Does Solar Panel Installation Require Building Permits?

Solar panel installation requires appropriate building permits in many areas of the United States. Fortunately, the company performing your PV panel installation will usually take care of that for you. But if you need to do it yourself, or if you are simply curious about how the process works, below is a basic guideline for what to expect when it comes to building permits for solar panels.

PV Solar Installation Permit Requirements

Solar permit requirements vary depending on the city. For example, if you live in Cheyenne or Casper, the process of obtaining a permit may be different than the one for residents of Laramie, Rock Springs or other Wyoming cities. In most cases, you simply fill out an application that includes basic information about your home and the solar panel system you plan to install. You will also likely have to pay a building permit fee. But if your installer obtains the permit for you, that fee should be included in your installation cost.

Why Permits Are Necessary

You need a permit for solar for the same reason you need any other type of building permit for most home improvement projects: safety and quality standards. Your solar installation is subject to city, county or other municipal building codes, assuming you live within a municipality. This way, you have the assurance that your roof is capable of handling the panels’ weight. In addition, having the proper permits can help when it’s time to sell the house, since buyers will see that you took all the right steps during the solar panel installation. Of course, this is above and beyond the increase in your home’s value you will enjoy simply from having solar panels on your roof.

Consequences of Not Getting a Permit

Some homeowners try to get around the permitting process, to avoid the hassle, the fees charged or simply because they don’t know that permits are necessary. If you do this, you run the risk of having to pay fines as a penalty and possibly even having to remove the solar panels. In addition, licensed installers will not complete the project without first obtaining the proper permits.

To learn the exact requirements and fees associated with the permits you need, contact your city’s building or code enforcement department. Their website may have all the information you need. Or, take the no-hassle route and contact Intermountain Wind and Solar for help first. Serving the Intermountain West, including Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada and Idaho, they can take care of everything for you, making your solar panel installation process a breeze.