How Long Does It Take To Install Solar Panels?

When it comes to going solar, the time needed for installation and switching to solar energy varies depending on a few factors. Generally speaking, the entire process can take anywhere from four weeks to several months. The amount of time depends on factors such as a home’s size, roof type, current electricity usage, and local regulations, among other things. So don’t expect this to be an overnight process. Keep reading to learn more!

Let’s take a look at the solar installation process

How Long Does It Take To Install Solar Panels Infographic

Once you have decided to go solar, your solar installation company will collect all the necessary information about your home and energy use. This includes a physical inspection of your roof, a site assessment, and a discussion about inverter size and orientation. The installer will then review your utility rates and other financial details, such as incentives, solar loans, and net metering. After collecting all the information, a signed contract will be submitted to start the permit process.

The next step in installing solar panels involves permitting process with local authorities. These permits usually include local permitting, a general electrical permit, and a construction permit. Depending on the city and county regulations, this can take anywhere from one week to six weeks. The installer will also submit a billing application to utility companies during this time.

Once all proper permits are approved, and the utility company approves your solar billing application, an installation day will be scheduled for you. On installation day, qualified technicians will arrive to install the solar panels according to local codes and safety requirements. The certified, licensed electricians will also take care of all the electrical wiring and mounting and the activation of your solar energy system.

The final step in the solar installation process is to receive a Certificate of Completion from the installer and verify that your electrical meter is functioning correctly. Once all these steps are complete, you can safely generate electricity from your solar system! The entire process typically takes around 90 days, but the result is worth it.

1. Choose a Solar Installer

Estimated Time: 1 day - 2 weeks

Choosing a solar installer can vary greatly in time depending on various factors. Among them are the individual’s decision-making process, the availability of installers in their area, and the project’s complexity. However, once you have gathered all the necessary information, the selection process typically takes a few weeks.

It’s essential to do thorough research and consider multiple installers before deciding. A good rule of thumb is to work with installers with at least three years of experience. It’s also advisable to ask for references, read reviews, and compare quotes before choosing an installer.

2. Site Evaluation

Estimated time: 1 week

A site evaluation for solar panels typically takes around one week. This is an important step in the solar panel installation process, where professionals assess your property to determine its suitability for solar energy. Factors such as the location of your home, roof condition, amount of sunlight exposure, and local regulations are considered during this evaluation.

3. Design & Proposal

Estimated time: 2 - 3 weeks

Designing a solar panel system and drafting a proposal typically takes about 2-3 weeks. This process involves creating a customized plan based on the site evaluation results. The design will take into account factors such as the size of the roof, the amount of sunlight it receives, the energy needs of the household, and potential future energy needs.

The proposal will detail the costs, savings, payback period, equipment to be used, and the installation timeline. It’s important for homeowners to review this proposal carefully and ask any questions they may have before moving forward with the project.

4. Permitting & Paperwork

Estimated time: 2 - 6 weeks

The permitting and paperwork process for solar panels typically takes between 2 to 6 weeks. This phase involves obtaining the necessary permits from local authorities and completing any required paperwork for your solar panel installation.

This time frame can vary significantly depending on the local government’s efficiency, the complexity of your project, and the installer’s familiarity with local regulations and permitting processes. Some areas have streamlined this process to encourage solar installations, while others may have more complex or time-consuming procedures.

During this stage, your solar installer will generally handle most of the paperwork, including building permits, electrical permits, and applications for solar incentives or rebates that you may be eligible for. It’s important to maintain clear communication with your installer during this phase to ensure all paperwork is handled correctly and promptly.

5. Inspection & Commissioning

Estimated time: 2-3 weeks

The inspection and commissioning phase for solar panels typically lasts between 2 to 3 weeks. This process involves a series of checks and tests to ensure that the installed solar system is functioning correctly and safely.

The inspection phase includes both a local building inspection and a utility inspection. The local building inspector verifies that the installation meets all local and state code requirements. Afterward, the utility company will conduct their inspection to ensure the system is safe to be connected to the grid.

Once the inspections are passed, the system can be commissioned or activated. During commissioning, the installer will test the system to make sure everything is working properly.

6. Monitoring & Maintenance

Estimated time: 1 Day (10 year workmanship on maintenance with wolf river electric)

Monitoring of solar panels can be initiated almost immediately, often within a day after the system has been commissioned. Monitoring systems provide real-time data on your solar panels’ performance and any potential issues. This enables you to maximize your system’s efficiency and address any performance problems promptly.

As for maintenance, with a 10-year workmanship warranty from Wolf River Electric, you are covered against any defects in installation or workmanship for a decade. This means that if anything goes wrong due to installation errors during this period, it will be fixed at no additional cost to you.

How to keep track of your solar panel installation

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Communication from your end

You can enjoy a successful and timely solar installation by being well-informed and actively communicating with your solar installer throughout the process. Having a professional solar company that knows the ins and outs of your local regulations and codes can also ensure that you get through the solar process easily.

Ask questions

When installing solar panels, you want to ensure the job is done correctly and your solar energy project succeeds. The best way to ensure this is by hiring a reputable solar installation company with experience in all aspects of solar panel installation. They should be able to provide you with detailed information about the process and what it entails, as well as provide you with the best solar equipment and materials. A good solar installation company will be able to guide you through the entire process from start to finish, including choosing the right type of panels, designing a system that meets your needs, and handling all necessary permits.

Research Solar Companies

When looking for a solar installation company, it is important to do your research and ensure that they have experience in residential solar installations and various other solar projects. You should also be sure to ask them about any incentives or discounts that may be available. Additionally, you should look into the different types of solar equipment and materials they offer to ensure that you get the most reliable and efficient solar system.

The actual process of installing a solar panel system can vary depending on the type of solar installation company you choose and your home’s size and layout. Most residential solar installations generally take one to three months, though more complex systems may take longer. During this time, a professional solar installer will finalize the system design, install the solar system, and all applicable permits will be obtained.

Don’t Stress

Although the process of installing a solar panel system may seem daunting, it can be made easier with the help of a professional solar installation company. With their knowledge and expertise, they can make sure that your new home solar system is installed correctly and efficiently. Plus, you can rest assured that your solar energy project will succeed with their help.

We got your back

The solar installation process is an important part of transitioning to clean energy. It is a long and complex process, but it doesn’t have to be difficult if you have the right knowledge and a trusted solar company on your side. Wolf River Electric is proud to say that with over 8 years of experience, we can help you complete your solar installation on time and to the highest standards. Our team of certified installers is knowledgeable about all aspects of the process and will provide valuable guidance throughout, so you can have peace of mind that your project is in good hands. Contact us today to get started on your solar journey. Together, let’s make the switch to clean energy!

Are you ready?

Go Solar Today!

Key elements that can influence how long it takes to switch to solar power

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If your property is located within a Home Owners Association (HOA), their approval may be needed before construction or installation begins. This process can take anywhere from two weeks to six months, depending on the particular regulations and procedures of the HOA in question.

Main Electrical Panel Needs Upgrading:

If your home requires an upgrade to its main electrical panel before the solar installation, this could also add additional time to your timeline. Depending on local permitting processes, it could take anywhere from one week up to several years before upgrades are complete and system installations may commence.

Unpermitted Structures and Service Panels:

If there are any unpermitted structures or service panels onsite, then extra considerations must be considered – including if they require inspection by a licensed electrician or even potentially having them removed altogether. Any processes like this will result in added time for the project overall.

Roof Repairs:

For your solar panels to be installed safely and securely, you must ensure that your roof has been properly inspected and any necessary repairs are carried out before any further construction begins; otherwise, you run the risk of voiding warranty coverage in case of future damages due to underlying problems not addressed before installation.

Solar Equipment Availability:

Not all solar equipment is widely available at all times, meaning that if certain components need ordering or size specifications to affect the availability or install timeframes of certain materials, these factors should also be considered when predicting timelines for completion.


Depending on where you live, there may be permits required to install a solar system in your home. While this process can vary by state or municipality, obtaining these permits may add anywhere from two weeks to six months onto the timeline, depending on local regulations and processes.


Your installer will do their best to reduce any delays with the local inspector – but it’s always a good idea to include this component into your timeline as well. From scheduling appointments with inspectors to actually signing off on necessary documentation, inspection processes can add a few more weeks to the final inspection time frame.

Utility Company Interconnections Agreements:

When getting solar for your home, you will need permission from your local utility company to connect your system to the grid – a process referred to as utility interconnection. Depending on your location and provider, additional paperwork and approvals may be required, potentially adding more time to installation date predictions.

Weather Conditions:

If you live in an area prone to inclement weather (such as freezing temperatures during winter months), this could affect when and if certain parts of the project gets scheduled or completed. It’s wise to factor unpredictable weather conditions into any timeline estimates if possible!

Understanding each processing element- internally within an individual residence and externally with external entities such as HOAs or utility companies – is important to get a realistic estimate or timeline prediction for when actual installation may be complete, and savings can start rolling in.


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Ultimately, investing in solar energy pays off in vast timescales regardless – meaning that even if timelines stretch out longer than expected due to unforeseen circumstances, patience will still pay off dividends in the long run! That said, though, careful consideration and preparation are key components of any successful installation, so make sure to work with experienced professionals who understand all aspects of the process and know about available solar incentives or discounts that may apply in specific regions or projects! Contact Wolf River Electric today if you’re looking for a solar professional!

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