Written by SunBlue Operations Manager Laura Waldman
Once you’ve made the decision to add solar panels to your home, the hardest part of going solar is waiting for your installation to begin. While there’s much to be said for patience, it’s harder to enjoy a gorgeous, sunny day while waiting on a building permit before you can install your solar panel system.
Fortunately, there are simple things some building departments are doing to make their solar permitting and inspections processes easier for homeowners interested in going solar:
- Reviewing and processing permits quickly (like the Village of Pelham, Town of Greenburgh, and Dobbs Ferry)
- Removing or reducing the need for Architectural Review Board approval (Village of Tarrytown)
- Clearly listing the materials and drawings the inspector is looking for, and any codes specific to the municipality, on the municipality’s website (Briarcliff Manor)
- Adopting the new NYS Solar-Specific Permit or Unified Solar Permit (White Plains, Somers)
- Being willing to send copies of permits and certificates to the contractor, not just the homeowner (most departments will do this–it allows us to file our applications to NYSERDA faster)
If your town or city isn’t on this list, you might want to call them up and ask them if they’re willing to make any changes. The most effective advocates are you, the constituents!