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How Long Does It Take To Get Solar Panels Installed?

Solar panels have gained significant popularity as a clean and sustainable energy source. They not only reduce energy bills but also help combat climate change. 

However, if you’re considering getting solar panels installed, one crucial question likely occupies your mind: How long does it take to get solar panels installed?

At Ethical Energy Solar, we’ve accumulated years of experience in the solar industry, and in this post, we’ll unravel the intricacies of solar panel installation timelines. From swift setups to those that require more patience, we’ll provide you with valuable insights to guide you on your solar journey with confidence.

The Average Timeline for Each Step of Solar Installation Process

Different steps play a key role in ensuring the successful installation of your solar system. Below, we’ve outlined the average timeline for each step, providing a comprehensive overview of what to expect along the way.

Choosing an installer (1-3 days)

The process begins with selecting a reputable solar installer. This step may take anywhere from one to three days, involving research, reading reviews, and obtaining quotes. You need to choose an installer with a strong track record to ensure a smooth experience from start to finish. At Ethical Solar Energy, you get a trusted provider with a proven history of delivering high-quality solar solutions and a commitment to customer satisfaction.

Assessing the site (1 day)

Once you’ve chosen an installer, we will visit your property to assess the site. This takes one day. During this visit, we will evaluate your roof’s condition, its orientation to the sun, and any potential shading issues. These factors are significant for designing an efficient solar system tailored to your specific location.

Solar permit processing (1-2 weeks)

After the site assessment, we begin the process of obtaining the necessary permits. This step can take one to two weeks, depending on your local permitting office’s efficiency and workload. Permits are needed to ensure your solar installation complies with local regulations and safety standards.

Design and engineering work (2-4 days)

With the permits secured, the design and engineering work begins. This phase takes between two to four days. During this time, we will create a detailed plan for your solar system, including the layout, the number of panels, and the electrical connections. This design is crucial to optimize solar power production and efficiency.

Ordering equipment and scheduling installation (1-3 days)

Next, we order the necessary equipment, such as solar panels, inverters, and mounting hardware. This process takes one to three days. Simultaneously, we will work with you to schedule a convenient installation date.

Physical installation (4-8 hours)

The actual installation of solar panels takes between four to eight hours, depending on the system’s size and complexity. Our installers will secure the mounting hardware, place the solar panels, and make the necessary electrical connections. It’s an efficient process, and our professionals ensure your system is set up correctly.

City inspection (2 hours)

After the installation, the city or local inspection authority must visit your property to ensure the installation complies with local codes and safety standards. This inspection lasts around two hours, and it’s an essential step to ensure the system’s safety and compliance.

Utility interconnection and permission to operate (Immediate)

Finally, we notify your utility company to connect your solar energy system to the grid. This step is usually immediate, and it marks the moment when your solar panels start generating electricity. With your system connected, you’ll begin enjoying the benefits of solar energy immediately.

Factors Affecting Solar Panel Installation Period

Homeowner’s Association (HOA)

If your property falls under the jurisdiction of a Homeowner’s Association (HOA), their approval may be required before you can install solar panels. The HOA may have its own set of guidelines and regulations that must be followed. 

The time needed for HOA approval vary widely, depending on the efficiency and responsiveness of the particular HOA. So, begin the approval process early to prevent unnecessary delays.

System size and complexity

Larger systems with more panels and complex configurations require additional time for design, engineering, and installation. Additionally, if your project involves incorporating energy storage solutions or specific mounting requirements, it can extend the installation timeline.

Weather and environmental conditions

Weather conditions, such as heavy rain, snow, or extreme heat, can affect the installation process. Poor weather can halt outdoor work and delay installation. Similarly, environmental factors like the need for tree removal or clearing obstructions that block sunlight can add time to the project. Knowing your local climate and environmental conditions can help you plan for delays.

Customer preferences and project customization

Customization of the solar installation to meet specific customer preferences can increase the project’s timeline. For example, if you have unique aesthetic requirements, such as specific panel placement or color, these customizations may take additional time to implement. However, customization can also enhance the system’s performance and visual appeal, making it worth the added time investment.

Solar Equipment Availability

The availability of solar equipment, including solar panels and inverters, impacts the installation period. High demand or supply chain disruptions may delay obtaining the necessary components. Therefore, work closely with your installer to determine equipment availability and to plan accordingly. In some cases, your installer may have preferred suppliers with readily available components, helping to streamline the process.

Final Word: Installing Solar Panels Is Worth The Wait

The timeline for installing solar panels is undoubtedly influenced by various factors.  While it may seem like a waiting game sometimes, one thing remains certain: the rewards far outweigh the wait. 

As you consider the journey towards harnessing clean and sustainable energy, remember that solar panels are a long-term investment. They will reduce your energy bills and contribute to a greener and sustainable planet. 

So, have patience, make informed decisions, and rest assured that installing solar panels is worth the wait. Your brighter, eco-friendly future awaits.


Can I speed up the solar panel installation process?

Yes. Ensure your home or business is ready for installation, you have all necessary paperwork in order and promptly address any installer requests. Please plan your installation during favorable weather conditions if possible. You’ll have the process done correctly for long-term efficiency and savings.

Can solar panels be installed in one day?

While it’s technically possible to install solar panels in a single day for small residential systems, this is not the norm. The timeframe for installation depends on various factors, such as system size, local regulations, and weather conditions. Small residential installations might be completed in a day, but larger systems or complex installations can take several days or even weeks.

What is the total time taken to install a solar panel system?

For a typical residential installation, it may take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks from the initial consultation to the final inspection. Commercial installations tend to be more complex and might take longer. Regardless of the time invested, the long-term benefits of clean and sustainable energy make the installation process well worth it.

Do I need to be present during the solar panel installation?

Being on-site allows you to address any potential questions or concerns the installation team may have. It also ensures that you have a clear understanding of the process and can discuss any last-minute details or changes with the solar companies. Moreover, it helps provide access to your property should any issues or decisions arise during the installation.