The 7 Steps of Solar Installation

If you’re excited about the environmental, health and financial benefits of going solar, you’re likely wondering what all needs to happen before you can start reaping the rewards. Besides talking with Big Dog Solar and signing the paperwork, there are a few logistical measures to ensure that your solar system will be perfect for your home and needs. Here are the steps for solar panel home installation.

Workers Installing solar panels

Step 1: Site Survey

Your Big Dog Solar sales associate or another professional will come to complete the site survey at your house. This involves taking pictures of your home and getting specific information to help the Big Dog team know how to best optimize your solar panel setup. This also will help ensure no surprises will arise during later permitting and inspections, keeping the schedule on track and avoiding delays.

Step 2: Plans & Design

Designer professionals will take a look at the pictures and information gathered during the site survey and get to work customizing a panel system perfect for your home. Big Dog will send the designs to you, the customer, for approval, as well as to our engineering team to ensure everything compliant with any codes and safety regulations.

Step 3: Permitting

Because solar installation means some electrical and construction work, solar companies need to obtain routine permits from the local government before installation. Big Dog Solar will take care of obtaining these permits. It usually isn’t a long wait, but may take a few weeks. These permits vary depending on where you live and what kind and size of solar system you’re considering. They’ll cover things like state/city codes, zoning laws, potential HOA regulations and other legislation regarding solar installations.

Step 4: Installation

This is where the magic starts to happen. The Big Dog crew can show up and actually start putting the solar panels up on your house. This is also when they’ll tie the panels to your electrical panel and get it set up to be tied into the electrical grid. Usually, it will only take one to three days to complete the installation.

Step 5: Inspection

After installation, someone from your local government’s building department comes to do a routine inspection, usually the local electrical inspector of your property’s jurisdiction. Big Dog will take care of scheduling this check. The inspector ensures everything with the solar panel system is up to code and safety regulations.

Step 6: Meter Swap

Before the panels can be turned on, your utility company will come and swap out your old electrical panel for a brand new one. This new panel will allow you to track and receive credits for the energy you produce, but don’t use. Big Dog will take care of scheduling this, as well. 

Step 7: System Turn On

Congratulations! At this point installation, Big Dog can officially turn your solar panel system on and you can officially become a money-saving solar customer. You’ll already be set up with all of the monitoring tools you need, so you can see the credits you earn and track how much energy you’re gathering and using from your brand new solar panels.

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