Director, Corporate Marketing Communications
Boulder, CO (May 12, 2023) – Governor Jared Polis today signed HB-1234 into law at the Namaste Solar headquarters in Boulder, Colorado establishing the Streamlined Solar Permitting and Inspection Grant Program. The bill includes nearly $1,000,000 in grant funding to help local governments with startup costs related to adopting the permitting and inspection software SolarAPP+.
The SolarApp+ platform, developed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and UL Solutions, can immediately and accurately approve residential permits, removing one of the most significant barriers to adding on-site residential solar.
“We commend the Colorado Legislature for advancing expedited permitting on residential solar projects while prioritizing compliance with safety and code standards,” said Ken Boyce, senior director of principal engineering in the Testing, Inspection, and Certification group at UL Solutions. “We recognize the value SolarAPP+ brings to governments, the public, and the solar industry, and how it will serve as an important enabler of safer and cleaner energy.”
While this is a new solution for residential permitting in most of Colorado, it has been successfully implemented in Denver and several other states since March 2021 when Accela joined the partnership. As a national leader in government software solutions, Accela was a natural fit to design the user experience and further simplify the permitting process.
“SolarAPP+ was created with Accela and NREL’s joint goal of making it faster, easier and cheaper for communities around the country to access solar energy,” said Accela Vice President of Product Management Amber D’Ottavio. “As cities and counties increasingly seek easy-to-implement, digital solutions to aid their environmental goals, we applaud the state of Colorado’s latest efforts to make SolarAPP+ more attainable for local governments.”
According to NREL data, projects submitted through the app are 37% less likely to fail final inspections than traditional projects. Currently, 32 communities across the United States are using SolarAPP+, resulting in over 15,000 residential solar permits being issued, accounting for 100,000 kilowatts of electricity and 15,000 estimated staff hours saved on reviewing permits.
“This will empower local officials to automate permitting and inspections, which will reduce staff time and cut costs,” said Mike Kruger, CEO of the Colorado Solar and Storage Association (COSSA). “In turn, this will give homeowners immediate results for their permit applications, and solar and storage companies can hire more staff to support an increase in projects approved.”
Grants applications will open in 90 days and will range from $40,000 for local governments with a population of up to 50,000 residents to $100,000 for those with a population over 200,000. Local government officials looking for support with accessing grant funds are encouraged to reach out to COSSA Community Liaison, Jeremiah Garrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COSSA is the state trade association representing over 275 solar and storage businesses in Colorado. COSSA’s members provide solar and energy storage products and services to residential consumers, commercial businesses, utilities, and governmental entities throughout the state.
Accela is the trusted provider of cloud solutions at the heart of government operations. The company works with governments across the globe to accelerate their digital transformation, deliver vital services, and build stronger communities. More than 300 million residents worldwide benefit from Accela’s government software solutions. The company offers agile, purpose-built solutions and the power of a platform that provides users with a consumer-like experience, shares data across departments, and ensures world-class security.
With Accela, government agencies experience rapid and effective digital transformation. Accela’s government software meets agencies wherever they are on their modernization journey, while also helping them prepare for whatever comes next. The company is a three-consecutive year Microsoft US Partner Award winner for its innovative SaaS solutions to help governments respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, Accela was honored as a recipient of Inc.’s Best in Business for SaaS and selected by Fast Company for its World Changing Ideas Award. Accela is headquartered in San Ramon, California, with offices around the world. For more information, visit www.accela.com.