(2023) PI-15 Solar Commercial Fees Memo Template
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.