Prince William County published new standardized plans for solar panel installation to encourage more residents to embrace clean energy. There are three new expert-designed typical plans, which will save residents time during the design and permitting process.
“Typical plans provide residents with the option to build solar installations on their property using a standardized design, reducing the need to hire a professional engineer, if the plans are used exactly as approved,” said Eric Mays, Prince William County building official.
There are three typical solar energy system plans: roof mounted, single inverter, and small, micro inverter/AC.
With these typical plans, the plan review time is roughly half the time of the regular plan review time, according to the county’s guide to residential solar.
The plans are only applicable to residential, single-dwelling homes.
This is just one move in a recent push from the county to make solar energy more accessible.
The Board of Supervisors waived solar permitting and processing fees beginning in September, a move that means “solar panel installations for homeowners are now easier and less expensive,” according to Mandi Spina, acting director of the Department of Development Services.
The board appropriated $1.2 million for the incentive program in the current budget year and will consider it for next year.
As part of the plan, there will be an expedited review time of five business days.
The Prince William Department of Development Services saw a 297 percent increase in solar applications between 2021 and 2022. The department expects to see a similar growth rate in 2023, according to a news release.
A five-year tax exemption is also available for property owners who install solar energy equipment.
And the county is working to implement an app that would let people enter criteria for their solar projet and get approval for the program to proceed.
“There are only three jurisdictions in the state who actually pilot SolarApp+. Ours is set to launch as early January 2024,” Spina said.
Feature image, stock.adobe.com
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