Philadelphia officials have streamlined the permitting process for home solar installers in Philadelphia. Installers can apply for an EZ Permit for Solar online through the Department of Licenses and Inspections for systems with 10 kilowatts of capacity or less, which should fit most home installations. The process no longer requires installers to submit detailed electrical plans, which used to add considerable time and cost. In addition, solar permit applications made online will be reviewed within three business days, saving weeks, if not months, in the process. Those submitted in person will be reviewed the same day.
The red tape surrounding the solar permitting process previously deterred some solar installation companies from working within city limits. Ideally this streamlined process will increase the number of solar contractors who are willing to work in Philly, subsequently increasing the number of solar installations.
The end of the article mentioned how Solarize Philly has been impacted by COVID-19, which includes the city of Philadelphia eliminating funding for the rebate offered to residents for solar installation through Solarize Philly. Homeowners and small businesses can still qualify for a separate $250 discount on a system through Nov. 30.
Although the city of Philadelphia is taking steps to increase the number of residents and businesses transitioning to solar in order to meet their climate goals, the eliminated funding for rebates for solar installation, which incentized residents to invest in solar who may not have been able to do so otherwise, will likely reduce the amount of solar installations this fiscal year. Additionally, this divestment will likely reduce the number of energy vulnerable households that are able to obtain solar, reinforcing an inequitable transition to clean energy.
Frank Kummer, "In an effort to increase solar use in homes, Philly cuts red-tape and cost for installers", contributed by Morgan Sarao, The Energy Rights Project, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 15 October 2020, accessed 17 August 2022. https://energyrights.info/content/effort-increase-solar-use-homes-philly-cuts-red-tape-and-cost-installers