Solar Panel Installation in NJ: How Quickly Can I Get Started?

If you’re excited to convert your home to solar energy, you may be eager to start as quickly as possible. From the day you declare your intent to go solar to the day your utility company activates the installation takes as little as three months.

Here’s what goes into a solar panel installation in NJ and how long you can expect each step to take.

Site Assessment

The first step is to have your home assessed, which can take up to two weeks of multiple visits from your solar installer. The purpose of a site assessment is to see if you’re a good candidate for solar panels. The assessment includes the following steps:

Talk about your energy consumption and utility bills to see how much you can save by switching to solar. If your electricity bills average $100 or more each month, you can expect solar panels to save you money.

Determine the condition of your roof. The orientation, pitch and shingle type all play a role in how easily solar panels can be installed. If your roof is getting old, your installer may recommend replacing it before you move forward with the solar panel installation in NJ.

Assess the shading situation to make sure panels receive as much sun as possible. With your permission, the solar installer may trim back branches or completely remove surrounding trees to maximize sun exposure on your roof.

Final System Agreement

Once your solar installer compiles all the necessary information – which is usually one or two weeks after the site assessment is complete – you receive the final contract.

It should include details about everything you need to know about the solar panel installation in NJ, from the amount of hardware being installed to your decided financing method. Before you sign the agreement, make sure you ask any remaining questions you have. It’s time to get excited because your switch to solar has officially begun!

System Design

Next is one of the most important steps in the solar panel installation process. System design takes three to four weeks to complete, depending on the size and scope of your installation.

As long as you choose an installer that meticulously designs your solar array to meet your every need, you can expect to be completely satisfied with the finished product.

The design takes several factors into account, including New Jersey’s climate, your electricity production needs, your home’s architecture and various factors collected during the site assessment. Once complete, the design should satisfy your needs for the next few decades.

Permits

Collecting the necessary permits is one of the most time-consuming processes of a solar panel installation in NJ, taking up to six weeks to complete in most cases. Different cities in New Jersey require different permits, which may include electrical and building permits.

You might also need permission from your HOA before you move forward. Don’t worry – your installer will take care of the complexities of this process so you don’t have to.

This is also the time that your installer looks into solar rebates, tax credits and other incentives you may qualify for, applying on your behalf so you don’t have to worry about it.

Installation

The day you’ve been waiting for has finally arrived! Installation usually only takes one day, but plan for up to three days in case bad weather or other complications slow down the installers.

To ensure this day goes smoothly, be sure to choose a solar panel company with years of experience installing arrays similar to yours. Before the job begins, ask how the company complies with rules and regulations to keep the installation team safe.

Inspections

The panels are in place and you’re ready to start shrinking your electric bill, but inspections must be completed first, a process that typically takes three to eight weeks. Fortunately, you can just sit back while the installer clears the installation with your town/municipality and notifies your utility company.

After that, a representative from the utility company does a final walkthrough of your home, inspecting the installation and electrical components. Once you receive the all-clear, your installer hooks up the solar panels to the power grid.

Utility Approval & Activation

There’s only one step left: receive final approval and activation from the utility company. This usually takes a week or two, but allow for up to 12 weeks in case complications arise.

Your solar company installs a production meter provided by the utility company so you can participate in net metering. Then the utility company flips the switch, turning on your solar panels and freeing you from expensive utility bills forever!

Three months may seem like a long time, but if you begin the solar panel installation process today, you’ll enjoy clean energy from the sun in no time.