Thought I'd provide a few details to interested parties about my rooftop solar installation. Might give others some things to think about for their own houses, or maybe you'll give me something else to think about. I'm in the Kansas City, Missouri area. Incentives are not so great here, but I'm doing it more for just supporting clean energy, and in that respect Missouri is a prime candidate, as we have a lot of coal power here and utilities are dragging @$$ on building clean energy capacity. I live in an HOA community, so that is an extra hurdle to clear to get solar installed. Here's the steps I've taken, many of which were done largely just to appease the HOA and get approval for solar install. 1) About a year ago I canvassed the region for solar installers, contacted several, had several come out to the house. This was to get an idea of what it would be like and see what kinds of companies, pitches, products, and prices there would be. I came out of that process feeling really good about 1 installer and not so great about all the others. One topic worth discussing is current status of the roof. You don't want to put solar on a roof that is close to needing replaced. 2) Several months ago I contacted my HOA to see if they wanted to discuss solar in advance. They gave me some limited info, but generally they were not interested in having a formal discussion. Also reviewed neighborhood covenants, which in my neighborhood has nothing on solar. However, they are picky on other things, like what kind of basketball goals you can put up, so I am expecting some possible resistance. 3) The last couple of months I searched for information on others in suburban or urban communities that have installed solar, and what kinds of issues they have had. I even contacted one individual personally to discuss his situation. 4) The last couple of months I reviewed the laws for solar in Missouri. Missouri has a statute saying that solar energy is a property right but it is kind of vague and has more to do with easements. There is at least 1 Missouri state senator who is trying to get a Solar Access Rights bill passed but has been unsuccessful so far (hasn't been voted down, just haven't been able to get it up for vote in the first place). Also reviewed the ITC solar tax credit dates and rules. 5) Happy with my 1 solar installer, I contacted them a month or so ago to inquire on if they would still be able to install solar for me, and what the process was. One important point about the process is that they have a designer come out to do the initial design work (which includes figuring out electrical and other stuff, part of which is done to be able to get all the necessary paperwork done for the utility, city, etc). Sometime after that a team comes out to actually install everything. Given this approach, I asked if we could do the design separate from the install, and they agreed. The purpose for this was so that I could get the design done, then pause to do the HOA proposal and have it include all the design details, then have the install done after I get HOA approval. 6) In the last month, I reviewed what loan options would be available to us. 7) I looked at a few homes that had solar installed. This was helpful because we noticed some differences between installations that would be good to discuss with installer and that the HOA might care about. For example, how the wiring is routed. Saw some houses where it was completely invisible, others were they had blatantly obvious tubes running in highly visible areas that really stuck out like a sore thumb. On one hand, I don't care, but on the other, the HOA will (and neighbors might too). 8) There was concern in our community about solar panel glare, so I did a little informal but pretty thorough study of what glares solar on my roof could cause, so that could be taken into account in the design. I have a separate thread about that here in this forum. 9) I discussed some design details over email with my installer. I asked for black framed panels with black installation hardware, and I also asked for at least 2 different layout options. This was in anticipation of needing additional negotiating room and selling points with the HOA. People tend to prefer the look of black framed panels, and I'll have the designer to an optimum functionality panel layout and a second layout that optimizes aesthetics. The second is the back up option if HOA rejects the first on appearance issues. I also asked if they could hide all the wiring/piping, as that can be a thing, and I'm certain it's something the HOA will care about. 10) Designer coming over this weekend to look over the house. After that, it will be a week or so before he or she has all the work done. I already have money set aside for this work, though the actual install I will get a loan for. 11) Once we have the design docs back from designer, we will write up the proposal to the HOA. It will include a blurb about what we are doing and why we are doing it. It will discuss design decisions in a way that hopefully helps convince them to approve (like discussing the black framing). It will include information on the glare study. And it will include the full design details from the designer. However, it will include only the preferred layout, making no mention of the other. If they don't approve on aesthetic reasons, we will break out the other layout or layouts in a revised proposal. 12) Our goal is to get approval sometime this winter. We will then secure a loan and have the actual installation done in the Spring.