When you have decided to take the leap into a lifetime of clean, sustainable energy with a solar panel installation for your home, now the question is how long will it be until you’re actually generating electricity from your system?

It’s important to know that, just like with any other home improvement project, each solar installation is as unique as the home it occupies. Still, here at Design My Solar we believe in complete transparency, and we understand that you want to be generating the sun’s energy as quickly as possible! That’s why we’ve made a clear and simple timeline to help you understand exactly what to expect throughout each step of your project. From the initial consultation through installation and into lifetime service and monitoring, Design My Solar Power will take care of every part of the process.

Keep reading for a detailed breakdown of all of the steps required in a solar installation project, as well as the timeline for each.


First things first: your journey to solar starts with an appointment with one of our expert solar energy consultants who can help you understand the details before moving forward. In preparation for your consultation, we will use satellite-based technology to evaluate your roof’s solar potential and analyze your electricity usage history to determine the optimal system size.

At that meeting, which can take place at your home or virtually via video conference, we will provide you with a proposed system design and a personalized quote for your home. We’ll talk about financing and help you find every available incentive for saving on your solar panel installation, including:

  • Net metering. This refers to a billing agreement in which your utility provider “pays” you for the excess energy your system produces, in the form of credits on your monthly utility bill. Most states have net metering — in fact, 41 states and Washington, D.C., have mandatory net metering rules. To find out policies that apply to you, check the net metering policies your state offers.
  • Federal rebates. The solar tax credit (ITC) from the federal government is one of the best ways to dramatically lower your solar panel costs. The ITC allows you to deduct 30 percent of the cost of your solar panel system on your annual federal taxes.
  • Local incentives. Governments and utility providers offer various solar tax breaks and financial incentives to make solar power as affordable as possible. To help lower the cost of your solar setup, check to see what your state offers.

Our goal in this initial meeting is to provide you with the information and tools you need to make an informed decision about solar. We will provide you with an objective assessment of your home’s solar potential and the products we offer. If it doesn’t make sense for you, we won’t waste your time. If and when you are ready to move forward, you will sign an agreement to begin work on your solar project and, if you are financing the system, apply for your loan.


Timeline: 2-6 Weeks*

Now that the financial part is taken care of, it’s time to get the ball rolling with a site assessment. Our scheduler will coordinate a day for our team to further assess your home’s potential for solar. For this step we use drones with highly specialized software to measure your roof.

We design each system to comply with zoning restrictions, any limitations that may be inherent in your home’s structure, as well as mounting and location limits — and we’ll also make sure it’s as aesthetically pleasing as possible. The design will determine the orientation and placement of the panels and wiring, the connections to an inverter and your home’s meter, and additional systems such as batteries. At your “Design Complete” call, you will be asked to give the final approval before installation begins.

What factors can affect this timeline? This step in the process should only be delayed if you decide on any changes in the design of your solar panel system.


Timeline: 4-6 Weeks*

We’re so close to the actual construction here, but before we start the build, we need to get a few approvals from the city, your utility company, and your homeowner’s association (HOA) if you have one. This includes utility interconnection agreements, net-metering applications, local building and electrical permits, and all rebate incentive documents. Other than the occasional signature we may need from you, we’ll handle the heavy lifting and take care of all the necessary communications and paperwork.

We’ll keep you updated with email and text notifications as applications are submitted and approved, along with any action items we might need from you, so that you know exactly when to expect us for the installation.

What factors can affect this timeline?  The most common delays in approvals tend to come from the local utility companies which at times encounter processing backlogs, and HOAs, which may have specific rules in place for installing rooftop solar. Many states have laws that protect homeowners who want to install solar, but finding an installer who has strong relationships with HOAs and authorities that have jurisdiction over solar PV projects can shorten this timeline and make it a hassle-free process for you.



Our scheduler will reach out to you to let you know what is required to begin construction and select a date for the construction. Our NABCEP-certified team of full-time Design My Solar technicians will arrive and work quickly and efficiently to install solar panels with minimal disruption to your schedule. Within one to three days, you’ll be able to harness the power of the sun for clean, sustainable energy.

We’ve finally reached the most exciting part. Once all approvals are complete, you’re ready to begin the installation of your new solar panel system!

What factors can affect this timeline? The duration of this step will vary based on the complexity and size of your system. Most of our home solar installations are completed in a single day. However, more complex systems such as ground-mount systems or battery backup systems can take longer to complete.


Timeline: 4-6 weeks*

After your solar panel system is installed, it needs to be approved by your utility company and a city inspector. Your utility company may also install a new meter that allows for net metering of your excess electricity.

We’ll work with the appropriate entities to coordinate these inspections. However, the timing is subject to the schedule of the utility and municipality. Once they give the go-ahead, your home solar panels will be activated and you’ll be ready to start generating clean, sustainable energy!

What factors can affect this timeline? The time it takes to process and complete these inspections will depend upon your own schedule, and will also vary by your jurisdiction and utility provider.


Timeline: 1–3 weeks*

Now that your solar installation is ready to start harnessing the power of the sun, we’re here to help you flip the switch on your solar panels. Design My Solar will provide you with detailed instructions on how to energize your system, and we’ll grant you access to your monitoring portal (more on that below). We’ll also schedule a closeout meeting for you with our operations team to answer any additional questions you may have.

What factors can affect this time? The only delays to this timeline are any conflicts that arise in your schedule related to the closeout meeting.


Congratulations! You’re now the proud owner of a hardworking solar panel energy system. But just because the installation is complete doesn’t mean we’re out of the picture. Design My Solar is here to support you throughout the lifetime of your system, with 24/7 monitoring and ongoing service, should you ever need it. Your solar panel setup includes a web-based application so that you can monitor your power production and savings in real time, anytime.

What’s more, Design My Solar builds systems to last, and we stand behind our work for the life of your solar power system, with the most complete warranty in the industry and the only dedicated solar repair and maintenance service department in Texas, Colorado, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

*Specific timelines are estimates only and are subject to factors outside of Design My Solar’s control. On average, customers can expect it to take a total of 3-6 months from signing the contract to the system powering their home.


While you don’t need to be home for the entire installation appointment, we will need an adult present to let our team into the attic space or grant us any other necessary access to your property.

Many of our customers who aren’t able to be home arrange for us to have access by leaving the garage door open or providing a key to a neighbor who can let us in.

Having someone on-site for at least the start of your appointment allows our technicians to work more efficiently and ensures we can complete your installation properly.

We’ll send you an email to let you know the estimated arrival time of the crew for your installation

If there are any locked gates that would restrict access to areas we need to work, we ask that these be left unlocked (if possible) if you will not be home. If there are any gate codes (to access your community, for instance), please share those with us before the installation start date by updating your myFreedom account. 

Please ensure that your pets are secured for the duration of the work anytime our employees are onsite.

If we arrive at your house and see that there is an unsecured animal in the work area, we will knock on the door and ask you to put your animal away. If you are not home and a pet is loose in the work area, we will attempt to contact you but will not enter.

If we cannot complete our scheduled work due to a loose pet, you may be charged a $250 trip fee. This policy keeps our employees and your pets safe.

We can arrange for our crew lead to meet with you on site on the first day of the installation to go over proposed conduit runs and equipment locations.

Our scheduling team will be in contact with you to confirm your installation schedule and who will be on-site at your home.

Our Customer Care team will be in touch with you about the remaining steps to get your system turned on.

These steps vary depending on your utility and local jurisdiction. Upon passage of any necessary inspections, and we will provide instructions about how to energize your system, and you will be given access to an online monitoring portal to track your solar output in real-time.

The final step of the process is the Launch Meeting, which you will schedule with a member of our Customer Care team.

You’ll receive an email with a scheduling link along with some final documentation about your system, called a Launch Packet. This packet contains your system design, product and warranty information, final payment receipt, and contact info for our teams should you need service in the future.


A solar panel installation is a big project. That’s why it’s important to feel confident that you’re working with a team of technicians that has unmatched expertise and experience. As the largest residential solar installer in Texas, countless homeowners and businesses have chosen us for our expert installations and our friendly, helpful installers — even big-name stores like Whole Foods and Office Depot.

We’re also serious about our COVID-19 safety measures. Our socially distanced installations allow us to set up your panels without ever needing to come inside your home. From consultation to installation, Design My Solar can help you go solar while keeping everyone safe. If you’re ready to start generating a lifetime of sustainable energy, we’re here to help you begin the journey. Contact us today for a consultation.


Begin a FREE Consultation.

  1. Send us your info.
  2. We’ll contact you to schedule an appointment.
  3. An energy consultant will meet with you at your home, place of business or virtually.
  4. You will get a custom proposal with system size, design, costs, financing, and savings.