A building permit is required for the installation or replacement of solar/photovoltaic (PV) systems, including rooftop arrays, ground-mounted arrays and PV water heaters. An electrical permit is required from the State Department of Labor & Industries.
Single family residential rooftop installations meeting the criteria in a regionally developed checklist are eligible to obtain a building permit online through the city’s website or over-the-counter at the permit center in City Hall. The checklist can be completed through the City's online permit system, or it can be downloaded here as a fillable-PDF file which you can mail in or bring to the Development Services permit counter at City Hall (121 5th Ave N).
Edmonds is a Northwest Solar Community, working to promote solar energy and bring down the soft costs associated with installing rooftop solar electricity. Working under a Department of Energy’s Rooftop Solar Challenge grant program, this nationwide effort engaged diverse teams of local and state governments along with utilities, installers, non-governmental organizations, and others to make solar energy more accessible and affordable. As part of this project, the Cities of Bellevue, Edmonds, Seattle and Ellensburg worked with internal departments and industry stakeholders to develop a streamlined, expedited permitting process for rooftop mounted, residential solar PV systems.
Improvements in solar permitting in Edmonds now include:
- Flat fee for single family rooftop solar installations ($145 total)
- Over-the-Counter and online permitting for single family residential installations
- Commercial or multi-family installations deduct the value of the panels and inverters from the overall value of the permit
- Height exceptions in the zoning code for rooftop solar installations (e.g. ECDC 21.40.030.D.7 allows for "Solar energy installations not to exceed 36 inches in height above the height limit" as a Type II staff decision. See the specific online code section for details.)
Find out more here:
- View/download the solar checklist
- Apply online for a Simple Rooftop PV Permit
- Article about solar energy in Edmonds
- Overview of solar online permitting in Edmonds
Contact: Leif Bjorback, Building Official