Project Requirements for Owner: Solar Energy

Work you can do without a permit, Registered Design Professional or Licensed Contractor

No Solar work can be performed without a work permit, hiring a Licensed Contractor, or a Registered Design Professional, except solar landscape lights do not require permits and can be installed by a building owner, per the NYC Construction Codes.

Work you can do without a permit

NYC Administrative Code 28-105.4 clarifies work exempt from permit, which does not absolve work from compliance with any other law or rules enforced by the Department. Owners are obligated to comply with requirements of other city agencies. Unless otherwise indicated, permits shall not be required for the following:

  • Ordinary Plumbing Work.  AC 28-105.4.4 lists work considered ordinary maintenance and repair, including allowable replacement/relocation of plumbing, gas piping, equipment and components, which must be performed by a Licensed Master Plumber.

  • Emergency Work.  AC 28-105.4.1 clarifies Emergency Work as work otherwise requiring a permit, performed to relieve an emergency condition. Licensed specialized Skilled Trades may perform emergency work prior to getting a permit as long as it is submitted within two (2) business days after work commences and includes a description of the emergency condition and mitigating measures taken. Solar Energy System emergency work may include:

    • Temporary construction to protect the public from an unsafe condition

    • Structural stabilization

  • Minor Alterations and Ordinary Repairs.  AC 28-105.4.2 defines minor alterations and ordinary repairs for which a permit is not required and work not considered as such.

  • Geotechnical Investigations.  AC 28-105.4.6 and BC 1802.4.

When you need to hire a professional and obtain a permit

Licensed Electrician

Electrical repairs to an existing solar system can be performed by a NYC Licensed Electrical Contractor without input from a Registered Design Professional.

When you need to hire a Registered Design Professional and Licensed Tradesman/Contractor to obtain a permit

A Registered Design Professional (licensed Professional Engineer or Registered Architect) must prepare and submit construction documents to the Department, including a structural analysis to determine if existing structure can support the added solar panel weight, and must perform final inspection to confirm Code-compliance, per NYC Construction Codes, NYC Electrical Code, NYC Fire Code, NYC Energy Conservation Code, NYC Zoning Resolution. Solar panel installation and its associated electrical work is performed by different specialized licensed trades to which permits are issued separately, e.g. an electrical work permit, filed by a NYC Licensed Electrician, must be obtained prior to performing any electrical work, per NYC Construction Codes.

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Additional Requirements

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