Step 1: What's Involved: From Paperwork to Panels

Know what to expect when you install solar at your home.

A step-by-step look at a solar system installation

Installing a solar system is a big decision. Even though a professional will handle the installation, it helps to understand what's going on. 

Perform an energy audit. Connecticut requires a home energy audit before installing a solar system. Learn more about energy audits and how they can help you become more comfortable in your home.

Review the installation options. How much roof space will a system take up? Do you have a suitable roof? If not, you may have to mount panels in the ground, which is more expensive. If you need a new roof, have it installed first, and avoid having to remove the system later.

Decide how much to invest and how to finance it. Do you want to make a long-term investment by purchasing a solar system, or would you rather lease for little to no money down and receive more moderate savings? Learn more about financing options.

Locate contractors and go out for formal bids. As with any major home improvement, seeking at least three quotes is highly recommended. Read what Connecticut’s Attorney General recommends for people interested in going solar in the state.

Permit, Incentive & Interconnection Approval: Absolutely required. These are big parts of why there is often a bit of time between contract signing, installation, and interconnection. The types and costs of permits vary by municipality, but your contractor will usually apply for them for you and build the fees into your overall system cost. In Connecticut, your contractor will also manage your incentive application process.

Allow for installation and inspections by the utility company and municipality. Installations typically take at least a few days (ground mounts may take longer), and are followed by municipal and utility inspections, which must be conducted prior to energizing your system. During utility inspection, a net meter will be installed, and then the system will be energized. Learn more about net metering.

Get a tutorial on how to operate your system. Your contractor should walk you through the entire system and explain the proper operation.

Change your household habits to optimize system payback. Talk to your contractor about the things you can do to make the most of your investment, and how to make sure your system is producing as much power as possible.

Maintain and repair the system. Know what maintenance options are associated with your system. Some financing options include comprehensive warranty packages while others do not.  Since 2012, all systems receiving Connecticut Green Bank incentives are equipped with separate meters to help monitor production data via an online platform and identify and troubleshoot issues.

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