December 20, 2022

Solar-Plus-Storage Permitting & Inspection Guidelines

Guidelines that provide an overview of code requirements for the installation of Energy Storage Systems (stand alone and paired with simple photovoltaic systems) in single family, multifamily, and office buildings.

In many parts of the United States, navigating building permits required for distributed energy resources such as solar, storage, and electric vehicles (EVs) can be a daunting process.  Under a three-year project, funded by the Department of Energy, the New Buildings Institute (NBI; an EMPOWERED partner) has led the development of a series of guidelines to streamline the permitting and inspection processes for distributed energy resources to reduce carbon emissions, save people money, and help balance energy supply and demand on the grid.

These guidelines provide an overview of code requirements for the installation of Energy Storage Systems (standalone and paired with simple photovoltaic systems) in single-family, multifamily, and office buildings. By providing specific and replicable lists of permitting and inspection requirements, local jurisdictions can streamline the permitting and inspection process by reducing informational barriers while helping ensure the design and installation of these distributed energy resources are consistent, code compliant, and safe.

In 2023, NBI will pilot these guides in several jurisdictions across the country to refine their content.

We’d appreciate any feedback on these guidelines that you would be willing to provide on these resources by filling out the questionnaire below:

Single Family Guidelines

These guides provide an overview of code requirements for the installation of energy storage systems (ESS), and combined solar and energy storage system installations in single family buildings. The guides reference the 2020 NEC, 2021 IRC and 2021 IFC as well as the 2017 NEC, 2018 IRC and 2018 IFC, download the respective versions below. 

Multifamily and Office Guidelines

These guides provide an overview of code requirements for the installation of energy storage systems (ESS), and combined solar and energy storage system installations in multifamily and office buildings. The guides reference the 2020 NEC, 2021 IBC and 2021 IFC as well as the 2017 NEC, 2018 IBC and 2018 IFC, download the respective versions below. 

For more information on this project, read this blog or contact Diana Burk at [email protected]

This material is based upon work supported by the Department of Energy and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), under the Building Technology Office (BTO) Award Number EE0009457.