Sunday, December 4, 2011

Energy Department Offers Funds to Ease Rules for Rooftop Solar Panel

By Zachary TracerDec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Department of Energy will distribute $12 million to local governments, universities and others to help simplify rooftop solar regulations.
The money is intended to ease permitting for solar panels installed on roofs by creating online systems and changing local ordinances, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said today.
The program is intended to make it less costly for homeowners and businesses to install solar panels, Chu said. It’s part of the SunShot Initiative, which aims to make the cost of solar energy competitive with the cost of power from traditional sources.
“Today we’re making it quicker, easier and cheaper for Americans to go solar,” Chu said on a conference call with reporters. The program will “break down the barriers that make it more costly and cumbersome for families and businesses to install rooftop solar systems.”
Local permitting and inspection requirements, which can vary significantly in each municipality, add $2,500 to the cost of a residential solar installation, according to a statement today from the Energy Department which cited a study by solar leasing company SunRun Inc.
--Editors: Will Wade, Charles Siler

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