How long does it takes to install solar panels and recover investment
After you decide to go solar, you may want to know how long it will take to be generating electricity. After all, generating power is why you want to switch to solar panels. Read on to learn more about how long it takes to install solar panels, the factors that affect the time, and then how long it takes to recover the installation investment.
How Long Does it Take to Install Solar Panels?
The full process for installing solar panels and getting them approved isn’t an overnight process. There will be waiting periods for each step of the process. The time for each step can vary depending on where you live, your solar company, the solar panels you choose, and how many other people are installing solar panels. These are the steps to a solar system installation and approximately how long each step could take:
Once you choose your solar company, one of the first steps is getting your site assessed and approved. A solar professional from your company will visit the site and examine the roof and other features to make sure they’re able to support a solar system. The professionals will make sure your roof can handle the weight and that your electrical system can handle the amount of energy you want to produce. The experts will also make sure there’s nothing obstructing the sunlight and confirm the measurements.
From the initial phone call to scheduling to the site visit itself, this step can take around 1–2 weeks.
To install solar panels, you have to get the right permits from your local government, as you would for any construction project. When you’re making a major change to your home, your homeowner`s association may also want to know about it, and you may need approval from the HOA to begin. The permits you’ll need will vary depending on your local government, and the time it takes to get all of the permits will also vary by where you live. In most cases, you’ll need a photovoltaic (PV) permit, a general electrical permit, and/or a construction permit.
Because you’re dependent on bureaucracy to move forward, this step can take anywhere from 3–6 or more weeks.
The types of solar panels and mountings you use will affect the time it takes to install your system. Your solar company may have to order parts if they’re not in stock, and that can add time to your installation. If your solar company uses parts that need to come from overseas, you could be waiting weeks for the solar equipment to arrive. In addition, your solar system design may need one more approval before the installation can move forward. If the solar experts who examined the site want to make changes, you may be waiting for approval before you can move forward.
This step can vary depending on if you need design approval and where your parts are coming from. It may take 1–2 weeks. The good news is this can be done in parallel with the permitting step above!
Once your installation is scheduled, this step is actually the quickest step, to most people’s surprise. Most often, your solar company will be able to install the solar system in only a few days. The installers will arrive at your house with all of the equipment and get to work. They’ll start with the wiring system and finish by installing the panels themselves. Sometimes they can finish in a day, but if your roof is large or complicated, it could take a few days.
Depending on the size or your solar system and roof, this step can take 1–2 days.
How Long Does it Take Homeowners Who Install Solar Panels to Recover their Investment?
Once your solar panels are installed, you may be wondering how long it’ll take for the system to recover the investment you put into it. Here are the steps to calculating the payback period for your solar system:
- Determine the average electricity usage for your home. The higher your electricity bill before solar panels, the shorter the shorter your estimated payback period should be as soon as your panels are generating power.
- Determine the total cost of system.This cost includes the gross cost of the panels, equipment, installation, and maintenance before factoring in incentives.
- Divide your combined costs from your benefits. This number should be the amount of years it will take to fully recover the investment and begin to gain financially from a solar system.
If you’re interested in learning more about solar installations or want to determine how long your payback period will take, contact us at SOLARPARTS today to get started.
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