U.S. Department of Energy Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Surveys of Solar Permitting Practices in Colorado Local Jurisdictions

Vote Solar has worked in partnership with Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association (COSEIA) to collect and analyze current solar permitting practices using data compiled from cities and counties throughout the state. Using industry-standard best practices as a benchmark, we have evaluated each city for the time and cost associated with solar permitting.

We found that, while many jurisdictions in Colorado’s cities and counties have reasonable permitting costs and issue permits in a timely manner, several cities show room for improvement. We assessed 34 jurisdictions for the dollar amount of the permit fee, whether that fee was flat or value-based, and the number of days it takes to obtain a permit. Vote Solar recommends a permit fee of $250 or less based on the agency’s cost of service and that permits should be turned around in a day, preferably over-the-counter.

In the following report, we review the permitting practices of 34 jurisdictions in greater detail and provide ‘best practices’ recommendations that can be employed to improve the local permit process and thus lower transaction costs for all parties.

April, 2011
United States
Resource Type
Resource Source
The Vote Solar Initiative