Skip to main content

The Soft Costs of Distributed Solar

View the report
House with rooftop solar panels

A Report: The Soft Costs of Distributed Solar

Read the Soft Costs of Distributed Solar Report

This report reviews the existing soft costs of adopting distributed solar in the United States. The author discusses existing literature and information on soft costs, and highlights areas where helpful information is lacking. Adopting cost-effective policies to reduce soft costs will play a key role in making distributed solar more competitive and building a more resilient, carbon-free economy.

As hardware costs continue to fall, soft costs will make up an increasingly large share of total costs. Soft cost reduction will therefore be essential to facilitating widespread deployment of distributed solar. There are many sources of soft costs – such as PII, customer acquisition, and overhead. Therefore, there are a number of different paths to reducing them. The best practice recommendations set forth in this paper however can serve as a guide of potential policy options. The recommendations range from simple changes such as online permitting, to more complex policy options such as reduced federal tariffs.

Virginia Solar Initiative

Explore additional solar resources