How to Go Solar in Phoenix: 5 Easy Steps

Sabrina Lopez
July 29, 2019
4 min read

With APS preparing to possibly change their solar rates again and the 26% federal tax credit set to ramp down at the end of 2020, interest in exploring solar has never been higher. Of course, each home and its owners are different, which creates a lot of diversity in the systems we design and install, and the time of year can play a big part in the timeline. With that said, we're often asked about the process of going solar. To clarify, we've compiled the following blog that breaks down the process of going solar solar into five easy steps. 

The question of "How do I go solar?" is one that many of our customers have. Solar is a complex and relatively new technology, and with it comes various questions. We dive into this process below, so read on if you're interested in switching to solar.


1. Research qualified solar installation companies

Once you’ve decided to switch to solar, the research process begins. You can search online, ask a friend for a referral, or look at certified independent contractors. Modern solar panels are designed to operate for many decades, so the relationship with your solar contractor will last many years. Do your due diligence to ensure you’re selecting a solar partner knowledgeable about local rate programs and secure enough to be around for the life of your investment.

Most reputable solar installers will offer a free, no-obligation quote. They will begin the quoting process by asking you a series of questions about your home, like electricity bill history, the type and age of your roof, and specific questions about your utility provider and rate plan. The installer should also provide different financing options and help you learn about federal, state, and local incentives you may be eligible for.


2. Home and Site Evaluation 

After your initial consultation with a solar installer and a preliminary estimate, the next step is to schedule a detailed site and home evaluation. During this phase, the installer will inspect your roof and home’s electrical system and perform a complete shade analysis. The goal is to gather all the necessary data points to proceed to the design phase.


3. Design and Permitting

Using the data collected during the on-site evaluation, your installer will create a fully custom and detailed system designed specifically for your home and energy goals. This will include the number of panels, orientation, the system's wiring, how it will be connected to the grid, and a projected energy offset. Your installer will be responsible for submitting these designs to your city/county permitting departments and your local power utility. Timing of this phase varies and can last for several weeks depending on the time of year and backlog at local jurisdictions and utilities. A reputable installer should have strong relationships with these important offices and keep you fully current.


4. Solar Installation

This is one of the most exciting steps in the solar process. After all, it’s here that you finally start to see the physical benefit of your investment. You may need to be present during installation to grant access to your yard and/or roof. Be sure to secure any pets as well safely. The install crew can answer questions about the wiring, placement, or installation process. This step can last from one to three days, depending on the size and complexity of your system.


5. Inspection and utility commissioning

You’re almost there! During this step, your local utility and jurisdiction will inspect your system to ensure local codes and your granted permit are installed. Like the design and permitting stage, this final part can vary from a few days to several weeks, depending on local utility and jurisdiction timeframes.

Once the utility signs off on the installation, the interconnection to the grid will be done. It’s time for your installer to flip the switch and for you to start saving on your electric bills. Congratulations, you’re now cashing in your piece of the sun!

With the 26% ITC ending, 2020 is surely the most important year for solar in more than a

decade. Contact one of our qualified solar integrators to start your solar project today!