SolarAPP+ permit tool for residential solar & storage
Our world is rapidly changing so when it comes to complex installations, having trusted support and resources at your fingertips is more important than ever.
UL has partnered with National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and other coalition members to develop the Solar Automated Permit Processing Platform Plus or SolarAPP+, an online instant permitting portal for eligible rooftop residential solar and storage projects. SolarAPP+ is designed to help code authorities achieve safe, code compliant rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) installations.
The intelligent features of SolarAPP+ prevent design errors, proactively identify noncompliance, and standardize permit application materials, ensuring the no-touch submission and approval of complete and code-compliant projects. The software documents critical features and supports effective approvals of safe, compliant systems. SolarAPP+ is complimentary for local jurisdictions, while contractor submittal fees cover operation and maintenance costs. SolarAPP+ is designed to function as either a standalone program or integrated with existing government software platforms.
We encourage you to learn more about SolarAPP+ and explore all the benefits to see how adoption can help your jurisdiction, and we welcome any questions or feedback from the regulatory community. UL Codes & Regulatory Services experts are available to provide code authorities with answers about the SolarAPP+. Please contact ULRegulatoryServices@ul.com for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is SolarAPP+?
SolarAPP+, short for Solar Automated Permit Processing Plus, is an online web portal that automates the plan review and process for issuing permits to qualified businesses or individuals to install code-compliant residential photovoltaic (PV) systems. Based on model building, electrical, and fire codes, SolarAPP+ automatically performs a compliance check based on inputs supplied by the contractor to ensure the proposed system is safe and code compliant. Installation practices, workmanship, and adherence to the approved design are then verified by the local code official through the inspection process.
How does an AHJ Pilot and Adopt SolarAPP+?
SolarAPP+ is free software and NREL will provide all the support local governments need to adopt. However, it will require a few meetings with your team to get you set up.
Step 1 -SolarAPP+ technical demo and review of compliance checks with your engineering team.
Step 2 -Onboard planning and execution with your building team and relevant departments, like Accounting or IT.
Step 3 -Pilot SolarAPP+ in a way that suits you.
Step 4 -Implement adoption strategy and announce new process locally.
Step 5 -Go live with SolarAPP+ and enjoy unencumbered rooftop solar growth!
Is SolarAPP+ being used by code officials already?
Online and instant permitting is common practice for many localities in the US. SolarAPP+ built on examples from CA, AZ, NV, FL, CA, SC, TX, NY, and more. When rooftop solar installation hurdles are simplified effectively, homeowners are happier and growth increases. In turn, local governments benefit from greater resilience, flexibility, and economic development.
How does SolarAPP+ benefit code officials?
- It stays up to date with relevant code and certifications as new editions and technologies arise.
- For AHJ’s its free to use for plan review, approval, fee payments, and record tracking.
- The installers pay small administration fees to support SolarAPP+ updates and long-term availability.
- It can standalone or integrate with existing government software and inspection platforms.
- Reduces the need to constantly retrain staff on new codes and instead rely on the SolarAPP+ guidance.
How does SolarAPP+ assist with inspection and plan review?
Most residential solar systems are simple and standardized, like HVAC installations, but the sheer volume of applications can also be time and resource consuming for permitting departments. SolarAPP+ helps make this workload manageable.
- Allows permit departments to collect the same permit fees, while also opening the door to market growth.
- Uses standardized compliance checks to catch typos, and errors; returning corrections to the applicant instantly.
- Eligible, cookie-cutter rooftop solar applications get approved permits to build instantly, while ineligible projects flow through a typical permitting review. Stale applications never require action.
- Produces an inspection checklist replicating the application details for inspectors to utilize and confirm.