How GreenLancer Reduces Soft Costs of Solar Installations

Installing solar panels

2-13-2015 How GreenLancer Reduces Soft Costs of Solar Installations

The total cost of solar installations has dropped in recent years, but much of it is due to a large decrease in the hard costs of solar. In 2010, hardware made up almost half of the total installation cost, and it fell to 36 percent in 2012. Soft costs make up the difference, now accounting for 64% of installed residential PV systems.

Soft costs, which include labor, office factors, permitting, inspection, and system design, are more difficult to reduce than hard costs, but here at GreenLancer, we are changing that.

Our certified permit packages can help installers reduce their soft costs and save time while bypassing the inefficiency associated with the permitting process.

What is GreenLancer’s Permit Package?

Our permit package allows contractors to apply for a building permit before installing solar panels. It includes a site plan, project plan, wire and conduit sizing, electrical design, racking details, and safety placards. All materials included are specific to the contractors’ geographical areas. After receiving their permit package from GreenLancer, contractors will have all the necessary documents needed to submit to the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ).

Get It Right The First Time

Clean Power Finance conducted a study that revealed how time consuming the permit process was for both installers and Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs). In best case scenarios, after contractors submit their permits and designs, AHJs can take an average of eight work weeks to process the permits. However, in about 11 percent of installations, the contractors’ papers don’t meet the requirements for solar permitting.

Because GreenLancer knows that time is critical when applying for permits, we ensure a high level of quality in our designs. Our permit packages have a 94 percent first-time acceptance rate, so contractors don’t have to deal with the headache of restarting the permit process.

Use the Best Economical and Scaleable Solution

Keeping an engineer on-staff is expensive for most contractors, especially if they don’t have a steady stream of solar installations. However, the standard alternative – hiring an engineering firm to create the solar designs – isn’t much better.

GreenLancer offers installers more affordable, location-specific permit packages. Because the packages are predefined, installers don’t have to pay any surprise fees, and they will receive their designs within a few days of placing their order.

 Cut Through Inefficiency

Installers who have been through the permit process are familiar with the inefficiencies that plague the procedures. There are over 18,000 AHJs in the United States, and they each have their own permitting and inspection processes.

Installers often find it difficult to ensure that they follow all the proper rules. It’s not unusual for the process to involve at least two (and up to five) different agencies. This can lead to contractors receiving conflicting messages from each agency.


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GreenLancer simplifies the process by ensuring that installers have everything they need when they apply for a permit. We tailor each permit package for the specific AHJ, so installers no longer have to sift through multiple different messages to determine the requirements.

 Do More With Solar

With GreenLancer’s certified solar designs and permit packages, installers can quickly, affordably, and confidently approach the permit process, growing their potential to install more residential PV solar systems.

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