So, you want do your bit to reduce greenhouse gases and save theplanet. And if you save some money on your electric bill, well, who’sgoing to say “no” to that? Following the Solar Decathlon as if it were the pennant race, you’re convinced that solar power is the way to go.
You’ve done your research on contractors, rebates, tax incentives, etc., and you know exactly how much your up-front cost is going to be. Right?
Did you remember to find out how much your city or county chargesfor a permit? And, since time is money, exactly how long will you haveto wait for them to process the permit?
Sound like trivialities? Rosalind Jackson of the Vote SolarInitiative begs to differ — and she has the information to prove it, inthe form of a user-friendly, Web-based interactive map. It’s part ofVote Solar’s Project: Permit.
“In general,” Jackson, tells The Sun, “there’s simply not agreat understanding of solar permitting best practices out there. Thefees and processes associated with solar permits have been developedsomewhat arbitrarily. We’re hoping to change that by providing someclear targets and getting residents and businesses to call for changein their own hometown.”
Using the Map
The map is so easy to use that you should feel free to just check it out on your own, here. That said, here’s a quick run down on how the map works:
In the image above you can see how different the permitting process is in communities just a few miles apart.
You want to put up some solar panels on your house in Mesa, Arizona.Great. There’s no charge for the permit and the process is completedover the counter. Walk in with the plans, walk out with your permit.
Solar Decathlon Coming Around the Backstretch