At the time of writing this article, there may be staffing shortages at your local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) due to COVID 19. These shortages may cause delays at various intervals or steps of the solar installation process. After Freedom Forever installs your solar system, we contact your AHJ to come out and inspect it. Some AHJs have sharply cut the number of available inspectors during the coronavirus crisis. While Freedom Forever remains open for business and won’t likely cause any delays in your installation process on our end, the installation process may still be affected by the COVID 19 shutdown.
What is an AHJ?
An AHJ is any individual, office, or organization that is responsible for approving construction or installation plans that require permits. Your local AHJ will be part of your local government. They may be short-staffed or work limited hours during the COVID 19 crisis. Here is a list of AHJs and how they are affected by the COVID 19 shutdown provided by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
The solar installation process and how it may be affected by the COVID 19 shutdown
The first step in your solar installation process is called the site audit. The site audit is an inspection of your roof and electrical connection to the grid. The inspection is conducted by a Freedom Forever site-auditor. There will be no delays in this step.
Once we’ve conducted the site audit, we then apply to your local AHJ. This is a step that can be delayed if your local AHJ has staffing issues caused by the COVID 19 shutdown.
Once your AHJ notifies us that the plan for your solar system has been approved, Freedom Forever will install your system. There won’t be any delay in this step, our install crews are standing by to install your new solar as soon as possible.
Once your system is installed, we contact your AHJ to schedule an appointment for them to come out and inspect it. This step may be delayed because your AHJ has to send someone to your home to do the inspection. A Freedom Forever service technician will be present during the inspection. If there is anything that needs to be done, Freedom Forever will be ready to take care of it. We will then have to schedule an appointment for re-inspection with your AHJ, which may result in an additional delay.
Permission to operate
Once your AHJ approves your solar installation, it will then issue Permission To Operate (PTO). Under normal circumstances, PTO is typically issued a day or two after your system has passed inspection. Unfortunately, this final step may also be delayed if your AHJ is short-staffed.