WA State Building Code Council adopts emergency rule on solar

July 3, 2014

On June 13th, the Washington State Building Code Council unanimously approved a change to expedite permitting of standard solar PV systems without an engineer’s stamp. While many jurisdictions already follow this routine, the new code brings all jurisdictions into alignment. Engineering costs range from $500 to $2500 or more and can add up to 8 weeks for a solar installation. The rule is effective on July 1, 2014.

This code change will still have to complete the normal rulemaking process which includes public hearings this fall and a Council vote to make it a permanent rule in November. Then, it has to sit through next year’s legislative session. The final rule language is here.  A Solar Permitting Packet for Washington will be distributed to jurisdictions across the state. It includes an info sheet on the code change and templates that jurisdictions can use to issue over-the-counter building and electrical permits.