5 Steps to Make Your House a Solar Power Home
So you’re ready to take the leap and make your house into a solar power home? Congratulations! Whether you’ve come to this conclusion to offset your electricity costs, help the growth of clean energy, or increase the value of your house, you’ve made a smart decision. Where do you begin?
Before the solar installation crew can even set foot on your roof (or yard), there is a precise process that we have to get you there. Don’t worry, our professional team will guide you through every step of the way!
1. Get Started
Are you solar-ready? There are several factors that make a home a good candidate for solar, and there are some that may make it ineligible. It is different for each and every house. To begin, reach out for a quote and a Solar Support Specialist will follow up to determine if solar is a fit for your home. They will ask pertinent questions such as:
- Why do you want to go solar?
- What are your energy goals?
- How old is your roof? (ground mounted arrays may be an option, too)
- Are there trees or shade obstructions around your house?
- What utility supplies electricity to your home?
- What is your electric utility account number?
- What is your month by month electrical usage?
If you discover that solar is an option, you’ll be directed to a Project Developer to begin planning your custom proposal.
2. Set Custom Plan
This is where we get into the nitty gritty of your very own solar layout. A Project Developer will take all your needs into consideration and build a digital layout for your solar system from aerial satellite images of your home. Watch how we create these layouts in a Helioscope demo here.
Next, you’ll receive a proposal, which includes information like: current energy usage, proposed system size, estimated solar production offset, likely savings, pricing, incentives, financing options, payback time, and a cash flow analysis. Once you’re satisfied with the proposal, your Project Developer will send you a contract to sign. We are equipped to manage this whole process online. (Our covid policy.)
3. Project Guidance
Upon signing, your project goes to a Project Manager. This is your point person for all things installation-related. They are the liaison between you, the on-site field crew, your inspector from your county or city, and your utility. They manage various tasks (applications, permitting, scheduling) leading up to the actual installation. Our experienced personnel have the local knowledge to really shine a light on this process.
- First and foremost, they will schedule a Technical Onsite Visit to your home to ensure everything is ready to go. No entry needed, since this can be done by drone or by climbing your roof. We may need some photos of your electrical panel and attic, which you can take yourself, or we can take them with proper personal protective equipment during Covid-19.
- One-line diagrams are engineered electrical drawings that are based on the digital layout from your Project Developer. These will be finalized after the technical onsite to incorporate information we gathered while visiting your home.
- Pre-Installation Incentive applications are submitted on your behalf. We typically get a lot of questions about solar incentives and will leave you well-informed on your options.
- Permitting applications with final one-line diagrams and paperwork are submitted. No wasting time in line at City Hall. We handle the permitting and approval process with your local governmental officials.
Once this is all in place, your Project Manager will work with you and the crew to schedule installation.
4. Install & Energize
This is where the magic happens! Depending on the size of your project, installation could take between 1 to 3 days. Small 5kWDC arrays can take as little as a day while big projects can take more time. The average residential system is 7 to 10 kWDC. At this point in the process, your Field Project Manager will already have estimated how long your particular installation will take. Our crews work in most weather, though extreme weather may affect the schedule.
Installation happens in two parts: the assembly of the solar array components and electrical work. Our crew is experienced and efficient. The installation does NOT damage your roof. Panels actually protect the section of roof they cover. StraightUp Solar uses trusted high-quality panel and inverter products. In addition, some people choose an optional battery backup to store excess power generated.
A note on cleanup: Once the crew finishes the installation, they properly dispose of excess materials and waste, while recycling as much as possible, so your yard is clean. If you are installing a ground mounted array, talk to your Project Manager about a plan for trenching as you may need to do some yard work after the installation.
After your array is installed, you cannot use it until it is inspected by your local government, and your utility provider comes to install a bi-directional meter. The meter measures the amount of energy your home is using and sending to the grid. Your utility will schedule time within 30 days of your solar array installation
Once all of this is complete you can flip the switch.
Viola! Now your home is ENERGIZED and ready to catch some rays!
Every customer receives a custom Owner’s Manual with specifications about the equipment, maintenance procedures, warranty policies, and other important information. Track your progress! Our major inverter companies have monitoring display software where you can track your system production via an online app. Customers tend to enjoy checking in on sunny days to see their production soar.
You know you’re in good hands because in addition to our 10 Year Workmanship Warranty, we offer a Sunrise to Sunset Production Guarantee. We promise that your project will produce 85% of projected energy usage for the year, or we’ll make up the difference. Learn more about warranties here.
Now you’re ready to “set it and forget it” with your brand new solar array! If you do happen to run into any issues or questions, we have a full Service Department that can help.
Going Solar is Simple
Despite the laundry list of tasks outlined above, StraightUp Solar has solar down to a science. Going solar with your home has never been easier! Let our skilled team bring your solar dream to life! As you’ve just learned, the first step is reaching out for your custom quote.