Rooftop Solar Installations

Residential solar installationA 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. Solar energy installations are permitted as an accessory use in all zones within the city.

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. The checklist can be completed through:

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:

  • 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:

For questions, contact: [email protected]