Offer Inspection Checklist
Provide inspection checklist that explains unique requirements beyond applicable codes
a. Post inspection checklist along with permitting requirements, listing issues of particular concern to your jurisdiction on your website – 25 points
b. Post changes to existing codes, code interpretations, and inspection requirements as they occur in writing on your website. – 10 points
c. Share the changes as they occur with a solar industry nonprofit for timely communication to installers – 15 points
Some jurisdictions have unique priorities or interests that are not necessarily clear by referring to adopted electric and building codes. Specifying these exceptional requirements upfront can help the jurisdiction avoid repeat inspections and allow installers to pass inspections more often.
Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC)has published an Inspection Checklist. IREC says “Many municipalities are struggling to keep up with the increased number of PV permitting inspections; inspectors may not be familiar with PV installations and code requirements; and installers may not be aware of all the elements that need to be verified in order to pass a thorough inspection. Adoption of an inspection checklist provides benefits both to municipal staff and solar installers.”
- IRECs Field Inspection Guidelines for PV Systems provide thorough and effective procedures for both residential and commercial PV inspections.
Boulder County’s checklist for PV systems clearly states its requirements for rough inspections.
- Aurora CO posts its inspection checklist on the city web site.
- Check here for several other inspection checklists you may want to use as a model.
- Massachusetts has developed structural review guidance for installers.
- Many code official training opportunities exist through several different initiatives across the U.S. These trainings are meant to help inspectors more safely and efficiently inspect systems and many offer continuing education credits to inspectors for participation. Examples include the photovoltaic online training project IAEI’s certified electrical inspector program, and Underwriters Laboratories one day code official workshops () are some examples.
How to make it happen
Work with the building department to see if inspection staff have any “unique” requirements or interpretations of existing code. Reach out to local installers for feedback to understand any confusion that exists and publish a checklist on the jurisdiction’s website.