Prior to the pandemic landing in the United States, we had expected strong growth for the solar industry in 2020 as reflected in the growth in permits before mid-March. Since then, the shelter-in-place restrictions and decreased business and consumer confidence have had a clear impact on solar activity. Solar permits issued declined 32% beginning March compared to the first week of February, according to a report published on SEIA website.
New permits issued have fallen because of a drop in new customers, work restrictions, and closures of code enforcement agencies. Since permits are, in most jurisdictions, a legal prerequisite to installing solar energy systems, we expect to see installations and, therefore, solar crew employment to fall in the path of permits even in those places where work restrictions do permit continued construction work.
The rules of engagement have changed but all jurisdictions we work with are processing solar permits. The problem is that many jurisdictions are not issuing solar permits. We have several permits across the state that show “ready to issue” on the online portals, but we are told that the issuance will happen only after the shelter-in-place orders are lifted.
Issuance of the permit is a payment milestone for many EPC contracts, and we urge the city governments to continue issuing permits. Construction will have to follow the local orders, but we can at least get ready with procurement and help keep the economy moving.
Safety remains paramount, so does our services. Staten remains available during this time of uncertainty. Simply click here for a callback. We are happy to help you.