Do I Need Permission To Install Solar Panels?
If you’re wondering what permits do I need to install solar panels? then this article is for you.
Installing solar panels is the best way to reduce your electric bill.
Solar energy systems produce clean, pollution-free electricity that saves you money on monthly expenses!
Well, today’s post will answer your questions of what permits do I need to install solar panels, why are they necessary, and what kind of permissions you may need so without further ado let’s dive in.
What Kind of Permits Do I Need For Solar Panels?
When getting solar panels, the permit requirements will vary by both your state and town, but there are some commonalities.
Applicants for solar panel installation permits will usually need to provide the following information, at a minimum:
- A site plan of your home showing surrounding buildings, existing structures, analysis of shading or obstruction concerns, and analysis of sunlight exposure on the proposed panels
- The applicant’s full legal name
- Your address, including the county
- A description of the panels, including their size, quantity, and brand
- A zoning certificate confirming your home is zoned for solar panel installation. This will usually be on a town or city level, though it might also exist on a more local scale if you happen to live in an unincorporated area
- A building permit for solar panel installation, if applicable
- An electric servicing information sheet. The solar installation company will have a template for this that they can provide to you. This document should be completed by your current electrical service provider and include a signature from them attesting that the new system is compatible with their equipment and will not pose a safety hazard to them, their equipment, or potentially your neighbors.
- You might need additional permits if you are adding more solar panels to your existing system.
Is The Solar Panel Type and Size important?
When you’re getting permits for a solar panel installation, it’s important to keep in mind what type and size of system will be installed.
If installing a large power plant on your property then more paperwork should come with the package while if not so much attention needs to be paid or may as well go through all required steps before obtaining permits which could take weeks depending on how fast things move at different governments agencies within one state!
Also, The permitting process for rooftop solar panel installations is going to be different than that required when installing ground-mounted panels.
If you are planning on a larger installation, such as one that requires building or structural permits and would be subjecting yourself to zoning laws in your area, then it’s best if we speak about this beforehand so there aren’t any surprises later down the line!
Related article: Can You Put Solar Panels On A Shake Roof?
Why Are Solar Permits Necessary?
The reason permits and inspections exist with solar panel installation is for the safety of those who live within the home as well as those who may live or work around it.
A permitting process helps to ensure that any new structure meets existing building codes, such as structural integrity and safety standards, as well as building requirements such as fire ratings and environmental impact.
Solar panel installations are complicated enough without adding to the mix a variety of structural issues, environmental impacts, and fire hazards.
The permitting process is designed to prevent these problems by ensuring that building inspectors are there to review plans, or that engineers are on hand during installation to provide input.
Luckily, solar permits are now easier than ever, thanks to the SolarAPP, which runs checks and building permit approvals for solar rooftop systems.
Related article: Can You Put Solar Panels On A metal Roof?
What If I Don’t Get All the Necessary Permissions?
If you install a solar panel system without the proper permitting and approvals, you could find yourself subject to fines as well as having your panels removed by local authorities.
It’s also possible that the installation of the system will be considered unpermitted development and may therefore be required to be removed if it covers more than 35% of your roof.
For this reason, it’s best to be as thorough as possible when doing the proper research and ensuring that you have all the required permissions well in hand before taking any steps toward installation.
Related article: Difference Between A Grade And B Grade Solar Panels
How Long Does It Take?
The permitting process for a solar panel installation typically takes 2-4 weeks depending on how quickly your local government agencies can review and approve the necessary documentation.
The time it takes to obtain all the permissions, as well as which documents are required, can vary from one jurisdiction to another as well as with the size and scale of your installation.
It is therefore important that you do what you can to follow instructions and provide all necessary paperwork before installation dates!
Related article: How Long Does It Take For Solar Panels To Pay For Themselves?
If certain steps need to be taken after installation, such as inspections and approvals of interconnection paperwork, then it’s important to keep in mind that the permitting process is most likely going to take longer than installation.
Cost of Solar Permits and Inspections
In general, the permitting process is going to cost you a fraction of the total installation charges.
It’s often very negligible when compared to what you’ll be paying for your panels themselves!
However, if you’re attempting to get permits for free by having an engineer sign off on things and provide their stamp of approval, then this could add a little to the total cost.
Solar permitting is only going to add a small percentage of your overall installation fees while ensuring that you have all required documents in hand for an easier, less complicated process from start to finish.
Always do your research and get all necessary permissions before jumping into installation straight away!
It’s no fun having to wait weeks or months for your permits and then having to take time out of work at the last minute to go and take care of business.
For this reason, it’s best to know what steps you need to take prior and be as thorough as possible so that installation can proceed without any problems arising along the way!