How do inspections work if no plan set is submitted?

Please review the relevant trainings (listed below) prior to inspecting SolarAPP+ systems.

In partnership with the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), NREL has developed an interactive online training tool that will help you efficiently and effectively inspect a rooftop residential PV system without a traditional planset. You can access the training here.

Please note that if your project involves batteries or other energy storage systems, there is a separate training which can be found here. This training will help you use the inspection checklist from the SolarAPP+ tool to efficiently and effectively inspect a rooftop residential PV system with an energy storage system.


The most significant departure from traditional inspections is that inspectors do not verify information using a site plan or single line diagram. SolarAPP+ collects all the same information that would be shown in a graphical plan and presents that information in a consistent manner for all participating contractors. Inspecting the system is identical to regular building and electrical inspections. All the normal rules for code compliant installations apply. 

Important Note: Download/Print the Most Current Checklist

Before you begin the inspection, confirm that you are using the most current version of the checklist. An installer could correct an installation mistake prior to the inspection and update the permit virtually through the AHJ portal. Some items on the checklist presented may differ as a result. Scan the QR code in the lower left hand corner of the Inspection checklist to verify the current revision.

SolarAPP+ generates a simple diagram to be associated with the checklist and help familiarize the inspector with the layout of the premises wiring system. More information on these diagrams can be accessed here:

Once in the field, an inspector uses the site specific SolarAPP+ inspection checklist to verify that equipment has been installed per plan by matching the displayed site specific values to installed equipment. The inspection checklist is created only after the system's calculations verify that the entire project is code compliant. The inspector should ensure that the site specific information displayed in the checklist matches the corresponding items in the field. Deviations indicate a failure to install per the approved plan and should receive a corrections notice. Additional checklist items have been provided to guide the Combination Inspector through a complete and thorough inspection process. However, these checklist items do not need to be specifically marked to complete the inspection. The Inspector may use their best judgement to determine if the system was installed in a professional fashion.

Conducting the Inspection

Our checklist is simple to use, and the list of items required for code compliance begins by having inspectors verify the ground-level components. As inspectors work through the checklist, inspectors would begin at the point of interconnection upward to the rooftop PV system itself.

When examining the project itself, inspectors may check the box in the "pass" column once they have visually verified that the project's item on the checklist is accurate and without workmanship errors.  This is an optional step and does not replace the jurisdictions inspection process.

Photographs of the project components and siting area, if taken at a vantage point to capture all relevant information, might remove the need for inspectors to physically access the rooftop to conduct the inspection (e.g., a picture taken from adequate distance could allow inspectors to verify that the layout allows for fire access pathways and ridge setbacks). Please review the inspector's training (linked at the top of the page) to see in-depth information on the components of the inspection checklist and SolarAPP+'s calculations displayed in the long form.

Passing/Failing Projects Using the Long Form

It is important to be aware of a key difference in inspecting SolarAPP+ projects compared to traditionally-permitted systems. On a graphical plan sets, exact wire sizes and conduit sizes are specified. The SolarAPP+ checklist shows a MINIMUM. As long as at least the minimum has been installed AND the number of conductors matches the checklist, the system is compliant. Reference the Long Form tables in the approval document that contain the allowable ranges of project component values if the item appears to be a different size than what is references on the checklist. 

Non-compliance to the checklist at inspection is grounds for failure. The inspector may issue corrections if the item cannot be mitigated or if the revision requires the contractor to reassess code compliance. The inspector may pass the inspection if the item can be mitigated to the inspectors satisfaction.

If all aspects of the checklist are verified, follow the department's normal process for project approval. If the jurisdiction chooses to keep track of the inspection results, log in to SolarAPP+ and move the project status to "Final."

Inspection Components

SolarAPP is a dynamic software that can process any of the interconnection methods listed in Article 705 of the National Electrical code. Verifying the site specific parameters listed in the checklist help to verify contractor inputs and SolarAPP+ calculations, ensuring code compliance. The checklist may indicate items specific to the method of interconnection that may be considered.

There are five main sections of the inspection checklist:

(1) Premises Wiring System, (2) Point of Interconnection, (3) Balance of System, (4) Roof, and (5) Fire.

The images below display the first page of the corresponding sections of the inspection checklist that inspectors would verify when inspecting projects.

1) Premises Wiring system

2) Point of Interconnection

3) Balance of System

4) Roof

5) Fire

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