Require Only One Inspection
For efficiency, require only one inspection for standard rooftop systems on existing homes or businesses
a. Require only a rough inspection or a final inspection of standard rooftop systems, but not both – 75 points
b. For NABCEP-certified installers, allow installer affidavit to substitute for inspectors physically climbing on the roof and/or have inspector hand the installer a camera to photograph installation – 15 points
c. Adopt a written policy that you support offering staff free training as it is made available by the DOE and others- 10 points
Multiple inspections add time to solar installations, requiring additional visits and hours on the job site. Requiring a single inspection, either a “rough’’ inspection while the installation is in progress, or a final inspection when it is complete, can significantly cut this time.
- The Vote Solar Initiative has launched Project Permit, a project designed to highlight best practices in permitting:
“Eliminate Excessive Inspections: We recommend a clearly defined plan review process and only one inspection for standard rooftop systems on existing homes. Eliminating reviews that do little to validate the safe and efficient operation of a proposed PV system (i.e. plan checks with aesthetic criteria) removes unnecessary costs and expedites permit issuance. We support having both qualified installers and inspectors proficient in solar to ensure safe and compliant installations.”
- IRECs Field Inspection Guidelines for PV Systems provide thorough and effective procedures for both residential and commercial PV inspections.
- 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.
How to make it happen
If a jurisdiction requires multiple inspections for a rooftop solar installation, re-assess existing requirements and examine how similar communities with fewer requirements have made the streamlining succeed. Work with engineers and building officials to discuss feasibility of a single inspection.