(2023) PI-14: Solar Residential Fees Template Memo
This memo will attempt to identify and verify residential solar PV permit fees and determine if they align with national best practices. The best practice for a residential solar permit fee is $500 or less. 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 residential systems, capping solar permit fees under $500 or establishing a flat fee, can ensure permit fees cover staff costs without unnecessarily increasing project costs.