Next Steps For Your Solar Project
Next Steps For Your Solar Project
Congratulations! You've made a great choice to move forward with a project from AES! Here's what you can expect going forward. Most projects will take from 9-12 weeks from contract to completion. This timeline can vary depending on a variety of factors. We will move forward with the greatest degree of diligence possible while ensuring your project is installed to the very highest standards of performance, aesthetics and safety.
1. Paperwork - Proposal, HIC, Financing, CPUC
Once you and your professional licensed AES energy consultant have decided on a project, you can sign your documents. Your Proposal outlines the system specifications, solar energy production, back-up power parameters, price and financing type. Your Home Improvement Agreement (HIC) includes your workmanship warranty and specifics about your payment schedule. Your loan documents will include specifics about any financing programs. For solar projects, the State of California additionally requires a CPUC disclosure form.
2. Site Survey
Site Survey captures photos of your project location with our drone, pictures of your electrical situation and internet router location, and collects any other information relevant to designing your project. We ask you to be present for at least the beginning or end of the survey. The surveyor is onsite to gather information however for specific questions or additional project requests, you should contact your energy consultant so these will get included in your design scope.
3. Design Confirmation and Approval
Our NABCEP certified design team follows industry best-practices and the most recent state and national electrical code requirements so you can be sure your system is high performing, code-compliant and safe for you and your family. They will generate a comprehensive design of your system to ensure it can be installed in the manner and perform as you expect in the location discussed with your consultant. This process will also surface any previously unidentified issues that could require a change to your design or project scope, including unpermitted structures or poor roof conditions. Your energy consultant will inform you when your design is complete to make sure it matches your expectations. Once we have your approved design, we will convert it to a completed planset to submit to your jurisdiction for permitting. This process is comprehensive and will usually take around three - four weeks. During this initial design period we may need to contact you for additional information, but otherwise we will reconnect when we have a completed design ready for your review.
4. Utility Interconnection and Permit Submission
With your approved project design and planset, we will submit your applications for utility interconnection and open a permit with your jurisdiction. We will ask you to e-sign your utility interconnection application early in the paperwork stage so P&GE can do their initial engineering review and it is ready to go when we submit for permit. In rare cases, a grid infrastructure upgrade may be needed to connect your solar project. This application process will inform us of this situation and your options for moving forward. This is also where the jurisdiction will issue their findings on any permitting issues on the property, which is why we try to proactively catch them all in design.
5. Equipment Acquisition
We maintain as much product inventory as possible on-hand. Depending on supply chain dynamics, there are certain high-demand products that are more subject to backorder than others (such as energy storage). Once we have an approved design, we place a purchase order for your product if it is not already in our warehouse.
6. Installation and Permit Final
Once you have an approved design, we will check in with you approximately every two weeks with a status update for scheduling. If your product is on backorder, we stay in regular contact with our vendors and we will inform you whenever there is an update. On the day your installation begins, we ask you to be available to allow us access to the property to get the project started. At that point we will coordinate any required interior access but we are pretty self-sufficient working outside so your constant presence isn't necessarily required. We will keep you updated on a daily basis during the course of the installation. Most installations take from 3-7 days, but this can vary depending on product, weather conditions and type of install (ie roof vs ground). The last component of the installation is a final inspection by the local building department, where a final permit will be issued for the project and filed with the local jurisdiction.
7. Permission to Operate
Your final permit and your approved interconnection application are submitted together to the utility at which point they have up to 30 business days to issue Permission to Operate (PTO). For most systems PTO usually happens within 10-business days. There is no PTO required for generators, only solar and batteries. PTO is your utility approval to turn on your system. Once issued we will give you instructions on what to do to power up.
8. Solar Coaching
After PTO, our solar coaching team will contact you to schedule an appointment for a system walk-through to help you understand its operation, the system monitoring, your new billing, and answer any final questions.
9. Years of Quality Performance
AES is committed to providing the highest quality service during the life of your system. Our dedicated service department is available to help you with any issues that might arise over the life of your system.
10. Refer Your Friends & Family
Participate in our referral program to share the solar love with friends and family and earn AES referral rewards.