Before we cover the big-picture look at how long it takes from start to finish, let’s cover the actual steps involved in the process, so you can get a better idea of where you might expect delays or complications.
Understanding All the Steps
Here’s what to expect, in terms of steps:
Step 1: The Permit Process
You can’t start the installation until you get the proper permits. And the first permit is from your municipality. Fortunately for those of us in Houston, the city is actually pretty quick about turning around the permit. And by pretty quick, we mean a typical time of 7-10 days.
After you get your permit from Houston, you have to contact the utility locators and post your permit from the city.
Step 2: Inspection of the Slab
If you don’t already have a concrete slab in place to serve as a base for your generator, then the pouring of this slab will start as soon as you get your municipal permit, and once it has been poured and cured, you’ll need to have it inspected as well.
This inspection takes a couple of days to schedule and complete and represents the last “preliminary” step before the actual installation of the generator can take place.
Step 3: Installation of the generator
Following inspection of the slab, Electricians, plumbers come out the next day, do the install and then we have to wait for inspection the following day from the municipality.
Step 4: Municipal Inspection of the Installed Generator
Following the initial install, a request for inspection is sent to the municipality who will inspect the installed permit.
Step 5: Meter Upgrade
Once the previous steps are completed, your permits and inspection paperwork is sent over to Center Point Energy, telling them that the permitting process has passed. Center Point Energy will provide you with your meter upgrade within five to seven days.
And that’s the last step. Project complete!
Total Time from Start to Finish
According to Yvonne Fish of Standy Power Houston:
“A permitted job usually takes anywhere from 14 to 21 working days. Sometimes, that can increase in different municipalities around the Greater Houston Area because there’s not electronic permitting in some areas where we actually have to hand carry them down there. It can take a week to 10 days to actually get the permit from certain municipalities. Anywhere 14 to 21 days in a municipality. If you’re in the county where there’s not a permitting process, we can be done in as little as seven to 10 working days.”
What about dealing with the HOA?
Again, here’s Yvonne providing the straight scoop on what you can expect from HOAs when it comes to installing a standby generator:
“Some HOAs are pretty quick about turning around approval, others are not. I’ve seen HOAs be a little difficult with homeowners trying to protect their power and can take anywhere from 30 to 60 days to get approval. We can’t start the job until they actually get that HOA approval and that’s just for the protection of the consumer so that the location of the generator which is all they’re looking at is acceptable to their home owners association guidelines.”
Who Really Handles All This Paperwork?
If you’re working with a professional supplier and installer, THEY should handle all permitting and paperwork requirements, with the exception of dealing with your Home Owners Association, if you live in an HOA community.
In fact, if your installer is asking you to handle the permits or request the inspections, you should consider that a huge sign that you’re NOT dealing with a professional, and you should find yourself another installer ASAP.
If you have any questions on this, please feel free to contact Standby Power Houston to get more generator wisdom from Yvonne and her expertly qualified staff.