Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica
Cities and counties across the country have shown their interest in adopting SolarAPP+. Image courtesy of NREL.

Clean Power

California to Give Grants to Cities & Counties that Adopt SolarAPP+ Solar Permitting App

California recently launched a first-in-the-nation initiative to spur growth in rooftop solar and reduce consumer costs by cutting red tape that impedes solar installations.

The California Energy Commission’s “CalAPP” program will provide incentives to cities and counties to adopt SolarAPP+, software designed by the federal Dept. of Energy using innovative technology that issues building permits for rooftop solar in real time. SolarAPP+ eliminates permitting delays, standardizes the permitting process between jurisdictions and reduces the cost of solar, leading to solar on more roofs.

Properties that install solar first need to receive a permit from the local building department, but outdated and bureaucratic permitting requirements in many areas combined with chronic staffing shortages can add months of delays and thousands of dollars to solar projects. In many cases, property owners give up on solar entirely. Even in the several cities and counties with streamlined solar permitting, different processes and requirements unique to that jurisdiction can add significant costs to contractors who pass those on to their customers.

Environmental advocates, the solar industry, and consumer groups are hopeful that the CalAPP program will remove these roadblocks and praised the new program.

“How does California expect homes to go solar if they can’t get a permit? How does California expect solar to be everywhere if every city and county has their own rules?” said Ben Davis, policy associate with the California Solar & Storage Association. “Thank the solar gods for CalAPP, which should open the floodgates on rooftop solar.”

The federal Department of Energy modeled SolarAPP+ after San Jose’s and Los Angeles’ home built solar permitting platforms. San Jose’s and Los Angeles’ software, similar to SolarAPP+, asks the contractor a series of questions to verify that the system is up to code and then issues the permit automatically, enabling construction to begin the same day. The number of homes going solar annually in San Jose increased sixfold after the software launch in 2015.

The CalAPP program provides grants and assistance to cities and counties to adopt SolarAPP+. While SolarAPP+ is free, the grants are designed as an incentive and to cover the staff time and other resources spent on adoption. The maximum grant sizes range between $40,000 and $100,000 depending on population. The grants are non-competitive and the application is simple.

Since its launch last year, dozens of California cities and counties have either adopted SolarAPP+ or are in the process of onboarding and piloting the platform. Now, with the CalAPP program funding available, the number of local jurisdictions acting to help consumers install solar efficiently is expected to grow rapidly.

Press release from the California Solar & Storage Affiliation (CALSSA).

Related story: SolarAPP+ Speeds Solar Installs For 2,800 Homes (& Counting)

Featured image courtesy of NREL.

 
Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
 

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Former Tesla Battery Expert Leading Lyten Into New Lithium-Sulfur Battery Era — Podcast:



I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Advertisement
 
Written By

We publish a number of guest posts from experts in a large variety of fields. This is our contributor account for those special people, organizations, agencies, and companies.

Comments

You May Also Like

Buildings

Who has the most power in America? Oil companies? Political parties? Elon Musk? Nope, nope, and nope. The correct answer is insurance companies. Insurance...

Batteries

States with decarbonization goals must plan, prepare, and test for long-duration energy storage

Climate Change

LLNL and the Clean Air Task Force have released a new report "Sharing the Benefits: How the Economics of Carbon Capture and Storage Projects...

Clean Power

The massive new SunZia wind energy transmission line is closing in on the finish line, ESG or not.

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.