Here’s something that hasn’t been getting enough attention in the solar industry: how much the permitting process can actually impact the cost of your solar project.
The more complex the permitting process, the higher the cost. Not to mention how permitting can affect project timeline. No one seems to be talking about how permitting can dictate how fast (or how slowly) your solar panels get installed…and how much it costs!
Let’s dive in and take a closer look at how solar permitting could help you save money and time—or cost you more in the long run.
The Solar Permitting Process
Permitting is required when you install solar panels at your home or business, or on your land. Often, there are even multiple layers of permits, from local, city, state, and federal levels.
Every area has different entities who hold jurisdiction over solar projects, called authorities-having jurisdiction (AHJ). Because of this, permitting processes vary widely by location.
What the Process Looks Like
The most basic solar permitting process looks like this:
- Solar provider fills out all necessary applications and submits to each AHJ
- AHJs review applications and grant permits prior to solar panel installation
- Solar provider installs solar panels on your property
- AHJ conducts a visual inspection of the final install prior to approval
Why You Should Care About Permitting
Fortunately, most quality solar providers will handle the solar permitting process for you as a consumer. So, you may be wondering why you would even care about permitting? Because permitting can have significant impacts to the cost and timeline of your solar project!
How Permitting Impacts Your Project
When you live in an area where there are multiple levels of permits required for a solar installation, the process naturally takes longer. This can result in project delays and increased costs!
How? If your solar provider is having to spend a lot of extra time and effort to get necessary permits in place, you can pretty much bet that the cost will passed on to the consumer at some point.
This is especially true in urban areas. In St. Louis, Missouri, for example, there are over 80 solar permitting jurisdictions—in one city!
Trusted solar organization Grow Solar says, “With more than 18,000 AHJs in the U.S., installers spend an inordinate amount of time and resources learning the permitting and inspection process in a jurisdiction and tailoring their business processes accordingly. The lack of process standardization across AHJs creates major inefficiencies for installers and for the AHJs.”
What You Can Do
Not every project will fall under multiple jurisdictions, but the point is that the process can be complex if it does. Your solar provider needs to be familiar with the area and local permitting requirements. If they aren’t, they will need extra time to file for permits appropriately and getting approvals could take longer.
Be sure to ask up front if your chosen solar provider is familiar with your local area and the permitting process!
Solar Sam: Your Expert Solar Permitting Partner
Thinking about going solar in Kansas City or St. Louis? Solar Sam is equipped to support all your Kansas City solar or St. Louis solar needs.
We proudly provide our neighbors with expert solutions for Missouri solar, Illinois solar, Kansas solar, and beyond! Wherever you are in the continental United States, we can professionally install solar for any project, from large commercial or agricultural to small residential.
We will always take care of the solar permitting process for you!
Visit our website for deals that are out of this world. When you’re ready to take advantage of the federal solar tax credit, give us a call at 833-RU-SOLAR (833-787-6527) to get a free quote.
Solar Sam powers your life with green energy run by the sun.