IREC and our EMPOWERED partners are committed to providing you with up to date, reliable, and vetted information that meets your needs. Join us each week for answers to your clean energy questions provided by leading industry organizations. The answer to each question contains links to additional resources you can explore to learn more!

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Permit applications are on the rise for residential energy storage systems in jurisdictions across the country. In some cases, building departments are seeing these systems for the first time. The permitting and inspection of an energy storage system extends beyond just the National Electrical Code® (NEC). The permit application should be reviewed by the wiring or electrical inspector and also inspectors for building and fire code compliance.

  • Download a guide to multiple codes related to ESS Guide: Energy Storage Systems: Based on the IBC®, IFC®, IRC® and NEC®
Category: Energy Storage
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Solar

To verify a permit plan application for a residential rooftop solar PV system, the submitted plan must include at a minimum:

  • A site plan showing the location of the array along with the relative location of major components.
  • A 1-line electrical diagram that shows PV array configuration, conductors and conduit, overcurrent protection, inverter(s), disconnects, point of utility interconnection.
  • Specification sheets showing equipment listing and details for the modules, inverter, racking system, and other components as needed.
  • Installation manuals for system equipment and components as needed.

Learn More

This downloadable job-aid provides a basic checklist of items that should be considered when reviewing a permit plan application for a solar PV system.

Category: Solar
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High Performance Buildings

As demand increases for efficient, resilient, and durable buildings, construction materials and technologies are rapidly evolving. There are multiple clean energy technologies that we will begin to see more widely on buildings as a result of the growing clean energy industry and federal funding.

Learn More

This five-minute video provides an introduction to grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEB) and associated clean energy technologies.

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Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment

Given the increased frequency of natural disasters, many have wondered about temporary ways to power their home while waiting for utility grid power to be restored. Some car manufacturers describe this capability. A little background: Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) is the broader term used to describe the storage of energy within an EV and its ability to supply power for particular end uses, including buildings (V2B), homes (V2H), load (V2L), and the grid (V2G). Vehicle to grid (V2G) is not yet in use throughout the U.S., but the technology, equipment, and related codes and standards recognize the possibility.

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With more than 25 million electric vehicles expected to be on U.S. roads by 2020, questions about charging are common. EV charging is completely safe when the installation is in conformance with the relevant installation codes, U.S. product safety standards, and manufacturer’s installation instructions.

Learn More

  • Check out this short course if you’re interested in learning the facts about the codes and standards that govern the safe installation of electric vehicle supply equipment. 
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Energy Storage

Permit applications are on the rise for residential energy storage systems in jurisdictions across the country. In some cases, building departments are seeing these systems for the first time. The permitting and inspection of an energy storage system extends beyond just the National Electrical Code® (NEC). The permit application should be reviewed by the wiring or electrical inspector and also inspectors for building and fire code compliance.

  • Download a guide to multiple codes related to ESS Guide: Energy Storage Systems: Based on the IBC®, IFC®, IRC® and NEC®
Category: Energy Storage
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With the prevalence of energy storage systems (ESS), particularly battery energy storage systems (BESS), this question is asked by authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ) across the country.

For one-two family dwelling units, BESS are permitted for installation in detached garages/accessory structures, attached garages separated from the dwelling in accordance with International Residential Code® IRC® R302.6 (occupancy separation), and enclosed utility closets, basements, storage or utility spaces with finished or non-combustible walls. The BESS cannot be installed in habitable spaces of dwelling units including sleeping rooms, spaces opening directly into sleeping rooms and closets. If installed on the exterior of a dwelling unit, the ESS must be located at least 3 feet from doors and windows.

For commercial buildings, BESS are permitted for installation in any indoor area of the building, subject to size limitations, enclosure requirements, separation, ventilation, and fire detection and control. There are separate requirements for rooftop, exterior, and parking garage installations. For systems above 600 kWh storage capacity, a dedicated ESS building is typically required.  NFPA® 855 is another standard for installation of stationary ESS.

Learn More

  • View this recorded webinar to hear a discussion between a California Fire Marshal and an advisor to a DOE national lab on energy storage system safety. Recorded webinar.
  • Take a mini-course about the basics of energy storage systems.
  • Download a guide to multiple codes related to ESS Guide: Energy Storage Systems: Based on the IBC®, IFC®, IRC® and NEC® hear a discussion between a California Fire Marshal and an advisor to a DOE national lab on energy storage system safety.
Category: Energy Storage
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The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) in partnership with the International Code Council, International Association of Electrical Inspectors, National Association of State Fire Marshals, Slipstream, FSEC Energy Research Center, Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory assembled these resources to provide you with up to date, reliable, vetted information and training related to existing and emerging technologies.