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Residential Rooftop-Mounted Solar Installations

Permitting for Residential Rooftop-Mounted Solar Photovoltaic Systems

Ever thought about installing solar panels on your roof?
Concerned about the complexity of the permit process?

Wondering where to go for help?
Solar Roof Panels on Homes

As part of a federal Department of Energy grant, Kirkland and other grant partners (Seattle, Bellevue) have developed a streamlined process for the permitting of small-scale rooftop-mounted solar installations for single-family residential customers.

All solar photovoltaic (PV) systems require an Electrical Permit and, in some rare cases, a Building Permit.

Note: If you do not qualify for the Building Permit Exemption (Section 3 of the Electrical Permit Checklist) or are doing a commercial project, you will need to apply for both a Building Permit and a separate Electrical Permit with plan review.


Step 1: Preparation
Complete the following paperwork:

Step 2: Submittal
Go to and apply for an Electrical Permit online. Upload all required paperwork listed above. 

Step 3: Review
Applications will be simultaneously reviewed by the Electrical plan reviewer and a Land Use planner for code compliance.

Step 4: Permit Issuance

Upon permit approval, the applicant pays the associated fees and is issued an Electrical Permit.

Step 5: Inspection

  • A pre-construction meeting is required on all PV panels prior to installation, and can be scheduled as a pre-con inspection through to external site
  • After the PV system installation is completed, schedule a final inspection through to external site
If the project is completed per plan, there are no further requirements.
If the project is not completed per plan, corrections, additional inspections or further plan review may be required.


Kirkland staff familiar with solar PV installations are available to answer questions and help you through the permitting process.

Residential Solar Systems Construction Tipsheetlinks to external site
Department of Energy Article for Residential Property Ownerslinks to external site
Washington State University: Solar Electric Design, Operation and Installation for Builderslinks to external site

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