• Team GreenLancer

A Winning Solar Plan for the Permit Office

Updated: Jul 15

Permitting is routinely voted as one of the most difficult and frustrating aspects when it comes to installing solar. That's because each building department has autonomy to choose how to interpret codes and special solar requirements.

That's why most installers will tell you how exciting it is when a customer signs a solar contract, but even more exciting when the permit is approved by the local jurisdiction because it usually means they have satisfied milestones to obtain over 60-75% of what's owed per the contract. Speed to permit and installation is a metric that many installers track because it's vital for cashflow, especially if the contract or the financing are tied to milestones for payment installments.

Therefore, it's vitally important that the permit is obtained on the first submission to avoid days or weeks of delays without payment addressing the plan reviewer's corrections.

Here are some tips

  • Know the requirement by calling ahead, important things are the codes, fire offsets, types of permits, the cost, and how long it will take for the review

  • Learn the application process and the building department personnel, and, if you’re ambitious, get to know the plan checker or inspector

  • Ask them for a pre-submittal review, if they don’t oblige, ask for any tips or things to look out for

  • Print the right paper size and have the right number of copies

  • Look professional, neatly organize all your information and be prepared with your code book

  • Be ready to defend your plans and design decisions

  • Bring a red and black pen so you can make minor fixes on the fly

If you want to learn more about how to create a winning plan that is sure to get passed, contact us today at GreenLancer.