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Renewable Energy Vision
Expert analysis on the most pressing issues facing the renewable energy sector in the U.S and abroad from ACORE staff, members and supporters.

Increasing Installation Efficiency Through Smarter Solar Permitting

Published on 31 Oct 2012  |   Written by    |  

By David Field, OneRoof Energy CEO and Founder

The demand for solar in the U.S. has nearly doubled over the past few years, bringing significant opportunity for solar installation providers along with challenges that such rapid growth inevitably brings. Now the solar industry must collectively take advantage of this momentum by advocating for a streamlined and more efficient solar permitting practices and working with local governments to establish a permitting standard that will increase efficiencies and help installers manage costs amid this growth.

 By advocating for permitting reform that results in improved and streamlined efficiencies, the industry can gain larger margins and accelerate the growth of solar usage nationwide. As technology remains the driving force behind nearly all large industries, the manual process of registering a solar permit should be taken online where inspections and permits can be completed within minutes rather than days.

Solar permitting also lacks consistency across all states and municipalities making it difficult for companies to extend their services to customers around the country within a predictable timeframe and cost. Currently, each state requires different building codes and each jurisdiction creates a second requirement that costs installers time to navigate each system. At times, this can cause installations to be delayed for weeks or even months, driving up costs for all parties involved. Encouraging municipalities to adopt a structured and consistent requirement would allow all companies to document their submissions more efficiently.

OneRoof Energy has developed an innovative solution to increase the efficiency of the installation process with a proprietary technology platform that automates the sales process from start to finish and simplifies the installation process for both dealers and homeowners. This software helps dealers manage everything from determining homeowner eligibility to managing the permitting process, to scheduling inspections and finalizing signatures and documentation. Homeowners can rely on this technology for predictability and monitor the status of the installation process.

Development of software like this is crucial to cutting costs and reducing the time spent on a solar installation. We’re immediately seeing improvements in our residential installation process and tracking the process electronically ensures better cash flow and overall stability for dealers.

For the solar industry to continue realizing rapid growth, we must advocate for permitting reform and utilize the technology tools available to us to improve efficiencies in solar installations. Doing so will help our industry evolve to meet the needs of our customers, our employees and our trade.

About David Field

President and Chief Executive Officer

As the CEO and co-founder of OneRoof Energy, David Field brings more than 20 years of experience leading successful executive teams, startups and early stage companies within the energy sector. Before joining the company, he led the reorganization and turnaround of Applied Solar, LLC as its president and CEO. During this time, he transformed the company from a manufacturer of Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) products into a developer and licensor of BIPV product IP, and he partnered with some of the largest corporate names in both solar and building products. Prior to his tenure at Applied Solar, David served as a senior executive at Clark Security Products, the largest independent vertically integrated security distribution company in North America. In 2001, he founded and was CEO of Clarus Energy Partners, a leading developer, owner and operator of distributed generation projects, which was acquired by Hunt Power in 2004. David also co-founded Omaha-based Kiewit Fuels, a renewable energy company specializing in the development of biofuels production. In addition to a career in sustainable energy development, David also has an extensive background in water technology and infrastructure development with companies such as Bechtel, Peter Kiewit, and Poseidon Resources, as well as in corporate finance with Citicorp. David holds a MBA from the Thunderbird School of International Management.

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