Tag: Solar System Installation

Solar System Installation Permits

Solar System Installation PermitDo you need a solar system installation permit for your new system? The answer is probably yes on several fronts. The company you are purchasing the equipment from and doing the installation for you should know this and help you with the preparation of the applications as well as any inspections that may be required. This should be part of the service package that is offered and frankly that you will be paying for. There are three areas as a minimum that may be required depending on the city or county that you live in.

Solar System Installation Permit

The permits that you may need to have are as follows:

  • Construction permit to make major changes to your roof
  • Electrical installation permit and inspection
  • Connection to the electrical grid

All of these permits have their own specific requirements and may be applied for at different times as well depending on whether you are attaching your system to the electrical grid or not and whether you plan to sell power back to the electrical company or not.

Construction permit to make major changes to your roof – most cities and towns require construction permits if you plan to make any major changes on your property. It is really a way of increasing taxes, but it also ensures that all construction adheres to local bylaw requirements as well.

Electrical installation permit and inspection – all electrical installations of any kind need to be inspected before they are turned on. This is to prevent fire and avoid any safety hazards from improper installations. The permit process gets the ball rolling.

Connection to the electrical grid – if you plan to connect your system to the electrical grid and sell power back to the electrical company that provides power to you, they will not only want to inspect your system, they will demand specific safeguards are in place to protect you and them from power surges, from transient currents and insure the quality of the power being provided.

Don’t be surprised and have your project delayed. Apply for all of the appropriate permits before you begin installation and actually before you spend a lot of money on  equipment.


Solar System Information

Solar System InformationDo you need to apply for permits before you install a solar system at your home. The answer is probably depending on where you live and the kind of solar system you are installing. Many cities and towns require permits prior to any major construction or change in structure to your home or other buildings on your property. They want to make sure that your plans adhere to all of the local bylaws regardless of what they are. Some will deal with safety issues, while others may be more aesthetic in nature. HOA’s in particular may also have a say in terms of what you do on your property and on your roof if that is where your solar panels will be installed.

Solar System Information – Permits

If you are planning a solar power system that is not attached to the power electrical grid then you may not need to have a permit from the local electrical supply company. You will most likely still need an electrical permit to ensure that the system will be designed properly and installed to meet all existing electrical safety requirements. Preparation of construction permits and electrical system permits is usually mandatory in these situations.

There is another reason you will want to have these permits prepared and approved. A solar system installed somewhere on your property including your roof of your home may also impact your insurance requirements. A properly designed, installed and approved solar power generation system will ensure that you insurance is not null and void if you need to make a claim. Always check with your insurance company to find out their requirements and meet them. Get it in writing so that there is no misunderstanding.

Since most home owners do not have the skills needed to prepare these permits, the company that is trying to sell you a solar system should provide this service as part of the package that they deliver to you. Make this one of the requirements to ensure that all of the permits and insurance requirements are fully met.


Solar Panel Design & Permits

Solar Panel DesignDetailed Plans that are designed specifically for YOUR solar installation must be prepared for a number of reasons.  The plans are used to prepare an estimate of the cost for the material and the labor to install your system. They are also used to guide you or your contractor in the installation of your system once it is approved by your local electrical company. Another reason these plans need to be prepared is that a permit must be submitted and approved by the city before any work can begin.

Solar Panel Design & Permits

A complete package must be ready to submit to the city for permit approval. If you go ahead with construction and installation without a permit, there is a very good chance that the city inspector could come by and shut everything down. You might have the installation complete only to have to remove it if you do not have an approved permit.

There is another even more important issue to consider. Insurance on your home covers all of the standard perils, however the installation and operation of an electricity generation system is not one of those things that would be covered. In addition if there is a claim, you definitely want to have all of the correct designs completed and the permit approvals you need to show that this is a professionally designed installation meeting all of the necessary building codes etc. If not the insurance company could easily decline to pay you in the event there was a claim caused by the solar system.

It is so important that every Solar Electrical Design is drafted to comply with city codes and NEC regulations for insurance purposes and for safety purposes. Safety applies to your home, your family and the electrical grid you are attaching too. If you were to cause some kind of damage to a portion of the electrical grid, to another home owners electronics etc due to spurious currents, you could be liable for very large sums of money. Always obtain the proper approvals to ensure the job is completed correctly and meets all code requirements.

You may also need to have some changes made to the plans based on these permit applications. Make sure that your solar design company is able and willing to complete these revisions so that the plans can be resubmitted for approval.


Estimating Costs for Solar Power Installations

Our last post discussed whether we would be a good candidate for solar power. This post is discussing estimating the costs for solar installations. From our previous post I think we concluded that we are probably good Solar Power Installationscandidates in the summer time, but winter time with snow on the roof it will be an entirely different matter. Never the less we need to figure out what the cost will be and how much energy will actually be generated to help pay for the cost of the solar panel installation. Solar Power Installations also depend on the size of the panels used.

Solar Power Installations – Roof Condition

One of the questions deals with the condition of our roof. It is in good shape and should last another 20 years. We just replaced the shingles 5 years ago and they are supposed to be 25 year shingles. Will they really last that long? Well for the purposes of this analysis, we are gong to assume that they will and that we will also have a payback period of less than 20 years. In other words the solar generation system will pay for itself in less than the 20 year time frame, other wise I need to replace the roof and the solar panels before they have generated enough power to compensate for the cost of installation.
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