Step 7: Receive your Proposal In evaluating and comparing your solar proposals, here are some of the points that you need to consider:
The size and location of the systemThe overall system size is dependent on your electricity usage and the number of panels necessary to fulfil your energy needs. In most situations, the capacity of the solar system is represented in kilowatts (or kW) and should be included in the solar proposal. It should also contain an aerial view of the site with the photovoltaic panels overlaid.
The components (equipment) of the systemYour proposal should contain a list of components. That list could include the solar panel quantity, brand and watts, the inverter quantity and brand, and, details of other components such as mounting structures and cables. Different product warranties may come with each of these items. You must know what each of those warranties includes.
WarrantiesTwo types of warranties will be provided with most solar proposals: Product warranty – The warranty on the product covering manufacturing defects and damages. Performance warranty – The warranty period for which the equipments will function for a defined efficiency levels. The solar panels and inverters have different warranties and certain warranties can be extended for a longer period as well. More information on installation, warranty and maintenance will be covered in the next instalment of our series, ‘Personal Guide to Installing Solar at Home’.
Service and MaintenanceYour solar contractor should be a permanent, long-term partner for your rooftop solar project. Ask the following questions:
- Does the company have dedicated service teams?
- Are there licensed electricians on staff?
- Is O&M (Operations and maintenance) included in your proposal?
The solar system cost and financial incentivesThe proposal should include an incentive and cost summary. It should consist of the following:
- The total cost of the system
- The amount of taxes
- Subsidies for solar rooftop scheme
The energy offset and environmental impact of the systemAn attractive property of solar is that it is a thoughtful financial investment as well as good for the environment. The environmental impact of your solar photovoltaic system should be included in your proposal. For example, it should state the approximate offset of tones of carbon dioxide per year, or the equivalent of barrels of oil per year, or even the amount of saved trees per year. [caption id="attachment_11862" align="aligncenter" width="430"] Environmental aspects[/caption]
The project scopeIn the proposal, the scope of the solar project should be specified. What is included and what is not included should be detailed, including provisions for any unexpected expenses or changes. A turnkey solar project will include:
- Mandated safety equipment, interconnection and associated applications
- Permits and Taxes
- Quality assurance
The installation timelineFrom the moment you sign the proposal to the moment the solar system is up and running, it typically takes a few weeks. On average, the regulatory authorization of the project from the DISCOM takes about eight to ten weeks in total, while the execution of the installation ranges from two to five days depending on the system size during this period.
The payment termsIn the proposal, the payment conditions should be mentioned clearly indicating the milestones during the process. You commit to those payment conditions when you accept the proposal, and you will be required to fulfil those agreements and keep the project on track. The payment timeline is staggered to ensure ease for the homeowner to plan the finances.
Step 8: Documentation and PermitsThe owner must fulfil all of the required regulatory requirements before a rooftop solar power system can be installed on a residence. The solar rooftop registration process requires considerable time and energy on a residential scale, depending on the state, local government, type and size of the system. It can be very complicated and cumbersome to deal with. [caption id="attachment_11856" align="aligncenter" width="388"] Documentation and permits[/caption] If you are contemplating whether solar is right for you, don’t let the difficulty of solar proposals or a solar rooftop registration impact the decision to go solar. Luckily, HomeScape makes life easier by dealing with the documentation process for you. Every solar company has a unique proposal of their own. There are, however, some key pieces of data that should be compliant with each proposal you get. The permit process depends on the following factors:
- Location of the solar plant
- Size of the project
- Approval from DISCOM for grid connectivity
- CEIG (Chief electrical inspector to the government of state) approval for the capacity more than 10 KW (This capacity may differ from state to state)
- Electrical permit
- Building permit
- Zoning approval
- Or a combination of the above
Electrical PermitsUsually, the electrical permits for solar rooftop power plants comprise of three stages:
- Feasibility analysis