Some state laws stipulate that you have the right to install a solar electric system on your home. You will probably need to obtain permits from your city or county building department. These include a building permit, an electrical permit, or both. Your PV provider will take care of this, rolling the price of the permits into the overall system price. Make sure the permitting costs and responsibilities are addressed at the start with your PV provider before installation begins. For grid-connected PV systems your electric utility will require that you enter into an interconnection agreement. These agreements set forth the minimum insurance requirements to keep in force. Connecting your PV system to the utility grid will require an interconnection agreement and a purchase and sale agreement. Federal law and some state public utility commission regulations require utilities to supply you with an interconnection agreement. Some utilities have developed simplified, standardized interconnection agreements for small-scale PV systems. The interconnection agreement specifies the terms and conditions under which your system will be connected to the utility grid. These include your obligation to obtain permits and insurance, maintain the system in good working order, and operate it safely. The purchase and sale agreement specifies the metering arrangements, the payment for any excess generation, and any other related issues. The language in these contracts should be simple, straightforward, and easy to understand. Some utilities offer customers with PV systems the option to net meter the excess power generated by the PV system. This means that when the PV system generates more power than the household can use, the utility pays the full retail price for this power in an even swap as the electric meter spins backward, and your PV power goes into the grid. Net metering allows eligible customers with PV systems to connect to the grid with their existing single meter. Almost all standard utility meters can measure the flow of energy in either direction. The meter spins forward when electricity is flowing from the utility into the building and spins backward when power is flowing from the building to the utility. Net metering allows customers to get more value from the energy they generate. It also simplifies both the metering process and the accounting process. Be sure to ask your utility about its policy regarding net metering. After your new PV system is installed, it must be inspected and “signed off” by the local permitting agency (usually a building or electrical inspector) and most likely by the electric utility with which you entered into an interconnection agreement. Inspectors may require your PV provider to make corrections. Photovoltaic warranty is key to ensuring that your PV system will be repaired if something should malfunction during the warranty period. PV systems eligible for some solar rebate programs must carry a full two-year warranty, in addition to any manufacturers’ warranties on specific components. This photovoltaic warranty should cover all parts and labor, including the cost of removing any defective component, shipping it to the manufacturer, and reinstalling the component after it is repaired or replaced. The rebate program’s two-year warranty requirement supersedes any other warranty limitations. Be sure you know who is responsible for honoring the various warranties associated with your system—the installer, the dealer, or the manufacturer. The vendor should disclose the warranty responsibility of each party. Know the financial arrangements, such as contractor's bonds, that ensure the warranty will be honored. Find out whom to contact if there is a problem. Under some solar rebate programs, vendors must provide documentation on system and component warranty coverage and claims procedures. To avoid any later misunderstandings, be sure to read the warranty carefully and review the terms and conditions with your retailer/vendor.