Sales(509) 530-1958         Customer Service(855) 709-1181 

Understanding Solar Panels Buidling Regulations

By: Eric Huesca, SEO Content Writer
June 16, 2023

Solar energy is an increasingly popular choice for homeowners seeking to cut their energy costs and reduce their environmental footprint. However, before embarking on a solar panel installation project, it’s crucial to understand the building regulations that may affect this process. This guide will help you navigate through the various codes, permits, and standards related to solar panels building regulations, understanding solar power is the key to free energy.

Male engineers examining plan on the rooftop of solar power plant.

Introduction to Solar Panel Building Regulations

Building regulations are rules established by local, state, or national authorities that set out the minimum standards for the design, construction, and alterations to buildings. These regulations are in place to ensure safety, health, and environmental sustainability. 

When it comes to solar panels, these regulations typically govern aspects like the structural integrity of the installation, electrical safety, fire safety, and aesthetic considerations. Understand solar panel specifications and regulations so that you follow state laws. Regulations vary widely depending on your location, so it’s essential to consult with local authorities or a knowledgeable installer before starting your project. 

Solar Panel Building Codes

Building codes are a set of guidelines that dictate how construction projects should be carried out to ensure safety and functionality. Understanding solar panel systems and how they work with building will give you a better picture of what is required for an installation. Here are some of the main building codes that apply to solar panel installations: 

  • International Building Code (IBC): This widely adopted code in the United States addresses the structural aspects of solar installations. It requires that solar panels and their mounting systems be designed to withstand wind, snow, and seismic loads. 
  • International Residential Code (IRC): This code applies to residential buildings. It includes specifications for roof-mounted solar panels, such as the requirement for roof structures to support the weight of the panels. 
  • National Electrical Code (NEC): This code sets the standards for all electrical installations, including solar panels. It covers aspects such as wiring, overcurrent protection, and grounding. 

Permits for Solar Panel Installation

Before you can install solar panels, you’ll typically need to obtain a permit that allows solar panels to be installed at your residence from your local building department. This involves submitting a detailed plan of your project, which will be reviewed to ensure it complies with all relevant building codes. 

The permitting process varies by location, but generally involves the following steps: 

Preparation of Plans: Your solar installer will prepare detailed plans of your solar system, including the electrical design and a layout showing where the panels will be installed. 

Submission of Plans: The plans are submitted to the local building department, along with an application form and a permit fee. 

Review of Plans: The building department reviews the plans to ensure they comply with local building codes. 

Issuance of Permit: If the plans are approved, the building department will issue a permit for the installation. 

Inspection and Interconnection

After your solar panels are installed, the system will need to be inspected before it can be connected to the grid. This typically involves two steps: 

  • Building Inspection: A local building inspector will check the system to ensure it was installed correctly and complies with all building and electrical codes. 
  • Utility Interconnection: Your utility company will also need to inspect the system and install a net meter. Once this is done, your system can be connected to the grid. 

Solar Access and Solar Rights

In addition to building regulations, you should also be aware of laws related to solar access and solar rights. Solar access laws protect homeowners’ right to access sunlight, while solar rights laws prohibit restrictions on solar panel installations. 

These laws vary by state and even by city, so it’s important to check the rules in your area. Some states have solar access laws that protect homeowners’ rights to install solar panels and ensure access to sunlight. Meanwhile, some cities and homeowners’ associations (HOAs) may have restrictions on where and how solar panels can be installed. 


Ensure safety, functionality, and aesthetic compatibility. As a homeowner, it’s essential to understand and comply with these rules before and during your solar panel installation. Doing so can help you avoid any legal troubles and ensure your installation process is smooth and successful. 

However, navigating these rules can be complex, especially as they can vary widely depending on your location. In this regard, working with a knowledgeable and experienced solar installer can be highly beneficial. They can guide you through the process, handle the necessary paperwork, and ensure your system complies with all relevant codes and regulations. 

Additionally, be aware of your solar rights and any solar access laws in your region. These can protect your right to install and use solar panels, and may help to counteract any local restrictions that might otherwise impede your solar project. 

In conclusion, while solar panel building regulations may seem daunting at first, they should not deter you from pursuing a solar installation. The benefits of solar energy – from reducing your energy bills to lowering your environmental footprint – are well worth navigating these rules. By understanding the regulatory landscape and seeking appropriate professional guidance, you can join the growing number of homeowners harnessing the power of the sun. 

Share this Blog:


Recent Blogs

Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


Solgen Power is a solar energy contractor that sells and installs solar for homeowners. Solgen Power has been recognized by INC. 5000 as one of the fastest growing companies in the nation. Solgen Power has grown nationwide and continues to provide excellent customer service to homeowners.

Solgen Power LLC BBB Business Review



Headquarters Location

5715 Bedford Street
Pasco, WA 99301

Copyright © 2022 Solgen Power, All Rights Reserved

Copyright © 2022 Solgen Power, All Rights Reserved