(2023) PI-15 Solar Commercial Fees Memo Template

| By SolSmart

This memo will attempt to identify and verify commercial solar PV permit fees and determine if they align with national best practices. The best practice for a commercial solar permit fee is to base the value on cost-recovery. Many local governments permit solar systems through existing permitting processes and permit fees for solar are often calculated according to value-based methods typically associated with building permits (where the fee is a certain percentage of the overall project cost). Due to the higher cost of solar installations relative to comparable projects, fees calculated by a value-based method can become expensive and exceed the cost of the staff time required to review and issue the permits. For commercial systems, basing fees on a cost-recovery method can ensure permit fees cover staff costs without unnecessarily increasing project costs.