So you’re thinking about all the savings you can get by going solar or even the environmental impact it can have. However, you are unsure what needs to happen to get those solar panels on your roof?

Here at GraySquare Solar, the process of going solar is broken into six main steps. We will guide you through each step of the process to ensure everything is smooth and efficient. While each home and its owners are different, no matter the size of the system, the same steps to going solar are the same for everyone. Follow along to see the steps to going solar.

Solar Step 1: Solar Consultation

From new words and numbers on your bill to the basics of turning solar generation into monthly savings, there’s a lot to learn. Together, we’ll clarify your goals, address any questions, identify purchase options and incentives, and outline the solar process—placing you in the driver’s seat for everything moving forward. Every few weeks after signing, we’ll share information about your project, by walking you through from site visit to installation and even after.

Solar Step 2: Site Survey Visit

A site visit is an in-person technical inspection of your home to gather important information required by the engineering team. The goal is to examine the site for structural and environmental factors that play a role in determining the system’s size, design, and position on the property, as well as identifying any safety concerns relevant to an installation.

Homes are very complex. Your roof is subjected to all kinds of weather, and it’s your protection from the outside world. Your electrical needs will fluctuate throughout the year, and your system must be compatible with your home’s current circuitry. Add to that that panels are supposed to last on that roof for 25 years! We want to make sure you and your house are ready for a new addition!


Solar Step 3: Engineering Design

The solar dream is starting to materialize! In the plans and design part of the solar process, we take the measurements from earlier and blend them with your preferences and needs. Our design and engineering team will review all of the information submitted upon approval of your project. As well as mapping data on your roof and solar regulations in your area to configure the best solar energy system for maximum performance and long-term savings

The turn-over time for completion is 1-2 weeks. However, if your solar energy system requires any design changes after your project has been signed, or if your home requires any services prior to installation, such as a re-roof or electrical panel upgrade, we will work with you to move your project forward.


Solar Step 4: Permit and Materials

Once you’ve approved the plans, we’ll submit your system design (depending on where you live) to the city, the county, or the state for a building permit and submit to your utility company for the interconnection. 

We work on your behalf to navigate state and municipal requirements, homeowners associations, and utility paperwork.

Several organizations oversee the size, placement, design, and installation of the solar energy system in your home. They can include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Your Local Permitting Department (also known as “Authority Having Jurisdiction” or AHJ)
  • Your HOA (if applicable)
  • Your Utility
  • Incentive Programs (if applicable)

The greater permitting and interconnection process takes 4-6 weeks on average to complete, but it can range from instantaneous to 8+ weeks in length. 

Once your permit is approved, we’ll set a date for installation with our experienced team of installers.

Solar Step 5: Installation

Now it’s time to get those solar panels up on your roof!

On the day of installation, we expect some things from you:

  • On installation day, you (or someone 18 or older) will need to be home for the duration of the installation.
  • Our Installer Build Partner will greet you on arrival and walk you through the installation process.
  • Please keep pets and children away from the construction site during installation.
  • Please ensure that no other home improvement projects are scheduled for the day of installation. Your Installer Build Team must be the only contractors onsite.
  • Your driveway should be clear of all vehicles, toys, and large objects.
  • Our team will need three (3) feet of working clearance around your electrical panel.

Most installations can be completed in 1-2 days by our experienced Build Partners. Also, depending on weather, installation can be rescheduled or put on pause, we want to make sure the install gets done with the best weather permitted. 

After installation you will be receiving a call from our team in order to schedule your final inspections. Please check your schedule to find some dates that work best to have someone home so we may complete your inspection as early as possible.

Solar Step 6: Inspection / Permission to operate

Your new solar system needs to pass a series of safety tests with flying colors before you can start your system and kick in those solar savings. 

That’s why we’ve created this easy guide with everything you need to know about the final 3 steps of your solar journey, from getting permission to operate (PTO) to turning on your new system.


  1. Pass an inspection by your local building department: In order to get PTO, your solar system must pass an inspection by your local building department to make sure it’s up to code. If your inspector finds any issues with your installation, we’ll quickly correct them and apply for another assessment.


  1. Get your Net Meter installed by your utility company: If everything looks great, this is when your utility company will connect you to their grid and install your Net Meter, which tracks the ups and downs of your day-to-day energy production and use.


  1. Digitally sign your application for PTO that’ll be submitted to your utility company: We’ll submit an application for PTO complete with your digital signature to your utility company. Then, they’ll send out their own representative to review different parts of your system, like your inverter and electrical panel connection.


This last step is dependent on your utility company’s schedule, so it may take a number of weeks, but it’s absolutely essential for ensuring you have a safe and effective system.


Now you can enjoy your system and save money every month!


Get a free consultation with us!