Most of the time, when we think of things being built the majority of hours it takes to complete a project revolves around construction. It is rare that an architect will spend more hours drawing a project than a contractor will take to build it. For residential solar installations, the growth in demand is being met by a regulatory system not fully prepared for the expanding market. As a result, a large portion of the cost for new PVs pays for people sitting at a desk rather than throwing up panels.
Archives For red tape
In virtually every industry and profession we can point to occurrences of codes and regulations that create needless amounts of red tape, adding unnecessary time to the schedule and taking away valuable resources from the budget. By most businesses, regulation is seen as a hindrance that opposes free market capitalism and, as such, should be minimized. But a complete lack of regulation, even in a fundamentally good pursuit like sustainability, can not only produce a series of liabilities but specifically those that undermine the very goals that sustainability is trying to accomplish.
I recently wrote an article describing geothermal heating and cooling, making no secret of my strong support for the technology and its implementation. On the mainstream of residential construction, geothermal is still rather new so many municipalities are still trying to catch up to the learning curve of the repercussions of installing new wells without hindering the expansion of the budding industry. In doing some research on geothermal for a project in Rhode Island, I came across a surprising interface of regulatory oversight and sustainability that underscores the conversations that they need to continue to have.