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Welcome to our DIY Solar Permitting Guide! If you’re a homeowner or a DIY enthusiast eager to harness the power of the sun and install solar panels on your property, you’re in the right place. Congratulations on taking the first step towards a more sustainable future.

But before you start soaking up those rays and generating clean energy, there’s an essential step you can’t skip: permitting. Solar permits are crucial because they ensure your solar installation complies with local regulations and safety standards. This guide is here to demystify the DIY solar permitting process, answer your questions, and help you navigate the path to solar success.

Section 1: The Basics of Solar Permits
Section 2: Types of Permits
Section 3: Local Regulations
Section 4: Submission Process
Section 5: Common Challenges
Section 6: Timelines
Section 7: Tips for Success
Section 8: Solar Permitting FAQs

Section 1: The Basics of Solar Permits

When it comes to solar permitting, let’s start with the basics.

What Is Permitting?

Permitting, in the context of solar projects, involves obtaining official approval from your local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) for your solar panel installation. It’s like getting a green light to go solar and helps ensure your project follows the rules and guidelines.

Determine Your Permitting AHJ:

Your first step is to determine your Permitting AHJ, which typically includes your city and utility company. You can find this information on the AHJ Registry for your area.

Permit Filing Methods:

Some AHJs require you to submit your permits in person at their offices.

Online Portal

Many AHJs offer online permit submission through user-friendly web portals.


In some cases, you can submit your permit documents via email.

Section 2: Types of Permits

Solar permits come in different flavors, each with its own purpose. Let’s break them down.

Electrical Permits

Electrical permits ensure that all electrical work on your property, including solar equipment installation, complies with the National Electrical Code (NEC). They guarantee the safe and proper connection of your solar system.

Structural Permits

AHJs often review structural permits to ensure that your solar installation is not only safe but also structurally sound. They assess whether your home can bear the added weight of solar panels and whether fire code requirements are met. This may require a structural letter with certified engineering stamps.

Section 3: Local Regulations

Local regulations and codes can vary significantly from place to place, so it’s crucial to understand and adhere to them.

Key Questions to Ask:

Verify DIY Solar is Allowed: Ensure that your AHJ permits DIY solar installations.
Referenced Codes: Ensure that your AHJ permits DIY solar installations.
Stamps: Determine if you need engineering stamps; ground mounts might not require them.
Additional Requirements: Are there any specific AHJ requirements or limitations?
Approvals:Find out if you need approvals from your HOA or Utility before permitting.

Section 4: Submission Process

Let’s dive into the step-by-step process of submitting your solar permit.

1. Determine where to submit your permit (city, county, or state).
2. Identify the types of permits required for your project.
3. Gather the necessary documents for submission.
4. Learn how to submit the documents to the AHJ, either online or in person.
5. Understand how your permit will be issued once approved. 

Section 5: Common Challenges

Permitting can be a smooth process, but common challenges may arise.

Challenges and Solutions:
Verify DIY Solar Approval: Ensure your AHJ permits DIY solar installations.
Avoid Contractor Confusion: Don’t list Solar Wholesale as the contractor; you’re the homeowner.
Delayed Approvals: Some AHJs may have longer approval times; inquire about wait times.
Changing Requirements: Stay updated on evolving solar system requirements.
HOA Approval: Check if your HOA requires approval for solar installations.
Utility Approval: Some AHJs require utility approval; confirm their requirements.

Section 6: Timelines

Understanding timelines is crucial for planning your solar project.

– Solar permits typically take 30-45 days for approval
– Some locations offer over-the-counter permits with immediate approval.
– Others may take longer, especially with additional documentation or revisions.

Section 7: Tips for Success

Here are some practical tips to ensure a smoother permitting experience:

– Research your local AHJ thoroughly.
– Inquire about approval timelines and follow up regularly.
– Utilize your Project Managers for guidance.
– Familiarize yourself with your equipment and its specifications.

Section 8: Solar Permitting FAQs

We’ve answered some common questions about solar permitting:

On average permits may take about 30-45 days for approval, it may take longer depending on your local AHJ. Each permit may take a different length so when submitting your permit it may be good to ask what their turn around times are.

The fees for solar permits can variey from state to state or region to region. Usually a few hundred dollars, depending on your location.

Yes, as well I would recommend getting a contact where you can call or email in asking for an update. It’s always good to have a point of contact with your permits. There are also third-party services can assist you, however this may create a telephone game as you try to communicate the information to them, then they pass it to your AHJ.

Yes, even off-grid systems may require permits.


Congratulations, you’ve completed our DIY Solar Permitting Guide! By following these steps and tips, you’re well on your way to obtaining the necessary permits for your solar panel installation. Remember, a well-prepared and informed homeowner is more likely to navigate the permitting process successfully.

As you embark on your solar journey, stay diligent, stay informed, and enjoy the benefits of clean, renewable energy.