Solar Panel Permitting: 9 Frequently Asked Questions

Three icons including a magnifying glass, house, and paperwork illustrating the solar permitting process in shades of blue

When homeowners go solar, there are several steps in the process. Each step is an important part of making residential solar energy possible. One of the process steps which is more complex is acquiring the necessary permits from city, county, and/or state offices. Blue Raven Solar has a team dedicated to submitting, approving, and verifying permits. Here are some of the most common questions associated to permitting for rooftop solar panel systems:

1. Do You Need a Permit for Solar Panels?

Yes. Similar to any home improvement project, permits are required before work can begin to ensure it adheres to safety standards and complies with local building codes. It is there for your protection. With solar installations specifically, they all involve electrical work and can present a high risk to people and the property if not installed correctly or safely.


Although every state government is responsible for enforcing its own laws and regulations. Some geographic locations may require additional solar permits such as building, electrical, or zoning permits from different offices, but our team is equipped and ready to ensure no permits are missed within the 18 states we currently operate within.

Three circle icons illustrating the solar permitting process in shades of blue

2. Why Do You Need a Permit?

City, county, and state offices need to review the plans for your home project to ensure they are compliant and up to code. While our solar array designers are experts at creating effectively laid out systems, there are occasional changes necessary to comply. When our team receives notification of a denied permit, we make the recommended changes and will resubmit the system’s paperwork to the correct authorities for approval as soon as possible.

3. What Type of Solar Panel Installations Require a Permit?

Most solar installations, whether roof or ground mounted, require a permit, as there are specific codes for every type of solar panel installation.

4. What is the Process of Obtaining a Solar Permit?

Our permitting team handles the entire process for you we contact local offices through researching the requirements, fill out and complete the applications, pay fees, wait for approval, and process the approvals. We need an occasional signature from homeowners, but nothing more.

5. What Does the Approval Process Look Like?

Once all of the necessary permits have been approved, our team delivers the approved plans to your home, so they are onsite for your final inspection after installation.

6. Are Different Types of Permits Required, such as Building, Electrical, Zoning, and Others?

Yes. Each location has different requirements for how many and what type of permits are required. Some locations may have more requirements than others. 


3 Common Permit Types:


  1. Building: Outline structural work to ensure stability and safety. 
  2. Electrical: Ensure all electrical work is up to code and correctly wired. 
  3. Zoning: Gives permission to homeowners to make changes to structures in accordance with land use zones. 
Three circle icons illustrating the solar permitting process in shades of blue which include a magnifying glass looking at panels, a hand signaling okay, and a house

7. Is There a Solar Inspection Process?

After your system is installed, our inspections department will contact you to schedule your final inspection. Once the inspection is passed, your utility company can connect your newly installed PV system to the utility grid and energize your home and you can start generating clean, renewable energy.

8. How Long Does it Take to Get a Solar Permit?

The process time of obtaining a solar permit can vary depending on the location. It can take days, weeks, or months to complete (especially if an electrical inspector or fire department representative has to perform the inspection) but our team will keep you informed and up to date. We will communicate directly with you about the status.

9. What if a Solar Permit is Not Obtained?

Without the required permits, homeowners can be fined several thousand dollars and cannot pass the final solar inspection. Additionally, the utility company could refuse to connect your system to the grid if a permit is not obtained. 


It is highly unlikely a homeowner would be unable to obtain a permit. Working with a trusted solar company will prevent any situations where permits are missed. Homeowners may need to check their property is completely up to code and close out any pending permits they may have, but otherwise, permits should be relatively simple to obtain. However, it is not all about avoiding fines or legal issues – by obtaining a permit you confirm the system is installed safely. When a system is installed incorrectly it can be a fire risk or safety hazard – not to mention it might not function properly. 

Working with Experts like Blue Raven Solar Makes a Difference

Permitting can seem like a daunting and difficult step in the solar process. Our specialized and dedicated team remains on top of every project, and we strive to do our best at keeping homeowners informed throughout their solar journey.  


Our team believes in keeping the switch to solar energy simple and seamless. When you work with Blue Raven Solar, you will not have to worry about any mishaps with local codes or regulations and can sit back and allow us to take care of details.

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