Rooftop Solar

Residential solar installation

Planning and Development requires a permit for the installation or replacement of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, including rooftop arrays, ground-mounted arrays, and solar thermal water heaters. An electrical permit is required from the State Department of Labor & Industries. Solar energy installations are permitted as an accessory use in all zones within the city.

Apply for the permit through

Gov. Inslee recognized Edmonds as a Northwest Solar Community in 2015 for our work to promote solar energy and bring down the soft costs associated with installing rooftop solar electricity. Working under the 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:

  • 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:

Rooftop Solar

Contact: Leif Bjorback, Building Official

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