permittingPermitting is one of the foundational categories for the SolSmart designation program. To achieve a Bronze designation, a city must complete P-1 and earn at least 20 points in this category.  To achieve a Gold designation, a city must also complete P-2. Below is a list of regional guidance and best practice documents. When regional examples are not available, national examples are available through SolSmart resources.






Create and make available an online checklist detailing the steps of your community's solar PV permitting process (required for Bronze).



Provide a streamlined permitting pathway for small solar PV systems with turn-around time of no more than 3 days (20 points, required for Gold).



Distinguish between systems qualifying for streamlined or standard review (5 points).

Resources & Best Practices

Develop Criteria for Expedited Processes (BMP Resource)



Require no more than one application form for a residential rooftop PV project (5 points).


City of Plano Miscellaneous Simple Permit Application

City of Denton Building Inspections Universal Application



Conduct a review of solar permit fees for residential and commercial solar PV (5 points).

**Earn an additional 5 points (P-5b): Revise or demonstrate that permit fees reflect national best practices (e.g. $400 or less for residential and based on cost-recovery for commercial).



Review permitting process for efficiency improvements and reduce processing time to 10 days or fewer (10 points).

Resources & Best Practices

Pre-Qualify Electrical Plans and Installers (BMP Resources)



Adopt a standard solar PV permit form aligned with best practices (e.g. Solar ABCs) (10 points).



Train permitting staff on best practices for permitting solar PV and/or solar and storage systems. Training must have occurred within the past five years (10 points).



Train fire and safety staff on solar PV. Training must have occurred within the past five years (10 points).

Resources & Best Practices

Solar PV for Fire and Code Officials Workshop



Develop a regular communication schedule to solicit recommendations from the solar installer community regarding procedural changes (10 points).



Offer an online process for permitting submission and approval (20 points).


City of Plano Permit Portal

City of Denton Online Portal

Lewisville Online Permits



Make permit data open and accessible to other departments (20 points).



Local Innovation: Please describe your local innovation regarding Permitting. Be sure to explain how this helps reduce the soft cost of solar PV in your community (up to 20 points).




Icon courtesy of TukTuk Design from Noun Project.