately after a customer signed an agreement with Affordable Solar. In reality, several required steps have to be taken before clean energy and savings can be accessed. These procedures ensure that the home, the electrical system, and the neighborhood are fully prepared for a new solar array. They also mean checks are put in place to make certain the solar installation company is properly licensed and that a third-party will be verifying all work for safety and precision. The steps can be time consuming, but there is good news: Affordable Solar handles this process from start to finish for our customers.
The first step, after a decision is made to go solar, is to ensure the home’s roof can support the new solar array. We look at roof condition, roof obstructions, potential shading, and the structural integrity of the roof. Second, we ensure the electrical panel is prepared for a new load. We verify the interconnection method or the way the solar array will plug into the electrical panel and, as a safety measure, make certain the panel is up to code.
Third, we submit an interconnection application to the electric utility. Homes without solar do not push power BACK to the utility grid, they only pull power from it. The interconnection application gives the utility a heads up that something new and exciting is going to be happening at the home. In response, the utility will perform a screening to make sure the grid can safely transport and use the excess solar energy the home’s new solar array will produce.
Fourth, while the utility is screening the interconnection application, we also submit documentation to the JHA, the jurisdiction that has authority over the area where the home is located. In this process, called permitting, we inform the JHA that we are going to make a modification to the home, in this case, adding solar panels. The jurisdiction ascertains that we have the appropriate licenses for this type of work and also verifies that our plan meets building and electrical code requirements.
With approvals from the utility and jurisdiction in hand, we are finally cleared to install the solar array! When the installation is complete, both the utility and jurisdiction will perform site visits, or inspections, to ensure that the work is properly completed. Affordable Solar coordinates and schedules these important safety checks. The inspections may take some time and require someone to be at home during the day but are well worth the effort. After they are finished, the home is ready to be safely and economically powered by the sun.
For more information about the process of going solar, reach out to our knowledgeable consultants today.