Solar Energy Systems
Solar Water Heating & Photovoltaic Electrical Systems for 1 & 2 Family Dwellings
As awareness of renewable energy and green building options increase, solar energy systems are becoming a more common energy choice for Oregon homeowners. Energy from the sun can be harnessed using a solar water heating or solar electric system.
Solar Water Heating
A solar water heating system reduces household energy consumption by preheating water so that the residence's water heater does less work. It consists of 2 primary components:
- Solar collectors, which are commonly installed on the roof
- A storage tank, which is typically co-located with the residence's water heater and in which potable water is preheated by the solar collectors via a heat exchanger
Solar Pool Heating System
A residential solar pool heating system consists of plastic solar collectors, typically mounted on a roof, through which swimming pool water is circulated during the summer months to capture the sun's heat.
A solar electric system produces electricity that is distributed to the home via the residence's main electrical panel, offsetting electric energy that would otherwise be purchased from the utility. It consists of 2 primary components:
- Photovoltaic panels, which are commonly installed on the roof
- An inverter, which converts direct current electricity produced by the panels into alternating current electricity that can be used by the home
The City of Grants Pass solar energy guide (PDF) provides guidelines and permitting requirements to those interested in solar hot water heaters or photovoltaic solar electric panels on residential construction. This may include adding a solar system on to an existing structure or as an addition or alteration, or incorporating a solar system into a new building. Federal and state tax credits and incentives may be available to offset the cost of your solar installation.
The Grants Pass solar energy guide outlines the application and review procedures for obtaining the necessary permit(s) to install a solar energy system for a new or existing residential building.
Permit applications are accepted at the Parks and Community Development Office in Room 201 of the City of Grants Pass City Hall at 101 NW A Street.