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Going solar gives you the amazing opportunity to break free from your electric company and help the environment. 

But there’s a crucial step.

Once you decide to install a solar panel system, you must obtain approval for a solar permit from your local building authority and electric company. 

Since the US doesn’t have a standard solar permitting process, the steps to obtain a permit are specific to your location.

Let’s check out what you need to know to obtain permit approval.

What Is the Purpose of Solar Permitting?

Solar permitting ensure that your proposed system meets the building codes of your authority having jurisdiction (AHJ).

If your solar system connects to the power grid, you also need approval from your local electric company to ensure proper grid interconnection. 

Off-grid systems generally only require solar permits from your local AHJ.

Although permitting is often time-consuming and complex, the goal is to certify that your system is safe and functional after installation.

What Makes Solar Permitting Time-Consuming?

Solar system installations involve building, fire, and electrical codes. 

Because every AHJ has different code requirements, a particular solar system can be approved in one state and denied in another state.

Other code issues that can impact your solar system installation include:

  • Unclear code language
  • Coding revisions
  • Irregular code enforcement

Depending on your state, coding requirements are either set at the state or the AHJ level. 

Therefore, it does take time to determine what your specific AHJ requires since there are no standard codes.

What Is the General Process for Solar Permitting?

Before starting the permitting process, you’ll need a set design, complete with specs and size information. 

Once you have a proposed plan, you must:

  1. Complete an interconnection permit to send to your utility company
  2. Submit a building permit to your local planning department
  3. Obtain approval from both departments
  4. Install your solar system
  5. Contact your AHJ and utility company to perform a post-installation inspection

It could take several weeks for your AHJ and utility company to approve both forms.

So, it’s essential to ensure that you have filled out each form accurately and completely. 

Upon receiving post-inspection approval from your AHJ and utility company, you can use your system.

How to Simplify Your Solar Permitting?

Our team at Unbound Solar is committed to getting you energy-independent. 

We guide you throughout your system installation, from finalizing your unique design to providing all the information you need for solar permitting to delivering lifetime support post-installation. 

For any questions about your solar project, contact our team today!

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