Statement: U.S. Department of Energy launches new tool to streamline solar permitting

Automated solar permitting will help more Americans put solar on their homes
For immediate release

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm joined local elected officials and solar industry leaders on Thursday to launch a new tool that will lower the costs of residential solar permitting, allowing more Americans to harness at-home solar energy. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Solar Automated Permit Processing (SolarAPP+) tool will provide cities and counties with free automated plan review, permit approval and tracking for solar projects. 

Environment America’s state partner organization, Environment California, recently helped push the California legislature to pass $20 million for a statewide grant program for cities and counties to establish online solar permitting, like SolarAPP+, that will make automated solar permitting more widely available for Californians. After adopting automated permitting, San Jose, Calif. saw a six-fold increase in installed solar systems. 

In response, Bronte Payne, Go Solar campaign director with Environment America, released the following statement: 

“The SolarAPP+ is a win-win for our communities. America has huge rooftop solar potential, yet we’ve barely scratched the surface. With this automated permitting tool, cities and counties across the country will be able to cut back on red tape and more households will be able to harness solar energy at home. 

“We look forward to working with local elected officials and leaders in the solar industry to get communities connected to the SolarAPP+.”