PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island state lawmakers are considering legislation designed to make it easier for people to install rooftop solar panels.
The state House of Representatives voted unanimously Thursday to pass a bill that would create a statewide solar permitting process. It now moves to the Senate.
The state Office of Energy Resources has recommended streamlining a process that can vary by municipality. It says a statewide permit will provide predictability of costs and reduce the amount of time installers spend acquiring permits.
Installers currently must get separate electrical and building permits regardless of a solar project’s size.
The cost of solar equipment has dropped over the past decade but the energy agency says that “soft” costs — such as permitting and interconnection — remain high.