NEW: This simplified solar permitting process now includes guidelines for solar and energy storage. See the full PDF version of National Simplified Residential PV and Energy Storage Permit Guidelines here, along with supporting commentary and structural commentary. (Updated September 2021)
Permitting is one of the biggest challenges to solar growth at the local level. Across the 18,000 local jurisdictions in the U.S., the solar permitting process differs greatly and is often expensive, time-consuming, and outdated.
By implementing a streamlined and more standardized permitting process, local governments can make installing solar faster, easier, and more affordable for their staff, local residents, businesses, and solar companies. An important byproduct of a simplified process is making solar more affordable so that much more solar can be installed.
For SolSmart participants, adopting the solar photovoltaic (PV) or PV + energy storage system (ESS) permitting process outlined below will meet SolSmart criteria PI-1/PI-2/PI-5/PI-7.
The following steps are intended to provide a format whereby local jurisdictions and contractors can permit simple PV or PV+ESS installations. This format adheres to all building, residential, fire, and electrical codes set for PV and PV+ESS published by the International Code Council (ICC) and National Fire Protection Association. The Commentaries in each Step provide background explanations for these guidelines.
Step 6 (Simplified): Review Structural PV Array Mounting Requirements
Step 6 (Detailed): Review Structural PV Array Mounting Requirements