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Tucson and Pima County simplify permit process for residential rooftop solar panels

Residential Rooftop Solar Panels
Posted at 7:03 AM, May 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-19 12:28:01-04

Technicians for Sustainability (TFS) has helped Southern Arizonans reduce their carbon footprint for 16 years.

"We address climate change, sustainability and green energy," said Technicians for Sustainability Owner, Kelly Rehm.

TFS installs solar panels on residential rooftops. Before they can start, they need a permit from the City of Tucson or Pima County.

"Unfortunately, because of the backlog, we would sometimes have to wait three weeks to get the permit. They were so jammed up down here," said Rehm.

City of Tucson and Pima County staff said they needed to come up with a plan to meet the growing demand for residential rooftop solar panels.

"Our goal was to get to a one-day permit processing. The same day a contractor applies for a permit, they could obtain that permit and begin construction immediately," City of Tucson Building Official, Clayton Trevillyan.

Trevillyan said both the city and the county can meet that goal with their new online platform, SolarAPP.

"Once you put all the information in correctly, it will issue a solar permit to the contractor," said Pima County Chief Building Official, Dan Ice.

In September 2020, Tucson Mayor Regina Romero declared a climate emergency. City staff said SolarAPP supports Tucson's efforts to "go green."

"It's essential for us to appreciate the fragility of climate and renewable energy sources are a key component of that," said Trevillyan.

To learn more about the residential rooftop solar permitting process, click here.