Installing a photo-voltaic system on your home is one of the most important things you can do to invest in the future, so it’s no surprise that we get a lot of questions about the installation process.
How Do I Get Started?
The first thing to do is find a copy of your most recent electric bill and give us a call to book a consultation appointment. When we visit, we’ll analyze your home to see if it’s a good candidate for solar. Is the roof facing a good direction? Is it in good shape? Do you have enough sunlight hitting your roof? Even if you think you may not be a good fit for solar—maybe some trees are blocking the sun or your roof faces north—we’ll talk about options to improve your home’s sunlight-harvesting capacity. Depending on your town, even the most shaded home could be a great candidate for solar with a few changes. And if solar is not an option, we can talk about other alternative energy options that might work for your home like vertical wind turbines or fuel cells.
Energy Analysis & System Design
Back at our office, using a copy of your electric bill, we’ll determine your ongoing energy needs. With that information we’ll know how many panels are needed and can create a mock-up of the new solar system, including the location of the panels on the roof and a final estimate. On our final estimate, we’ll give you a breakdown of the total cost plus the estimated federal and state tax credits you’ll be eligible for.
Once the project is a go head, we can either take a down deposit or help you secure financing. We have a variety of partners we work with such as the Bethpage Federal Credit Union Green Loans program and Synchrony Bank.
Permits & Planning
Prior to installation, one of our technicians will visit to do a detailed inspection of your electric connections and panel box, map out your roof, and confirm that it is structurally sound for the weight of the solar panels. With his input, we’ll create a set of architectural drawings showing the locations of the solar panels, and submit these drawings to the town for construction permits. Permitting can take up to several months but many towns have a “fast-track” program for solar installation, so it’s possible to get permits back within a few weeks.
Once construction permits are granted, Solar Dad & Sons will contact you to set an installation date. Depending on the size of your system, Solar Dad & Sons may take 1-3 days to install your system. Our professional crew consists of a dozen electricians and technicians specializing in solar energy and roof construction. Along with the panels installed on the roof, we will install power inverters on the exterior of your home as well as a junction box near your electric panel inside your home. Before we leave your home, we’ll give you a walk-through of the equipment, it’s purpose, and basic operation and, if needed, emergency shut off procedures. When the installation is done, your solar panels will be operational.
Inspections & Meter Installation
After the installation, inspectors from the town that issued the construction permit, PSE&G, as well as NYSERDA will review the work done. Some of these you will not need to be present for. Others will contact you directly and set an appointment since they will need access to your electrical box. After an initial inspection, PSE&G will install a new digital electric net meter that will measure electricity produced as well as electricity consumed.
At this point, most of our homeowners sit back, relax, and eagerly await their electricity bill instead of dreading it! Sound like something you’re interested in? Contact us today to get the solar installation process started.