Permitting and Inspection SolutionsIREC helps local governments streamline and simplify permitting and inspection for clean energy projects.
Local permitting and inspection procedures have a major impact on distributed energy resources, including rooftop solar and energy storage. A lengthy or cumbersome permitting and inspection process may create new expenses and barriers to clean energy. IREC helps simplify procedures and enhance consistency across jurisdictions.
IREC provides hands-on technical assistance, in-depth resources, and useful tools to help jurisdictions improve the permitting and inspection process. Our work is helping lower costs for developers, city and county governments, and ultimately consumers.
Sustainable Energy Action Committee (SEAC)
Led by IREC, the Sustainable Energy Action Committee provides a forum for stakeholders to address code enforcement and permitting for sustainable energy systems. SEAC brings together authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs)—such as local building and fire departments, contractors, manufacturers, suppliers, utilities, testing labs, and other clean energy stakeholders. It is a forum for collaboration and problem solving related to solar PV installation and energy storage projects.
IREC leads the SolSmart program, which offers no-cost technical assistance to help municipalities and counties streamline permitting and inspection for solar energy. SolSmart has published free resources including the Simplified Solar Permitting Guide, which helps jurisdictions improve their permit processes step by step. The SolSmart Toolkit for Local Governments offers a detailed overview of solar permitting and inspection issues.
Today, more than 400 communities nationwide have achieved SolSmart designation as Gold, Silver, or Bronze. An independent evaluation found the program is getting results: SolSmart speeds up the permitting process by 7.5 days on average.
IREC is a partner on SolarAPP+, a new automated permitting system to foster rooftop solar adoption by making it easier for local governments to quickly and safely approve installation projects. It is led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) along with key code officials, authorities having jurisdiction at the local level (AHJs), and the solar industry.
IREC develops and deploys training resources for professionals in the building code, inspection and firefighting sectors. These resources cover solar, storage, EV infrastructure, and grid-enabled technology. As of 2021, almost 20,000 code officials and fire fighters have participated in IREC’s online and live training. Supporters of these training projects include the U.S. Department of Energy and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.