Online Solar Permitting Tool Helps 2,800 Homeowners Go Solar
Wednesday, Dec 08 2021
Cities and counties across the country that have shown their interest in adopting SolarAPP+. Currently twelve communities are using SolarAPP+. Map courtesy of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Yesterday the National Renewable Energy Laboratory provided an update on Solar Automated Permit Processing (SolarAPP+), a no-cost, instant online solar permitting tool that communities can use to fast-track solar installations.
Today, more than 200 local jurisdictions have expressed interest in the tool and 12 of those jurisdictions are already using the tool. SolarAPP+ has processed over 2,800 residential solar permits and more than 20 megawatts of residential solar projects. In addition, SolarAPP+ can now be used for residential solar + storage installations, a major milestone for the tool.
The solar permitting process varies widely across the country and in some cases takes months to complete.
In some districts, the sheer volume of permits can cause backlogs, which can be a headache for homeowners, solar installers, and local officials that are trying to make progress on their clean energy commitments. This frustration can cause a customer to cancel its installation or give a bad referral, which can increase customer acquisition costs and the cost of solar for future customers. These costs, known as soft costs, inflate the price of solar and any cost increases are a major barrier to solar adoption.
SolarAPP+ instantly reviews solar permits and takes the waiting time from 2-8 weeks to less than a day, saving time and money for homeowners going solar.
SolarAPP+ can also be a gamechanger for resource-constrained local governments. The average solar permit can take up about 6 hours of staff time to process, but this no-cost tool reduces the workload of local building officials while also making sure that the permit is safe and code-compliant. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is also providing no-cost technical assistance to help local governments implement SolarAPP+. This new tool lets local governments redirect valuable staff resources and helps officials keep up with the increased demand for solar + storage without sacrificing quality or safety.
The program’s early success is a strong indicator that the tool is working as expected and is able to help a variety of communities, regardless of their size, resources or familiarity with solar.
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) helped develop SolarAPP+ and continues to work alongside a team of industry leaders to educate municipalities and speed adoption.
SolarAPP+ is capable of adding hundreds of megawatts of new residential solar in a short period of time, and we encourage everyone to learn more about this innovative new tool and how your community can benefit from faster, lower-cost solar permitting.
Learn more about SolarAPP+ and consider involving your company or community today.