Process Overview

Learn how long it takes to complete your project

The Process & Timelines

The duration of the solar installation process can vary depending on several factors, including location, permitting requirements, and any additional work needed.

 
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You will have access to your own Customer Portal to conveniently track their project status and access important documentation.
 

You will receive timely updates from Better Earth via texts and emails, informing them about project progress. Updates will include key milestones like scheduling installations, inspections, and activation calls. Effective communication is vital for a smooth and transparent solar installation experience.

 

In addition to receiving text and email updates, you can also contact us through our chat feature. Our dedicated support team is always ready to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have. We take pride in offering prompt and helpful assistance to ensure a smooth customer experience.

 

Here's an overview of the typical timeline for a solar installation with Better Earth:


 

Stage-by-Stage

Overall the entire process can take anywhere from 60-120 Days from start to finish, depending on where you live and what equipment is getting installed.

 
  1. Sale > Site Survey: 1-3 Days
      • After signing the required project documents, you will schedule a site survey, which takes between 30-60 minutes and are available each week Monday - Friday.
      • Our surveyor will visit your home to take pictures and assess your roof's quality. We capture images of the exterior, electrical panel, utility meters, and any other electrical equipment that may affect your solar system design.
       
  1. Site Survey > Design Complete: 2-4 Days
      • After completing the site survey, the design team will review all the data and work on the final design for the project. This design process typically takes up to 4 days.
      • During the design stage, Better Earth will assess if any additional work is required for your project, such as a reroof (if the existing roof is in poor condition) or necessary electrical upgrades. These assessments are crucial to ensure the effective and safe functioning of your solar system.
       
  1. Design Complete > Permit Submission: < 7 Days
      • After finalizing the design, we will share it with you and your sales rep for review. Once you approve, Better Earth will apply for a building permit. Permits are usually submitted within 1 week of project approval and often much sooner if submissions can be done online.
       
  1. Permit Approved: Varies per AHJ
      • Permit approval timelines vary based on the AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction), ranging from same-day approval to 60+ days. It's important to note that Better Earth has no influence on the permitting timelines.
       
  1. Install Scheduled: < 2 Weeks
      • Better Earth will schedule the installation within 2 weeks of permit approval.
      • Installations are typically scheduled about 5 days in advance.
       
  1. Install Complete: 1 Day
      • The installation itself is typically completed in 1 day, but for more complex projects, it may take multiple days.
      • If your installation requires more than 1 day, our scheduling team will inform you.
      • The installation team will arrive between 7-10am.
       
  1. Inspection Scheduled: < 30 Days
      • Inspection scheduling varies among AHJs. Some allow advance scheduling, while others require same-day or one-day-prior scheduling. Currently, inspections may take up to 30 days after installation.
       
  1. Permission to Operate (PTO) Submitted: 1 Day
      • After receiving inspection approval, Better Earth will submit the PTO (Permission to Operate) to the utility company within 1 day.
      • The timelines for PTO vary depending on the utility company and can take an average of up to 4 weeks, but in some cases, it can take up to 60+ days.
  1. Permission to Operate (PTO) Submitted > Permission to Operate (PTO) Approved: Varies per Utility
      • Each utility provider has a different process for handling Permission to Operate.
      • In some areas, it can take place in under a week, while in others, it may take 2-3 months.
      • You can contact us or your sales representative for a more specific timeframe based on the latest data we have from your specific utility provider.
       
  1. PTO Received > System Activated: 1-2 Days
      • Once PTO (Permission to Operate) is received, Better Earth will remotely activate the solar system within 2 days.
      • Following System Activation, you will receive access to the SolarEdge Monitoring Portal to track your day-to-day solar production.
       
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Please note that project timelines are estimates and may vary based on location and other factors. Certain project types, such as those involving batteries, ground mounts, reroofs, Main Panel Upgrades (MPU), and HOA approvals, may require longer timelines ranging from 30+ days to weeks, depending on complexity and requirements.
 

 

Installation Day

Your installation day is an exciting milestone as it marks the next big step towards officially switching to renewable energy!

 

On the day of your solar installation, you can expect the following steps:

 
  1. Arrival of Installation Crew:
      • The installation crew will arrive at your home between 7am - 10am to set up the solar panels and related equipment.
  1. Review of Plans:
      • The crew will review the installation plans with you to ensure alignment and understanding. Use this opportunity to ask any installation process questions.
  1. Installation Process:
      • The crew will initiate the process by installing the racking system and solar panels on your roof (or ground mount), set up wiring, and connect the system to your electrical panel.
      • Installation timeline depends on system size and complexity. Smaller/less complex systems can be installed in a day, while larger/more complex systems may take longer.
      • You will be informed if your installation is expected to take more than one day.
  1. Minimal Involvement:
      • While the installation is taking place, there's typically very little for you to do. The crew is experienced and trained to handle the installation process efficiently and safely.
      • You may need to provide access to your electrical panel or property, but otherwise, you can continue with minimal disruption.
  1. Completion:
      • The installation should be completed by the end of the day or the expected completion date. The crew will ensure that the solar panels are securely mounted and all connections are properly made.
  1. Cleanup:
      • The installation team will clean up the work area and remove any packaging materials or debris generated during the installation.
  1. Post-Installation Inspection:
      • After the installation is complete, a post-installation inspection is required to ensure the system is up to code and operating correctly.
      • Inspections are typically scheduled within 30 days after installation.
  1. Activation and Monitoring:
      • Once the inspection is approved, Better Earth will submit the approval to the utility company to receive Permission To Operate (PTO).
      • Once Permission To Operate (PTO) has be granted, typically within 4 weeks of submission, your system will be activated.
  1. Enjoy Your Solar Energy:
      • With your solar system up and running, you can start enjoying the benefits of reduced electricity bills and a more sustainable energy source for your home.
 

 

Homeowners Associations

Dealing with your Homeowners Association (HOA) for any home improvement projects can be a hassle. However, Better Earth can handle the HOA process for you.

 

In most states, HOAs legally cannot prevent homeowners from going solar. So if you live in an HOA, Better Earth can help you install a solar system.

 

The HOA Approval Process:

  • If you have a Homeowners Association (HOA), you can provide the HOA information when scheduling your site survey. If you don't have an HOA, we may contact you to gather the necessary information via phone, text, and email.
  • Better Earth's HOA team will contact the HOA to understand their approval requirements, work with you to fulfill them, and submit the necessary documents.
  • Homeowner involvement in the HOA approval process can vary. Better Earth may secure full approval without additional actions from you, but your cooperation may be needed.
    • We appreciate your help in obtaining your HOA approval.
  • Approval timelines vary among HOAs (Homeowners Associations), usually ranging from 1 to 45 days.
 

 

Better Earth Communication

 

During your project, you may encounter additional steps that are needed. Here are the possible additions and what you can expect in terms of communication.

 

Missing Information/Documents:

  • Our dedicated project specialist team may contact you if there are any missing utility bills or documents required for the completion of your project. They will guide you through the process and ensure that all necessary information is provided.
 

HOA Outreach (if applicable):

  • If your homeowner's association (HOA) approval is required for the installation, we will handle the communication and outreach on your behalf. Our team will work with the HOA to obtain the necessary approvals and ensure a smooth installation process.
 

Install and Inspection Scheduling:

  • We will proactively reach out to you to schedule the installation of your solar system. Our team will work with you to find a convenient time that fits your schedule. Similarly, we will coordinate the scheduling of inspections to ensure that your system meets all necessary regulations and standards.
 

 

Third-Party Communication

 

Depending on the specifics of your project, you may receive additional communication from various parties to ensure a seamless solar installation experience. Better Earth will assist in coordinating these communications.

 

However, you may also receive direct communication from the following third parties:

 

Pearl Certification:

  • As a complimentary service for all projects, Pearl Certification showcases the increased home value resulting from your solar installation. They may reach out to provide you with valuable information regarding the certification process.
 

Brinks Security System:

  • If applicable, Brinks may contact you to schedule your home security system installation. They will work with you to find a convenient time that aligns with your solar installation schedule.
 

Curb Monitoring:

  • If applicable, the Curb team may reach out to schedule the installation of your Curb monitoring system. This system allows you to conveniently track and monitor your energy consumption and solar system performance.
 

Main Service Panel Upgrade:

  • If applicable, our Main Service Panel contractors contact you to schedule the upgrade. They will ensure that your electrical system meets all the necessary requirements for your solar installation.
 

ReRoofing:

  • If applicable, roofers may reach out to schedule the installation and inspections related to your solar system. They will work in coordination with the Better Earth team to ensure a smooth and efficient process.
 
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Last updated on November 29, 2023