It Is Time to Go Solar
By going solar, you'll be saving time, saving money, and most importantly - saving our planet.
Why Go Solar?
Better for the Environment
As a renewable source of power, solar energy has an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change, which is critical to protecting humans, wildlife, and ecosystems. Solar energy can also improve air quality and reduce water use from energy production.
People find that solar energy is a lot less expensive than electric power in the long run due to the rising price of electricity. With electricity rates rising all the time and the national average rising already this year, solar panels will be a good investment moving forward when it comes to the question of savings with solar power vs. electricity.
Increased Home Value
According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, every dollar that a solar panel saves you on your electrical bills increases the value of your home by $20. And according to Zillow, homes with solar panels sell for almost 5% higher than those without them.
How Solar Works?
Solar power is generated by photovoltaic cells these cells convert sunlight to electricity in the form of direct current (DC) this is then passed through an inverter that turns the DC electricity into AC (Alternating Current) electricity. AC is what’s used to power electrical lights and other household appliances. If there are excessive reserves of solar power generated you are able to feed it back into the grid for financial return.
Paperwork & Agreement
A solar service agreement is an agreement with an independent company who agrees to provide cheaper power than that offered by a local centralized utility. They can be structured as a lease, power purchase agreement (PPA), or a levelized
The size, shape, and slope of your roof are also important factors to consider. Typically, solar panels perform best on south-facing roofs with a slope between 15 and 40 degrees, though other roofs may be suitable too. You should also consider the age of your roof and how long until it will need replacement.
Installation & Permissions
After you sign off on your solar system design, your city or local authority needs to as well. From the time your solar installer submits the necessary permits to the time of installation depends on the permitting process, which some local governments have chosen to speed up.
Estimates range from three to 11 weeks. You can get an idea of how quickly permitting takes with the clickable map in the Solar TRACE tool from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, though only for areas with enough data to provide estimates.
After installation, you can't just flip a switch and start using electricity from your panels. Your city needs to inspect the installation and make sure it's up to code. The Solar TRACE tool can give you an idea of how long this will take in a few places, though a couple of weeks is a fair estimate.
The final step is getting approval of the system from your utility, called permission to operate, or PTO. Because the utility has an obligation to provide the electricity needed within their territory, they need to approve projects that send energy to the grid.
In total, from system design to permission to operate, your solar purchasing process could be anywhere from two to four months.
The timeline is something you'll want to discuss with your installer before signing a contract. While unexpected delays pop up, having a general idea of how long each step takes will help you identify irregular or unreasonable delays throughout the process. The quicker you get those final permissions, the quicker you can start saving money.