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Last updated: November 23, 2023

Solar Panel Installation Guide 2023

Factors Affecting Installation and Payment Options

Solar Panel Installation

A lot of thought and effort goes into the installation of a solar system in your home. Investing in a solar system is not a small decision but is definitely one that’ll pay off in the long run. There are a number of factors that need to be considered when choosing a solar panel system for your home. You need to decide on the type of panel you want to install, the manufacturer, how much are you willing to spend, and more. One of the key factors you need to decide on is the installer you go with.

There are local installers who would give you better offers while there are global or national installers that would give you similar offers but at a higher cost. It is up to you to decide who to go with and how much to spend. Choosing an installer involves hours of scouring over calls and requesting quotes for comparison. You will then have to sit and go through each quotation, trying to select the one that best fits your requirements and budget.

GreenMatch makes this process simpler for you. All you are required to do is click on the button below, fill out the form explaining your requirements, and wait. We will do the hunt for you, and get you in touch with up to three certified installers that best fit your requirements and their quotes to compare. Our service is free with no obligation.

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What is the Solar Panel System Installation Process

Once you’ve decided on the installer you wish to go with begin the actual installation process of your solar panel system. There are 6 key steps in the installation process before you can start reaping the benefits of your solar investment. We have briefly discussed these 6 steps below for your better understanding.

Site Visit

The first step of the installation process commences with you signing a contract with an installer or a solar company. Two types of visits usually take place, one in which a general site inspection is conducted and another where an engineer conducts a site inspection. During a general visit, an installer inspects your home site to evaluate details on your property such as roof angle, type, shading, etc. These details are taken into account when creating your system designed based on these particulars.

An engineer’s visit is different in that they check for the compatibility of your home’s current electric panel with your new PV system. If required you may hear from your installer about upgrading the electrical panel, meaning it needs to have a higher ampere capacity than it currently does. An engineer also checks for the stability of your roof’s structure and whether it is apt for holding the new PV system.

Permits and Documentation

The biggest and probably the lengthiest step of the installation process is getting permits and documentation done. Usually, your solar company or installer will take care of the process for you. However, it would be better to know about it in case you have to take care of it yourself.

The first thing you will be applying for is a solar loan or any other purchasing option in case you’re unable to go for a full cash purchase. Next, you will be required to file for building permits that are specific to your local area. There are state specific requirements that your home should meet in order to install a solar system. Your installer can help you figure out the permits you need to apply for, as they would be aware of the requirements in your state.

You will also require interconnection permits if you’re going for a grid-tied or a hybrid system. Your local authority with the jurisdiction will grant you the permit. You will be required to submit a detailed list of all the system parts, the wiring diagrams, and approval from a licensed electrician to get the permit.

Lastly, you will be required to apply for federal and state level incentives. You can apply for the ‘Residential Clean Energy Credit’ that is available at the federal level and any other incentives that are available at your state or local level for using clean, renewable energy.

Getting the Parts

Once you have your permits, the next step is to get the parts for your solar system. Typically, the solar company or your installer will take care of this. The parts usually are brought by the installers with them or are sent beforehand to your home prior to the installation.


Finally, D-day arrives when the system is installed on your roof. There are set steps that installers follow when installing your solar system.

  1. They prepare your roof for installation and make sure all the shingles and tiles are in place and securely attached.
  2. They set up the solar system wiring with your electrical panel and the general power system.
  3. Then the racking will be set up over which the panels are placed. The racking is the only part of the system
  4. that is actually in touch with your roof.
  5. Solar panels are then placed and attached to the racking. Solar batteries, in the case of an off-grid or a hybrid system, will also be attached and connected at this point.
  6. Lastly, they will connect the inverter(s) for the conversion of direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC).

The installation of your solar system may take from 1 to 3 days, depending on the size of the system being installed.

Final Inspections and Approvals

Once the system is installed, the solar company will organize site visits from your local authorities and utility company. A local government representative will conduct a site visit in which he or she will double-check the work your installers have done and grant the approval. They will check if everything is carried out in sync with the regulations and requirements.

A representative from your local utility grid company will then conduct a final evaluation of your system. Once you get approval from them, your system will go live on the grid and your system will start generating electricity.

To find a solar company that offers and takes care of these important steps you will have to conduct a thorough search. This will involve calling installers and solar companies one by one, explaining your requirements and requesting quotes to compare.

GreenMatch can make the process simpler for you. All you have to do is simply click the button below and fill out the form. We will do the grunt work for you, and get you in touch with up to three certified installers and their quotes to compare. Our service is free with no obligation.

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How to Pay for Solar System Installation

All said and done, when it comes to installing a solar panel system, the cost is a major concern for many. The first question that comes to every homeowner’s mind is how much it would cost. There are several payment options you can choose from.

A cash purchase is an outright cash payment for your entire system. This will allow you to get maximum benefit from the federal and state tax credits and incentives available.

Solar loans are another option, where you can take a loan for installing a solar panel system in your home. You will be making monthly payments along with interest for a set period of time. After that, you will own the system and continue benefitting from the tax credits.

Solar leases or Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) are also an option, where you get your solar system on lease. You will not own the system but will be able to use the electricity generated by the system. The third party you lease the system from will install it on your roof and you will pay that company for your energy. Your payments may either be on a set rate or may be part of a payment plan where the rates increase from time to time.

Find the Best Solar Panel System Installers in the US

Solar companies and installers all offer different types of deals and materials. It is important that you find the one that best fits your home and requirements, not to mention your budget. There are solar panels manufactured by several companies, each of which offers different efficiency levels and life expectancy. Moreover, services may also differ from installer to installer, as some may take care of permits and inspections, while some may not.

For this reason, comparing quotes from different installers or solar companies is very important. However, it is a lengthy process, calling each installer, explaining your requirements, and getting quotes to compare. GreenMatch getting you up to three free quotes from certified installers can make this process much simpler. All you have to do is click on the button below and fill out the form.

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