Solar energy and plug-in electric vehicles provide an unprecedented opportunity to improve our economy, national security, and safeguard our resources. Solar power is experiencing tremendous growth, even during the recession, and affordable advanced plug-in vehicles are beginning to arrive in significant numbers. This presents a challenge to local governments, which are faced with very difficult budgets. Moving towards consistent permitting approaches, developed by building officials in the region, provides a powerful way to further clean energy solutions while reducing costs.
Local governments are stretched thin. Rising demands and resulting permit applications are placing added strain on already limited staff. At the same time, varied installer training and permitting standards between municipalities is resulting in many permitting applications requiring multiple revisions, creating increased work load, delays and cost.
Through the Tri-Chapter Uniform Code Committee (TUCC), building officials have developed permitting guidelines to address this challenge. The TUCC represents International Code Council chapters in the region – Peninsula, East Bay and Monterey Bay - and provides exceptional interpretation on building codes, ensuring quality and safety. TUCC has produced permitting guidelines for residential solar PV and electric vehicle chargers.
Consistent permitting processes will enable the solar and electric vehicle industries to raise installer training standards and application quality, reducing the need for costly application revisions. The Bay Area Climate Collaborative is now working with local governments and partners to garner broader feedback on the guidelines and assess local government training and support needs for adopting them. Contact us to participate.