Streamlining Solar: Long Island, NY Moves the Permit Process a Step in the Right Direction
The ability to begin construction on the residential installation of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system has recently become a much easier process for solar installers on Long Island, NY. With the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) announcing a unified solar permitting process with Nassau and Suffolk County this Fall, the issues associated with gaining the permits for these systems have become much less of a hassle, saving homeowners time and money.
Known as the Long Island Unified Solar Permitting Initiative (LIUSPI), this new campaign is focused on developing a model process that could be used by all municipalities throughout Long Island to effectively and uniformly handle the application for and approval of residential solar electric and solar hot water systems in each respective jurisdiction. This regional collaboration, which includes government officials, industry representatives, renewable energy advocates and Long Island’s utility as partners, is among the first effort of its kind in the country.
Currently, the solar installation approval process for Long Island has a different set of regulations for each town and village, which creates confusion, delays, and extra costs for many Long Islanders wishing to install photovoltaic systems on their homes with the hopes of improving the environment and lowering their energy bills.
In addition to reducing cost and saving time, this new process, which will cover more than 80 percent of residential solar systems, will also improve public safety. As an added incentive LIPA has committed to providing an implementation assistance of $15,000 to each township and $5,000 to each of the first 10 villages in Nassau and in Suffolk to adopt the authorizing legislation that is sufficient to accomplish the five key components of the LIUSPI plan.
Highlights of The Long Island Unified Solar Permitting Initiative:
- waived or minimal application fees;
- provide permit determinations within 14 days of submittal of a completed application;
- creation of a new “Solar Energy System Fast Track Permit Application” as an alternative to existing building permit forms;
- Create a central registry of solar installations;
- Require warning labels on the utility meter and any AC disconnect switch.
To find out more information about LIPA’s plan to streamline solar, click here.