Clean Power Finance Announces National Solar Permitting Database to Reduce “Soft Costs” of Solar

| September 6, 2012 | 0 Comments


Power Finance
, the online marketplace for residential solar
financing and leading provider of solar sales software, will unveil the
initial prototype of the National Solar Permitting Database at Solar
Power International 2012 (SPI) next week and solicit industry
participation in the project.

The National Solar Permitting Database is designed to streamline complex
and time-consuming solar permitting processes by aggregating permitting
data and standards from Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) around
the United States in a single online location. Installers and solar
professionals will be able to search the database quickly for complete
and accurate information on permitting requirements, saving themselves
time and money and allowing them to focus on selling more solar. The
database, supported by a $3MM grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s
SunShot Initiative, will be available to the entire industry for free.

“Permitting is a widely recognized pain point in the solar sector, but
we think this project can change that,” said James Tong, director of
government programs management at Clean Power Finance. “Collecting
permitting information in a database that is available to all solar
integrators without charge will dramatically improve time and cost
savings for both solar professionals and AHJs and help lower the overall
installed cost of solar.”

The database relies on solar professionals and AHJs submitting
permitting information for the areas in which they operate: the more
participation, the more comprehensive and useful the database will be. A
number of key industry players from a variety of solar industry sectors
have already signed up to participate, including Paramount Solar,
SunWize Technologies, Next Step Living, B.E. Solar, PvPermits and Real
Goods Solar, Inc. (RSOL). Real Goods contributed data covering
5,500 zip codes.

“We’re very happy to help Clean Power Finance with the National Solar
Permitting Database,” commented John Schaeffer, founder and residential
president at Real Goods Solar, Inc. “We believe this program will help
significantly in sorting out the confusion from numerous jurisdictions
around the country, thereby reducing cycle time, design and
administration costs. Ultimately, we will be able to set better
expectations with customers, which will foster profitable growth in new
solar markets.”

A wide variety of AHJs and service providers have also committed to
support development of the database. Burnham Energy, a national service
provider for solar installers, and AHJs from states as disparate as
Wisconsin and California recognize the potential time and financial
benefits of the project and are happy to contribute data.

“The current, state of solar permitting represents a challenge for
everyone involved in the process, including AHJs, installers and
homeowners looking to go solar,” said Carla Din, director of the East
Bay Green Corridor, a partnership that is working with nine cities
totaling over 950,000 residents in the San Francisco East Bay to
standardize permitting and inspection processes for rooftop distributed
generation (DG) solar projects. “AHJs faced with limited budgets and
time, reduced staff and increasing demand for DG solar will also benefit
from a smoother, more informed permitting process. This is an excellent
opportunity for AHJs and solar professionals to work together to make
information-sharing easier.”

Third-party organizations and entities, including Vote Solar and various
Rooftop Solar Challenge teams across the U.S., are also collaborating on
the project, which will assist with their own ongoing efforts to
streamline and standardize solar permitting processes.

Mr. Tong and Clean Power Finance team members will be demonstrating and
explaining the National Solar Permitting Database at the Clean Power
Finance booth, #3849, during SPI in Orlando the week of September 10.
Mr. Tong will also be co-facilitating SPI’s “Permitting
– DG Scale
” solar idea swap on Tuesday, September 11, from 8:30 to
10 a.m. in room 308B at the Orange County Convention Center.

To learn more about the project or how to contribute, visit us at SPI or

About Clean Power Finance

Power Finance
 is driving the mass-market adoption of
residential solar by building an online business-to-business marketplace
to connect the solar industry and the capital markets. Clean Power
Finance provides solar professionals, including marketers, installers,
manufacturers and distributors, with access to a variety of
non-exclusive, white-label residential finance products and an
easy-to-use solar sales quoting and design tool. The company’s
transparent pricing makes it easy for financial firms and lenders to
invest in residential solar projects that provide reliable rates of
return. Founded in 2007, Clean Power Finance is venture backed by
Kleiner Perkins Caulfield Byers (KPCB), Google Ventures, Claremont
Creek Ventures, Clean Pacific Ventures and Sand Hill Angels. To learn
more about how Clean Power Finance can accelerate the growth of solar
businesses, please visit

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