Mastering Solar Inspections: A Comprehensive Guide to the Solar Inspection Process

Whether you are a PV designer, installer, or a passionate advocate of renewable energy, understanding the solar inspection process is crucial.

You can’t simply turn on the switch to start generating electricity once your installation is completed. An inspection is usually required to ensure that everything is completed correctly, according to code, and in line with the approved plan before the system can be approved to generate electricity and provide power to the grid. Inspections are typically conducted by an official from the local AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) building department and a utility employee. However, a third party can be hired to inspect the system on behalf of the AHJ, utility, or another entity.

Failing to comply with building and electrical codes may delay the installation schedule and cause project budgets to increase due to costly change orders. Passing a solar inspection is crucial for PV companies to maintain their operational efficiency, provide excellent customer service, and increase profits.

Why Solar Inspections are Important

The need for an inspection is determined by the AHJ or utility that oversees the project. They want to ensure that the installation is completed according to the approved plan set and meets local building codes.

Utility inspections are usually a separate service that must be coordinated with the utility. However, many utilities use remote or digital inspections to reduce field delays and better serve their customers. Once the AHJ has signed off and the utility has approved their inspections, the system can start generating clean energy.

Reasons for a failed inspection can range from minor issues, like adding a label on a disconnect switch, to major problems requiring a return to the planning process to ensure the design meets AHJ requirements. It may be necessary to go through the permitting process again or make costly changes to the system.

If something doesn’t work as it should, the installer will inspect the system.

Solar Inspection Checklist

Solar inspection is a time-consuming process for any business, from the design phase to installation. Our guide for professionals in solar installation explains how to frame solar panel installation when talking to customers about costs and timelines.

Download the guide by clicking the image.

To ensure that your PV system is successful, it’s important to follow every step of the inspection process. Solar companies can prepare for solar inspections by adhering to industry standards and local guidelines. Here are several best practices:

How to Prepare for Your Solar Inspection

Determine the AHJ: Identify the relevant AHJ before you begin designing your plan and obtaining permits. See how Aurora’s AHJ database can assist.

Verify Plan Compliance: Ensure your plans meet local building, wind, electrical, residential, and fire codes, as well as utility interconnection requirements.

Submit Plans: Submit your plans to the AHJ to receive a permit for the installation and any related work.

Apply for Interconnection Permit: Submit an interconnection permit application to the electric utility serving the property. Some utilities require a permit approved by the AHJ before processing an interconnection request.

Schedule Installation: Coordinate the installation of the equipment with the homeowner once the permit is approved.

Verify Installation: Ensure the system is installed in accordance with the permitted design. Some changes may require a re-permit before inspection.

Coordinate Inspections: Schedule inspections with the AHJ and the utility. The homeowner may need to be present, so coordinate schedules accordingly.

Ready to ensure your solar installations pass inspection with flying colors? Contact us now to get started and stay ahead in the solar industry. By following these guidelines and preparing thoroughly, you can navigate the solar inspection process smoothly, ensuring compliance and efficiency every step of the way.

This post was written by a professional at EHS. Efficient Home Services of St. Petersburg FL is a solar energy company offering a variety of services. At Efficient Home Services of Florida, our mission is to save you money on your solar panel inspection St Petersburg FL. No other home energy company serving Florida offers the range of cost-saving solutions that we do. Whereas other businesses might focus on one component of a home’s energy use, such as solar panel installation or HVAC unit installation, EHS provides services across the spectrum to address every aspect of your home’s energy inefficiencies. We are a team of knowledgeable professionals who banded together to give homeowners what other companies promised but could not deliver – real relief from high electric bills.