At Net Zero Solar, we make the process of going solar simple! From our initial consultation, through installation, and ongoing support, we strive to provide friendly and excellent service.
The first step in your solar journey is to contact us for a solar consultation. We'll schedule a time to come to your home to discuss your energy goals, evaluate your building, and gather other information. Please be ready to provide your utility bills for the last 12 months if possible, so we can specify a system to meet your needs.
If you are thinking of installing solar for a home that's not built yet, or you are considering energy storage, we normally find it best to meet at our office. Please bring any available building plans.
When you're happy with the details of your solar electric system proposal, we will supply you with a contract. The contract includes the relevant information from the proposal, including system cost, payment terms, specific equipment, and information on our warranties.
After you've signed and initialed the contract, we'll do the same. We're happy to complete this process in person, or via email. Once you provide us with any required deposit, you'll be on your way to a solar home or business!
Shortly after contract signing, we will provide you with the appropriate utility paperwork. Completion of this allows you to connect to your utility grid, and enroll in net metering. (Of course, off-grid clients will skip this step). Please sign the documents and return them to us. We'll take care of submitting everything to the utility.
As this part of the process is completed, we'll work with you to tentatively schedule an installation date for your system.
Our design and permitting team will carefully review all information regarding your home, and solidify all design details. We prepare a complete building permit package, including a “site plan" to show location of all solar modules, inverters, and other equipment. The permit package also includes electrical drawings, structural drawings, and information sheets for all equipment.
Once the permit packet is complete, we will email you an electronic copy of the site plan showing where each component will be located. We'll apply for a building permit for your project with your local building department. When the building department issues your permit, we'll let you know, and confirm your installation date.
If you have a homeowners association, we will complete and submit all required paperwork, which usually includes an application and a copy of the building permit drawings.
During this time, we order all equipment needed for your system, so everything is ready for your installation date.
Here's the fun part! On your scheduled installation date, our technicians will arrive. Because it's usually hot on the roof, our technicians typically arrive on-site early, between 6:00am and 7:00am. We'll discuss arrival time when we schedule your installation.
Installation time can be as short as one day, or up to a week for residential systems, depending on system size and complexity. Commercial installations may take longer. We'll let you know what to expect.
If your system is installed on the ground, the process takes longer. We will complete trenching, any excavation, and installation of forms for any concrete. After an inspection by the building department, we'll pour concrete. Once the concrete has sufficiently cured, we'll return to complete the installation.
Immediately after we've installed the system, we carefully commission it. We check all mechanical and electrical work, making sure it not only meets building and electrical codes, but also meets or exceeds industry best practices. Our technicians energize the system for about 30 minutes, confirming that system performance meets expectations, and record detailed performance information.
During this process, our technicians complete a detailed installation checklist and take photographs of the work. These materials are reviewed by our engineers or field operations manager. In many cases, our field operations manager will complete another inspection to ensure quality. After commissioning, the system is turned off and safely secured to wait for building department and utility inspections.
Our lead technician also provides you with a detailed walkthrough of the system, explaining system operation and any required maintenance.
Building department final inspection is normally scheduled for the next business day after installation is complete. We leave the original building permit, construction drawings, and a ladder on-site for the inspector. The inspector will need access to your electrical load center, as well as any other equipment associated with the solar. Inspections usually occur between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m., but building departments don't provide us with a specific time.
Once the building department inspection is complete, we will notify your utility so they can schedule and complete their inspection. Depending on the utility, it may take up to four weeks before their inspection is completed, though most utilities take one to two weeks.
A comprehensive 12-month inspection is included for every system we install. Our field operations manager will contact you to schedule this inspection. If you prefer, we can complete the inspection while you are home.
During the inspection, we meticulously check the condition of the system after it's been through one full year of energy production. We tighten all the hardware, take photos, and review system production. If you're home, we'll discuss the results with you. If you're not home, we'll leave a card with inspection results.