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cities overcharging for solar power permits

The Sierra Club, an environmental protection advocacy group did a study of solar panel permitting fees in the Bay Area (Northern California) and the results are shocking. Solar power is associated with a high upfront investment to get started and cities that charge extravagant fees for people to install solar panels are not helping push the green energy revolution forward. They’re a hindrance to the process of helping our environment and economy get back on track by making solar power more accessible to it’s citizens.

Many cities across the USA have made acquiring a building permit for solar panels completely free but on the other hand cities like Cupertino, CA charge $11,737 dollars for a building permit for a 49kW (kilowatt) commercial solar electric system, a system valued at $475,000. A year ago Bethel Lutheran Church in Cupertino installed 150 solar panels reducing the church’s electric bill by 40% and the environmental benefits the system contributed.

The church was shocked when they received a bill for $5,700 from the city for the permitting fees! After three meetings with the city council Pastor Randy Pabst was able to bring down the fees to $1,o00. What do you think about solar panel permitting fees? are they excessive in your city or are you lucky to live in a progressive city that does not charge for solar panel permits?

Author: Deep Patel

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