Urge your municipality to make going solar easier

Local governments should work together to streamline their approval process for homeowners who want to go solar. Sign the petition.

Petition text:

The cost to install solar has fallen significantly in recent years. This has empowered a growing number of Minnesotans to go solar. Most of this cost decline has been from decreasing costs of the hardware; since early 2010, the average cost of solar panels has dropped more than 60%. But the hardware only represents about 36% of the total cost of going solar. The non-hardware costs, or “soft costs,” include the cost of permitting, inspections, and interconnection. If our communities work to cut red-tape and streamline these rules, we could lower the cost of going solar by as much as $500 for a typical system.Best practices for streamlining the permitting process can be easy for municipalities to implement. Ten Minnesota municipalities, including Austin, Chisago County, Hutchinson, Pine City, St. Francis, and Stearns County, have already taken advantage of a federal program to improve access to solar. The Sol Smart program provides free technical assistance to communities, and in Minnesota, it is administered by the Clean Energy Resource Teams and Great Plains Institute.

As a solar supporter, I encourage my municipality to:

  1. Create and make available an online checklist detailing the steps of our community’s solar permitting process.
  2. Provide a streamlined permitting pathway for small solar systems with turn-around time of no more than three days.

Completing these steps will show support for locally-generated clean energy and improve access to solar for everyone.

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