Wednesday, September 12, 2012

U.S. Solar Building Regulations Costs

Sept. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Clean Power Finance Inc., a solar financing company backed by Google Inc., created a database of local building regulations in more than 7,500 U.S. zip codes to reduce installation costs, said Chief Executive Officer Nat Kreamer.

Clean Power Finance, compiled the data from developers with $3 million in funding from the U.S. Energy Department, Kreamer said in an interview today. The San Francisco-based company is introducing a prototype of the database at the Solar Power International conference this week in Orlando.

Navigating local zoning and permitting regulations that vary from town to town consumes a significant amount of developers' time. The database simplifies the process and cuts as much as 5 percent to 10 percent from installation costs, he said.

"This will help everyone that's confronted the Byzantine process of getting projects approved," he said. "This streamlines the whole process and it's free."

The database drives down costs by reducing paperwork, eliminating errors and improving work flow, and may increase competition by making it easier for new companies to enter the solar markets, Kreamer said. It covers about 17 percent of the 43,000 U.S. zip codes.

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