The solar industry has experienced tremendous growth over the past decade, thanks to the increasing affordability of solar panels and growing awareness about the benefits of solar energy. As a result, more and more homeowners across the United States are switching to solar energy.

Explore our five-step guide to home solar panel installation, covering everything from finding an installer to performing an inspection and more.

The 5-Step Guide to Home Solar Panel Installation

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Step 1: Hire an Installer

The first step in the solar panel installation process is to select a professional, trustworthy, and knowledgeable installer. When choosing a professional solar panel installer, ensure you find someone certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).

Research available installers in your area, check for online reviews, and obtain multiple quotes to find the ideal professionals who offer high-quality services within your budget.

NABCEP Certification Badges

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Step 2: Perform a Site Evaluation

Once you have chosen an installer, they will conduct a site evaluation to assess the viability of installing solar panels on your property.

Homeowner Solar Panel Installation Guide: Step 2 Site Evaluation (metal roof of home)

The assessment will determine:

  • Your Roof’s Condition: A sturdy and well-built roof is essential for solar panel installation.
  • Solar Access: The installer will analyze the sunlight your home receives and determine the optimal direction and angle for the panels.
  • Energy Use: A thorough evaluation of your energy needs will help the installer size your solar panel system correctly.


Step 3: Create a Design and Obtain Proper Permits

After the site evaluation, your solar installer will design a customized solar panel system that caters to your home’s energy needs and available roof space. The design process involves choosing the right type of solar panels and the best location for placement. Afterward, your installer will handle acquiring the necessary permits from local authorities.

Homeowner Solar Panel Installation Guide: Step 3 Create a Design


Step 4: Complete the Installation

The installation process can begin once the design has been finalized and the necessary permits are obtained.

Homeowner Solar Panel Installation Guide: Step 4 Complete Installation (installer on roof)

Typical solar panel installation involves several steps, including:

  • Installation of Mounts: Roof mounts are secured to your roof to support the solar panels.
  • Installation of Solar Panels: The solar panels are then secured to the mounts.
  • Inverter Installation: The inverter installation converts direct current (DC) generated by the solar panels into alternating current (AC) that your home can use.
  • Adding Wiring and Connections: An electrician will make the necessary electrical connections between the solar panels, inverter, and your home’s electrical system.


Step 5: Perform a Final Inspection and Wait for Approval

After the installation, a local inspector and your utility company must inspect the system to ensure compliance with applicable regulations and codes.

Homeowner Solar Panel Installation Guide: Step 5 Perform Final Inspection

When it comes to a solar PV system inspection, you should expect the assessors to focus on your system’s condition, performance, cleanliness, and safety. Once the inspection is passed, your utility company will grant you a Permission to Operate (PTO) notice, allowing you to start generating clean, renewable energy for your home.

Home solar panel installation is an excellent investment for homeowners seeking to save on energy costs and contribute to a greener, more sustainable future. Follow this five-step guide to ensure your home solar panel installation goes off without a hitch.


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