Residential Systems can be challenging for every solar installer when it comes to local permit offices. Government offices are not easy to work with as a general rule. Inspectors punch time clocks and are not necessarily in the favor of home owners or contractors. This is a lesson hard learned! Take for instance applying for an electrical permit, the process will at min cost an additional $50 to apply. In addition to this permit depending on the authority, you may have to apply to a local township or city for permits adding to the bill. However this is not the big expense. Electrical permits that are in conjunction to roof mounted systems a building permit must be attained to allow installation. This permit may start around $75. Again this may be in addition to local city and or township permits. We came up against a brick wall with additional cost that we were not prepared for. Some local authorities require State certified Architectural drawings for each system install. Regardless of the rated snow load and structural integrity of the roof this certification is required. Guess the price of this piece of paper? $1000!
System cost escalates significantly when such government charges are assessed! Consider these figures: 5000 watts of Photovoltaic power placed on a residential house cost around $7-8 per installed watt; $35000-40000 + 150 permits + $1000 state certification + $1800 average structural upgrade = $37950-42950. This increases system installation cost 11%!
Some authorities even charge extra for pole mount systems and dictate the location on the property they can be placed.
It pays to check local authorities before you apply for permits! Most authorities do not have a clue what a solar energy system is and what it entails.