Do you need a permit before solar panel installation? The short answer to that is yes. Most city or county governments require either the homeowner or contractor to pull proper permits before you install solar panels on your roof. Many solar companies, such as YellowLite, include the pulling of permits as part of their turn-key solution when you sign the contract. Let’s take you through some basic steps required to obtain a permit:
Contact county and city governments to determine their requirements
Not all counties or cities will require a permit to be pulled, but the first step is always to contact both the city and county to find out. If a permit is not required, the rest of the steps can be ignored and construction can begin whenever the customer and contractors are ready. However, this is very rare.
Gather materials needed for submitting permit for solar panel installation
Once the city or county governments have informed the contractor whether a permit is needed, the next step is to gather the materials needed. The documents needed vary depending on your jurisdiction, they may include and are not limited to:
- Permit application
- Owner-builder verification form
- Site plan
- Roof plan
- Construction plan
- Elevation plan
- Equipment plan
- Electrical plan
- Location plan
Attend meetings required by local government:
Some meetings require a hearing before issuing a permit for a solar panel installation. These are usually zoning or architectural review board meetings. These are held to answer questions about what the panels will look like when installed and whether they will be visible from the street or not. Only your contractor is required to attend these meetings, but homeowners are encouraged to come as well.
Pay for and pick approved permits:
After the materials have been submitted and any required meetings have been attended, all that's left is for your contractor to pay for and pick up the permit. Your permit paperwork should include notes about any inspections required during or after construction. Your contractor should have these permits on site during construction and inspections.
The process requires cooperation with and from your contractor. Everything should sail smoothly and you should be able to get your permit before the solar panel installation easily.