Solar Panel Installation Process

Transitioning to power from solar panels is an exciting step for homeowners. There are several steps in the process which ensure the homeowner gets a safe and reliable installation. 

The process outlined below begins from the point of having an installer chosen. We suggest looking around and gathering more than one quote to be sure you are getting a fair offer. Our solar marketplace allows you to do this easily by presenting three competitive quotes and providing guidance from a dedicated Energy Advisor. Once you have chosen your installer the excitement really begins!

The Site Evaluation

During the site evaluation the installer comes to your home to verify the planned system design. (For our process, if the scope of work has changed, the initial contract is void and amendments are made). The installer will check the roof and attic, the electrical setup, and battery placement (if applicable).

System Design Approval

At this point, results of the site evaluation have come back and any changes needed are now to be approved. If there were changes from the original design, the homeowner may now review those changes and give feedback, or approve the final design before it’s sent for permit approval. Not only the aesthetics of the design are checked, but also the electrical work and system production

Permit Approval

Permit approval is necessary so everyone installing a solar system is in accordance with safety codes (fire, electrical, and structural). The installer will send permitting documents, such as the design approved in the previous stage, to the city to be approved. There are fees attached to permit applications which vary based on city and state, however there are restrictions on how much the city can charge, for most states it will be under $500. At, all permitting fees are already included in the total system cost.


Installation just takes a few days, usually one to two. You don’t necessarily even need to be home during installation. This is when you let the professionals do their job and you can sit back and relax. Note that your power will likely need to be turned off for a few hours.

Final City Inspection

Once the installation is complete, the city inspector comes out to make sure that everything has been done in alignment with the scope of work that was permitted.

Utility Connection

The final step in turning your solar system on is for the utility company to approve the system for connection to their grid. The homeowner/installer applies for utility connection showing the contract and scope of work that has been installed. The utility representative will inspect the project to make sure it is in accordance with the utilities guidelines. They may also upgrade the meter if needed for Net-Metering. The fee for this inspection and application for some utilities is zero and others can be a couple hundred, this cost is built into the contract price for turnkey installations. After getting approval or Permission to Operate (PTO), the homeowner may turn on their system and begin producing their own energy!

This several step process has been created to regulate the solar industry and keep individuals as well as utility companies safe. Installing solar is an exciting process that not only improves your own home and provides grid-independence but also contributes to creating a more sustainable environment.

If you are interested in looking at your options for installing solar you can sign up and schedule a solar consultation to begin the design process. The platform gathers bids from local installers. With the help of a dedicated Energy Advisor, you’ll be presented with three top bids and given guidance through the process.