How it Works

temp-photoThe aim of Solarize is to simplify the process and lower the price of installing solar photovoltaic systems. In the case of the Triad program, we are also offering information on how you can affordably improve the energy efficiency of your home or office. The flowchart at the bottom of this page, courtesy of Clean Energy for Us, shows the process for Solarize Triad.

The basic process is outlined below. For details about Solarize programs where you live, visit our Locations page.

  1. Let us know you’re interested by filling out the enrollment form for your location. Signing up only indicates your interest; it does not commit you to anything. If there is no current program in your location, email us and ask us to let you know when one begins.
  2. Once you enroll, you will be contacted by a solar and/or energy efficiency contractor that is participating in the Solarize program.
    If you signed up to explore the possibility of solar, a solar installation company will perform a free site assessment and answer any questions you may have. The company will first look at your site online on a satellite map. If they determine that your site may be suitable for solar power, they will contact you for a more detailed on-site assessment and will give you a proposal stating what size system is best for you and how much it will cost. The installers will size your system based on your available roof space and your electricity usage. An average home might use 3 to 5 kilowatts. If your site is too shady or otherwise not suitable for solar, the company will contact you to discuss this.
    If you signed up for an energy audit, an energy efficiency contractor will contact you to schedule it. The audit will tell you what steps you can take to achieve the greatest energy savings. If you decide to take some of these steps, the contractor will give you a quote for the work you would like to have done.
  3. Use our calculator to see how much the state and federal solar energy tax credits could reduce the net price of your system.
  4. If you need financing, Admirals Bank and Self-Help Credit Union have loans customized for renewable energy systems. A home equity line of credit from your bank may also be a good option.
  5. If you decide to install solar, you will sign a contract with the installer. The company will coordinate all permits, equipment purchases, installation, interconnection and inspections. The more people participate, the lower the price will be, so tell all your neighbors!
  6. After your solar system is installed, solar power will begin reducing your electric bill right away. An optimally-sized system will reduce your monthly bill by an average of 60-80%. See “What solar products are available?” on the FAQ page for more details about the equipment.
  7. When you file your taxes, you can get back up to 35% of the cost of the system as state tax credits and up to 30% as federal tax credits. Learn more about the tax credits.

This flowchart shows how Solarize Triad will work. Click the image to enlarge it.

CE4U-flow-chart

Credit: Clean Energy for Us