Everybody is a winner with the new solar permitting prize.

Solar permitting can be a significant bottleneck in residential solar installations, increasing the time it takes to adopt and sometimes even months. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), in collaboration with local governments, building codes organizations, permitting software providers, and industry partners, developed an online platform called SunAPP+.

SolarAPP+ makes it easy for homeowners to get solar power. It also cuts down on red tape. This makes installing solar energy more convenient for installers and local governments.

DOE launched the SolarAPP+ prize to encourage local governments to adopt SolarAPP+. This prize aims at accelerating the adoption of SolarAPP+. Local governments must submit a questionnaire and a letter of support to be eligible for the award. All they have to do now is adopt SolarAPP+ by April 27, 2023. Each applicant who meets the deadline will be awarded $15,000.

SolarAPP+ is a winning strategy for everyone.

Save time for paperwork.

SolarAPP+ was developed by NREL and has been approved for over 10,000 projects across the United States. SolarAPP+ has saved more than 10,000 hours of plan review time for local governments.

SolarAPP+ automates the permitting process for 70-80% of the submitted permits. This allows local governments to save time and money when they want to increase their community’s solar capacity.

Installers can get your projects approved more quicker.

Solar energy currently accounts for only 3% of U.S. electricity. The nation’s current solar capacity will need to increase by hundreds upon gigawatts over the next 15 years. This will lead to millions of solar projects nationwide that will require permits. Many of these will be located in residential buildings. According to NREL, reviewing a solar permit application takes 15-60 minutes. Already, communities nationwide are having difficulty processing permits for the expanding solar market.

SolarAPP+ instantaneously issues permit for code-compliant rooftop solar photovoltaic systems. SolarAPP+ also standardizes processes, ensuring all solar installers comply with the exact requirements in every jurisdiction. This improves predictability and efficiency. Before submitting designs for approval, installers can verify that they adhere to the code.

Solar system users save time and money.

A simplified permitting process allows homeowners to install their solar systems faster. SolarAPP+ reduces the total project time by almost two weeks, according to researchers.

Consumer costs can also be reduced. Consumers can get solar energy started faster and enjoy lower utility bills by completing projects in a shorter time frame.

SolarAPP+ allows local governments, installers, and consumers to reap the benefits. This will enable more Americans to access solar energy at a lower cost and accelerate the transition to clean energy.

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