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Suprise drops solar panel permitting fees

Across America, before you can install solar panels to heat your water or generate clean electricity most likely you will have to file a building permit with your city. The city of Surprise in the greater Phoenix took a bold move to encourage more homes and businesses to seize control of their own energy future. The city council voted unanimously on Thursday night t0 drop all fees related to procuring permits for residents who are installing solar panels to produce electricity or heat water. Typically the city charged 5 for a building permit to build your own power plant. “The mayor and council gave clear direction that solar is a key element in our sustainability commitment. This ordinance is a useful tool in encouraging more people to adopt solar by helping to lower the up front costs.,” said Community Development Director Jeff Mihelich. This is a great sign of the general acceptance of solar energy as a priority on the local level of government. I think more people are realizing that energy is becoming a limited resource and people understand the USA has occupied Iraq for energy reasons. The cities are doing their part to reduce the upfront costs of going solar. Even though the permits are just a small percentage of the total cost of a system every little counts when you remove the barriers to generate green energy. We hope every city across America removes this annoying barrier onto top of the already confusing process of going solar. It seems like renewable energy is going mainstream through local grassroots movement towards clean energy...

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SF offers over-the-counter wind turbine permits

This month it has become easier to deploy your own residential / light commercial wind turbine in the city of San Fransisco because of the open market permitting became final by the city’s building and planning department, the Mayor of SF fully supported the proposition and put together a task force to update the city’s building code to allow wind turbines such as the skystream 3.7 onto private properties. SF is really leading the space in the solar power market and is now supporting wind power big time. SF has taken one of the most difficult steps in installing a small scale wind turbine, the permitting process into a simple one through over the counter permits. This should encourage small scale wind power development across the city! More cities need to follow the lead of SF, they are the leading city in the USA when it comes to renewable energy power generation. The goal of every city should be to make the permitting process easier for solar power and wind turbines if distributed power generation can get some solid traction in the mainstream market. A lot of cities out there claim to be “green” also known as green wash, because when a resident or business tries to install a solar or wind power generator they have to jump through hoops to get a final permit. Does anyone have story dealing with your permitting process with your city when installing solar power or a wind turbine? Please...

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The basics of Solar Panel / Wind Power building permits

Add it to your project costs, it is going to cost you to acquire building permits to install solar panels to your roof or put up a wind turbine in your back yard. Yes the city will make some money from you. It’s unfortunate, but its just part of the solar / wind power installation process. Each city is different from what they will want to see to approve you for a building permit, typically they want to see engineering drawings which you should be able to get from your retailer (dry stamped) or a certified engineer (wet stamped). The average cost to secure building permits for a residential clean energy project can be anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. After you secure you building permits you are read to install, congrats your finally over the boring part and now reaching the fun part of installing your own solar or wind power system, a skill that will prove to be very valuable over time. Once you have installed the system a building inspector from the city will inspect your system to make sure it meets the cities building codes. Depending on the city getting past the inspection can be a breeze or a...

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Issues to consider when shopping for wind power

Many consumers come to us asking about prices and figure that is the only barrier to purchasing a wind power system, although it goes much further than just prices. When putting up a wind power system you have to consider the following points: 1. Does your project site at least have 10mph wind speeds? check your wind speed here.2. Does your property have at least a half acre with unobstructed views? 3. Does the city zoning allow a structure 42′ feet tall? 4. Does your utility company have an interconnection agreement? 5. Have you considering speaking to your neighbors to let them know you maybe purchasing a wind power system that maybe visible from their home? Typically the city will require building permits to put up a solar or wind power system and there will be a fee for building permits you have to pay to the city. The city may also require tower engineering drawings that you may have to get from a certified engineer if you are building a custom tower to put up your wind...

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