Rising Solar Labor Costs
Rising solar labor costs are eating into contractors’ bottom lines. As a solar contractor, you need to get more work done without hiring more people. But obtaining a solar permit doesn’t have to mean hiring a specialist.
Energy Informative relates that, according to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), the average cost of solar labor is $0.59/W – about 10% of total system costs ($6.19/W). Based on these estimates, “You should expect to pay around $3,000 in labor costs for a 5kW solar system.”
Solar Permitting and Inspections
Solar permitting and inspections, according to Energy Sage, can vary by state and town, depending on codes, zoning laws, and other legislation. “As an example, you may have to obtain an electrical permit to ensure your solar installation meets a state-mandated code, while some local fire departments will require a set clearance area around your solar array so that they can have easy access to your roof in the event of a fire.” Sunron reports that local permitting and inspection can add $0.50 per watt.
Addressing residential solar costs, SEIA states that, “While the total cost of residential PV systems has declined by more than 65% over the last decade, hardware costs have fallen much faster than soft costs.” The soft cost share of total residential system cost has risen, from 58% of total system cost in 2014 to 65% today, driven primarily by direct and indirect costs associated with permitting and inspection.
Obtaining Your Own Solar Permits
According to Energy Sage, you should expect to have to file for:
· An electrical permit,
· A structural or building permit, and/or a
· Dedicated solar photovoltaic (PV) permit
These vary according to your location, type, and size of system. It is even possible that your permit would differ from your neighbor’s (for example, if you live in a historic district). Permitting & inspection costs also vary.
This SEIA article on Local Solar Permitting offers many excellent tips and links, but warns: “Depending on the state, local government, type and size of the system, the permitting process can require significant time and cost, with both at residential and commercial systems. Understanding the various permitting requirements for each state and municipality can be quite difficult and burdensome to deal with, particularly for small installers with limited resources.”
While SEIA is working to remove this market barrier through educating industry and policymakers, easing permitting times, and creating an environment of success for model permitting, obviously much work remains to be done.
But There Is an Easier Way…
Until some magical future when solar permits are standardized nationwide, there is an easier way: Solerus Energy believes that high-quality work can benefit residential and commercial contractors, even at discount prices.
Solerus Energy offers two solar permit services, full solar design and permit package and solar single line diagram (free of cost with any residential system order up to 25kW or $50 with on order) for ANY residential and commercial solar installation in the USA. That includes battery back-up and off-grid solar installations, small and large commercial installations!
Solerus Energy also offers Structural and Electrical PE Stamps in all 50 states (separate quote upon request).
A Full Solar Design and Permit Package set is free with a residential system between 10kW and 25kW, or $.01-$0.05/W, depending upon system size.
Solerus offers everything you need to complete the solar permitting process in your area. This includes:
• Cover page
• Site plan for your solar installation
• Array layout and attachment details
• Single Line Diagram
In addition, Solerus Energy can offer full system layout and shading analysis (free w/full system order or $250 without and component order).
A Solerus full permit package will have electrical single line diagram, system mechanical layout, installation plan, and product data sheets.
Solerus Energy can also provide just a single line diagram and/or system layout and shading analysis.
Solerus Energy’s equipment is top of the line by well verified and established and industry leading manufacturer, made according and per all required certification.
Solerus Energy can provide technical support during installation and assist in completing a Bill of Materials. Support services begin before and extend to during and after installation.
As a solar contractor, there are many ways you can save by buying from a solar equipment supplier that gives you great pricing, free services, knowledgeable insights, and more.
Solerus Energy provides solar contractors with helpful information to help them save money on high-quality equipment and services. To learn more about solar permitting, contact Solerus today!