The U.S. Department of Energy will offer current permits for rooftop solar installations


With the United States back in the Paris climate agreement, President Joe Biden has the lofty goal of decarbonising the U.S. power grid by 2035. As part of that plan, the Ministry of Energy (DoE) has announced to launch a new tool that will get a permit for solar installation on the roof much easier and faster.

The cost of solar energy has fallen by 90 percent in the last ten years, but the costs associated with the permit can take up to a third of the cost of a roof installation. On top of that, given that solar permits in the U.S. vary widely, some customers have to wait months to get approval, DoE wrote.

The Solar Automated License Processing (SolarAPP +) platform will reportedly address these issues, becoming the standard portal for local authorities to process permit applications. It automatically checks codes to ensure safety while generating a standardized inspection checklist that installers and inspectors can use to verify compliance in the field.

Today, we have 3 million households that have solar energy on their roofs, but the potential is all the greater.

The government has piloted the SolarAPP + program in four communities around Arizona and California: Tucson and Pima County in Arizona and Menifee and Pleasant Valley in California. “In Tucson, for example, SolarAPP + reduced review permits from approximately 20 business days to zero,” the DoE states.

“Today we have 3 million households that have solar energy on their roofs, but the potential is all the greater,” the DoE’s director of solar energy told Reuters. “Simplified processes and an automated licensing platform that can make homeowners faster, easier and cheaper solar promises will really help expand the solar housing sector.”

Local governments and installers can do it now sign up to get started with the app or attend the webinars listed on the list of experts blog. It’s all part of DoE Solar summer a campaign involving research by an agency aimed at reduction soft costs (design, installation, permit, installation, etc.) associated with rooftop solar energy.

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