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Office of the City Representative
Solar Installation Guidebook
The Philadelphia Solar Photovoltaic (PV) and Water Heating (SWH) Installation Guidebooks were developed with funding provided by the Department of Energy through the Solar America Cities Program. Philadelphia was selected as a Solar America City in 2008.

In August 2011, the City of Philadelphia, with the help of PECO, the Department of Licenses and Inspections, and the Academy of Natural Sciences hosted information sessions on the Solar Installation PV Guidebook.  The presentations and video below will help you understand the guidebook. 
PECO’s Interconnection process for solar presentation.
L&I’s Building, Zoning, and Electrical Information presentation.
Watch the Video.

In October 2011, the City of Philadelphia received additional funding to develop a Solar Installation Water Heating Guidebook.
Click on the image below to download a copy of either the Solar Photovoltaic or Solar Water Heating Guidebook and find important information about installing solar in Philadelphia.  

Guidebook Update!
PermitClick here to download the second edition of the Philadelphia Solar PV Installation Guidebook, updated in March 2011.  
If your project meets criteria outlined in the guidebook, you can apply for a streamlined solar PV permit that meets both electrical and building permit requirements.
What's in the Guidebooks?

The guidebook is organized into the following sections:

  • Introduction
  • Solar Basics
  • System Design Considerations (technical & design aspects of solar system implementation)
  • Process Overview (codes, permitting and utility requirements)
  • Incentives and Benefits

These guidebooks are intended to serve as a reference for project developers, property owners, financiers, and contractors who are considering solar projects within the City of Philadelphia. They answer many questions including:

  • Who can install a solar system within the city of Philadelphia?
  • What should I consider before installing a PV system?
  • What permits will be required and when?
  • Who do I need to contact before installing a system?
  • What incentives are available for solar systems?

Frequently Asked Questions and resources are also included.

The City of Philadelphia is committed to encouraging safe, reliable, and well-designed solar installations to support the Greenworks goal of purchasing and generating 20% of electricity used in Philadelphia from alternative energy sources by 2015.