Streamlined Solar Permitting for Rooftop PV Systems


The Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative awarded CSE $1.2 million to help overcome barriers in local jurisdictional permitting and regulatory processes that add to the cost of small rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems and slow solar adoption by residents and small businesses.

The project team conducted rigorous research and analysis of existing best practices among authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) throughout California to design streamlined solar permitting packages ideally structured for AHJs nationwide. The goal was to provide standardized and cost-effective permitting processes, making it more affordable for people to choose solar energy. Currently, jurisdictional variations in permitting and regulatory procedures can add nearly $1 per watt to system costs.


Resource Downloads

Solar Permitting Guide

Improving Permit Review and Approval for Small Solar Systems

Solar Permitting Case Study

Los Angeles County Case Study

Learn how streamlining solar permitting helped encourage single-family residential solar adoption.

Solar Permitting Case Study

City of Berkeley Case Study

Discover how partnerships with local jurisdictions supported the development of streamlined permitting.

Program at a Glance

Program Goals

Provide recommendations to local governments on small PV installation and permitting issues, providing actionable strategies that reduce soft costs and promote greater solar adoption

CSE's Role

Conduct study and provide nationwide education and outreach



Key Partners

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, industry associations, state energy offices, local government building departments

State Policies Supported

U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative

Impact Statement

Provide streamlined, standardized solar permitting and regulatory processes to local governments that reduce solar installation costs in jurisdictions across the U.S.