Fast, Predictable Solar Permits
SolarAPP+ is a collaborative effort 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 and The Solar Foundation, now merged with IREC, helped launch the SolarAPP+ project as founding partners in 2018. IREC is now engaged with the program through training, local government outreach, and other support.
The SolarAPP+ platform has now been launched for widespread use. View a recorded webinar led by Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm to learn more!
In the United States, residential solar is a long way from realizing its full potential. Direct and indirect costs of permitting, inspection and interconnection add about $7,000 ($1.00 per watt) to the cost of a typical residential solar energy system. This leads to costs that are far higher than in other countries with mature solar markets.
SolarAPP+ offers standardized plan review software to run compliance checks and process building permit approvals for eligible rooftop solar systems. SolarAPP+ reduces install times, reduces project cancellations, and expands access to renewable energy. The service is free for local jurisdictions.
For local governments involved in the SolSmart program led by IREC, SolarAPP+ offers an additional benefit: earning points toward SolSmart designation, including meeting Gold-level requirements for less than three day permit application turnaround.
IREC Training Opportunity
Inspecting a SolarAPP+ System
This training explains how an inspector can use the SolarAPP+ inspection checklist that replaces traditional plan sets in communities that have adopted this instant permitting tool. The course is being offered free of charge and successful completion can count toward continuing education units through the International Code Council.
Expected Outcomes by 2025:
- Make solar energy more affordable and accessible for homeowners and businesses at a wide range of income levels.
- Save a typical solar consumer more than $7,000 in red tape.
- Help local governments and jurisdictions operate more effectively and efficiently, without compromising safety or quality.
- Save taxpayer money by reducing local government staff time and costs.
Provides a flexible, web-based PV-permitting tool for residential systems at no cost to local governments.
Eliminates Wait Times
Enables standardization of instant permitting processes, allowing for same-day permitting. That saves time and resources for AHJs, solar companies, and customers, and helps jurisdictions earn points toward SolSmart designation.
Evaluates applications for safety and code compliance.
SolarAPP+ is focused on residential solar, with future opportunities to incorporate energy storage and other market segments.