Effective immediately, the City of Portland Bureau of Development Services is reducing the building permit fees for Prescriptive Residential Solar Permits from $554 to $263, a 52% fee reduction. In response to the Solar Industry concerns about existing fees and the City’s goal of encouraging more sustainable energy sources, the Bureau worked with Solar Industry representatives in an assessment of the current fees and associated solar permitting and inspection processes. This evaluation realized efficiencies in the permitting process allowing the building permit fees associated with solar projects to be reduced, as well as an opportunity to decrease the number of inspections per project, which also resulted in a reduction of fees. Separate electrical trade permit continue to be required and those associated fees remain the same.
“We are hopeful that the reduction in building permit fees for solar installations on residential structures will encourage more homeowners to adopt this sustainable energy source, helping the City to meet sustainability goals,” stated Commissioner Amanda Fritz. Bureau Director Paul L. Scarlett added “This is a great example of where we were able to work with industry partners to realize permit fee savings, while maintaining cost recovery on the important life safety and livability services the City provides through the building inspection process.”
Overall, the Prescriptive Residential Solar Permit fee retains cost recovery levels for the Bureau, while achieving a level of review and inspections that ensures compliance with applicable building, electrical and land use codes. Field inspections will verify installations adhere to approved plans, assuring safety and code compliance at the time of panel installation.