Frequently Asked Questions about Pending Installations

My system is not installed yet
My system is installed, but not turned on
Contract questions

MY SYSTEM IS NOT INSTALLED YET


I’ve completed my application forms, and talked to a GRID Alternatives Outreach Coordinator who verified that I’m eligible. What happens next?

Your Outreach Coordinator will schedule an orientation. At the orientation your Outreach Coordinator will explain the process and steps in involved in the installation of your solar system and answer any questions.

Preparing for your orientation

If you've been given a GRID Alternatives Application (Solar Affordable Housing Program Application OR Single-family Affordable Solar Homes Program [SASH] Application [in CA only]), please complete it and bring it to your orientation. In addition, please have copies of the following documents ready to give to your Outreach Coordinator

  • Most recent copy of homeowner’s insurance if available. Otherwise, please provide one of the following items: title or deed, property tax bill, or mortgage statement.
  • A copy of your most recent electricity bill, with the homeowner's name on the bill as the account holder or authorized user.

In some cases, your Outreach Coordinator might ask you to bring other documents.


I have submitted all the required application documents and have had an orientation. What’s next?

Once your Outreach Coordinator has processed your application documents and they have been approved a Construction Site Visit will be scheduled.

Preparing for Construction Site Visit

  • We’ll schedule a time for a construction staff member to visit your home.  
  • Please ensure that you or a family member over the age of 18 will be present during the site visit.
  • GRID construction staff will inspect your roof, take measurements and photos to ensure your home is ready for solar.
  • You do not need to be home during the inspection, but please ensure that: 1)Construction staff will have access to your roof and electrical service panel, and 2) All pets are secure and indoors.
  • If you are at home during the inspection, GRID construction staff might ask to look in your attic.

GRID Alternatives staff came to my house and looked at my roof. What’s the next step?

After a site visit, we review the data and assess whether your home is suitable for solar. If your home is suitable for solar construction staff will design your solar system. Once the design of your system is complete, your Outreach Coordinator will contact you to schedule your installation and a time to sign your contract. Your system cannot be installed until you have signed a contract.

If your home is not suitable for solar, your Outreach Coordinator will notify you on what work needs to be done and what options are available to get your home ready for solar.


What should I expect on installation day?

  • System installation typically takes two full days and will be scheduled based on your availability.
  • Plan to prepare lunch for GRID Alternatives staff and volunteers installing your system.
  • Keep your front and back yard clear for staff and volunteers to work and move safely around your property.
  • Secure all pets and children inside the house.
  • We also ask that all adult family members participate in their system installation and make lunch for the workers on installation day, if they are able. 

 

MY SYSTEM IS INSTALLED, BUT NOT TURNED ON


My system was installed, why hasn’t it been turned on yet?

Your system needs to be inspected and approved by your city and utility. Once your system has passed inspection your Outreach Coordinator will notify you that you can turn on your system. Do not turn on your system before being notified by GRID Alternatives. View the GRID Solar System Project Process for more details.


Is GRID Alternatives going to come turn on my system?

No. Once your Outreach Coordinator informs you that you can turn on your system, you will be the one to turn it on. We’ll provide you with instructions on how to turn on your system on your installation day and review them with you during your post-install meeting.


What is the post-install meeting?

The post-install meeting occurs after your system has been interconnected. During the meeting your Outreach Coordinator will provide you with your warranties for panels, inverters, parts, review your system warranty and electric bill with you, and answer any questions you have about your system.   

Please bring your most recent electric bill to this meeting.  

 

CONTRACT QUESTIONS


I don’t own my system and signed a 20-year agreement. What happens at the end of my 20 year agreement.

You have options.

  • You can purchase the system
  • You can remove the system

You must notify GRID Alternatives what you plan to do at the end of your agreement.


Can I can cancel the contract?

If you own your system:

  • From the day you signed the contract you have 3 business days to cancel.
  • If you wish to cancel you must notify GRID Alternatives and mail or deliver the signed notice of cancellation provided to you.

If you don’t own your system:

  • From the day you signed the contract you have 10 business days to cancel.
  • If you wish to cancel you must notify GRID Alternatives and mail or deliver the signed notice of cancellation provided to you.

What is the client contribution? Is it required?

GRID asks that participating families pay a small amount back to GRID once every 3 months. It is a “pay-it-forward” model, where your contributions will help us pay to bring solar to other families. The amount that you will pay is small compared to the amount that you will be saving each month on your electric bill because of the solar installation.

Most projects require families who have received solar (“clients”) to provide a contribution. Your Outreach Coordinator will inform you if you will have a client contribution.

  • The client contribution will begin upon 90 days after interconnection of your solar system and will be made on or about the first day of each calendar quarter.
  • Most client contributions are based on expected output of the system, calculated at .02 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) for 20 years
  • This contribution will always be much less than the amount you will save on your electric bill each month.