Six Steps to Solar with SDG&E
This article is the first in a four-part series on SDG&E’s commitment to providing solutions for our customers through innovations like the Renewable Meter Adapter.
Over the last 20 years, private solar for individual homes has become more accessible and affordable, while the process to connect private solar panels to the power grid has become safer and easier. With tools like San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E) online application and “Fast Track” option, customers can connect their solar panels within 24 hours from a city or county inspector approving the system.
With more households making the switch to solar each day, SDG&E is helping educate people on the steps for going solar to help customers complete their projects as smoothly as possible.
What to expect when going solar
For soon-to-be private solar customers, it’s important to recognize that installing a private solar system is not typically a weekend DIY project—it will require an investment of both money and time to get everything right for your needs.
For most SDG&E customers going solar, the installation process will follow these steps:
- Step 1: Sign contract. For some, the variety of technologies and plethora of solar contractors in the region vying for your business may be overwhelming, which is why SDG&E offers advice to help our customers select the contractor that will help find the best size system for their individual needs at the best price. Customers can also attend one of the workshops offered at the Energy Innovation Center to learn more about the fundamentals of solar;
- Step 2: Net Energy Metering (NEM) Application. Before you can begin returning any excess power generated by your solar panels back to the utility, you must apply for SDG&E’s NEM program;
- Step 3: Meter programming. SDG&E will update your electric meter remotely through the online application to be compatible with the private rooftop system;
- Step 4: System install. This step is exactly what it sounds like—this is the big day that solar panels are actually installed at the home;
- Step 5: City inspection. After your panels are installed, the city or county completes inspections of the system to ensure project accuracy and safety;
- Step 6: SDG&E inspection. Once the city or county approves the project, SDG&E is notified and sends a technician to do a final system inspection before powering on the system.
As with any construction project, there may be roadblocks along the way to generating private solar power. SDG&E is continually working to improve the process to better the experience of our customers.
The next story in this series will look at an SDG&E invention that is making private solar faster, cheaper and safer to install.