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What Types of Permits or Permissions do I Need to Add Solar to My Home?

Updated: Feb 2



Thinking of making the switch to solar in the near future? Great! Powering your home with solar energy can lower your utility bill, help the environment, and even increase your home’s value! But before you can reap the benefits of solar energy, you will need to apply, and be approved for, a number of different solar permits.


Types of Solar Permits


Location-Based Permits

The number of permits, and what’s required for them, can vary depending on where you live, and can even differ among neighboring cities and counties. Homeowners may also need to consider local zoning rules and how those may, or may not, affect their plans to go solar.


It’s important to fully understand all local permitting requirements as this will allow you to streamline the permit application process and get our solar panels installed as soon as possible.


Additionally, homeowners need to also reach out to local utility companies as they have a completely separate approval process from the local government’s process. Depending on your area’s requirements, your home’s solar project may need to be reviewed before the local jurisdiction can go ahead and issue a permit.


Starting the process of researching local permits and utility requirements sooner rather

than later can have a major impact on getting your solar panel system up and running.


Type and Size of Solar Installation

The type of solar system you plan to go with can impact which, and how many, permits will be required. For example, a large ground-mounted solar system may be subject to a land use review that a roof-mounted system wouldn’t.

What if you fail to get approval on all the necessary permits?


In short, failing to obtain the necessary permits and approvals before installing your home’s solar system can cost significant amounts of time and money. Additionally, you may incur costly fines, depending on your area’s local regulations.


How much do solar permits typically cost?


All things considered, the costs for residential permit fees are relatively affordable for homeowners. The average costs for permits for residential roof-mounted solar systems are usually only a few hundred dollars, and rarely are higher than $500. Some states have even passed legislation in order to cap the fee of solar permits.


Residential Solar Permit Steps


Initial Inspection

Before you go through the permit application process, it’s imperative that your home be inspected. It’s important to ensure your home’s roof can withstand the weight of a solar panel system. This is something that a solar company, such as Complete Solar, or an independent structural engineer could assist with. In addition, an electrical inspection may be required. This is especially important in older homes where electrical systems may be outdated and not up to code.


What may or may not be required in an inspection varies from region to region, so when in doubt, check with your local government.


Applying for solar permits

While we certainly wouldn’t recommend against reaching out to your local municipality and utility companies to determine what permits you need, a reputable solar panel installer should be well-versed in all local ordinances and regulations. At Complete Solar, we take the stress right of finding out what permits are required through our streamlined process. This, coupled with a dedicated project coordinator, allows us to provide some of the fastest solar installation times across the industry.


Purchase Your Solar System

Once all permits, plans, and local requirements have been met, you’re finally eligible to purchase your solar system! Given that a residential solar system can cost around $25,000, most people find solar financing as the most attractive option. However, many homeowners also choose to either pay for their system in full, lease their solar, or purchase a PPA.


Solar Installation

Last but certainly not least, the installation process can begin! Typically speaking, the entire solar installation process can take upwards of a couple of months to complete. Fortunately at Complete Solar, we’ve created a streamlined, efficient installation process that can often take just weeks instead of months This is something no one else in the industry can offer.


How can Complete Solar Help You?


At Complete Solar, we want to make life easier for homeowners interested in going solar by streamlining the entire solar process, from securing your permits to the actual installation itself.


Our team of solar experts is happy to answer any questions you may have related to solar permits and can help guide you through the entire residential solar process. Ready to see how much you could save by switching to solar?


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