You need an Electrical Permit to install, alter, renew, replace, or repair solar panels. You may also require a separate Building Permit.
The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) issues Electrical and Building permits to install solar panels.
Certain solar panel installations are eligible for an EZ permit. You will only require an Electrical Permit and do not require a separate Building Permit.
No plans are required for an EZ permit.
Projects meeting the following criteria are eligible for an EZ permit:
- Solar panels will be installed on the roof of a one-or-two family dwelling.
- The property is not included on the Philadelphia Historic Registry.
- The installation complies with the PV System Standard.
You must submit a separate application to PECO for interconnection with the power grid.
Any property owner or their authorized agent can apply for this permit. Authorized agents may include:
- Licensed electrical contractor.
- PA design professional.
- Licensed expediter.
Application must include complete scope of work and current owner information.
- If the property was recently sold, submit a copy of the settlement sheet or deed with application.
- You must apply for all permits under the legal address established by the Office of Property Assessment (OPA).
- If you are filing the application under the Solar PV System Standard, you must note it on the application.
A licensed electrical contractor must perform all electrical work. The contractor must:
- Have an active license.
- Be current on all City of Philadelphia taxes.
- Have current insurance on file with L&I.
If anyone other than the electrical contractor applies, the application must be accompanied by a signed statement on the electrical contractor’s letterhead confirming their association with the project.
Third-party inspection services
The owner or the owner’s agent must hire a licensed electrical inspection agency to perform all inspections.
If your application requires plans, they must follow plan requirements.
Forms and documents
- A copy of the contract between the owner or owner’s agent and the licensed electrical contractor must be submitted before the permit is issued.
- You must submit a separate tabulation of array and inverter costs if you don’t want to include these costs in the permit fee calculation.
- Must submit a copy of the PECO Interconnection Application
- If the application is filed under the Solar PV System Standard, a copy of the signed standard must be submitted.
For historic properties
You need approval from
The Historical Commission
You must have this approval in order to apply. L&I will refuse your permit application without Historical Commission approval. See how to get approval for work to a historic property.
You’ll need your plans with stamped approval from the Historical Commission before you make your application at the Permit and License Center in the MSB.
Submit your stamped plan as proof of approval when making your application.
Upload all plans and materials required by the Philadelphia Historical Commission when you apply for your permit in eCLIPSE.
The Historical Commission will perform its review electronically and provide approval directly to L&I.
Where and when
Permit and License Center
1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
MSB, Public Service Concourse
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Office hours: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
Offices close at noon on the last Wednesday of each month.
You can apply online using eCLIPSE.
Fee types that may apply
- One-or-two-family dwellings: $25
- All other occupancy types: $100
This payment will be credited towards the final permit fee.
This fee is nonrefundable and must be turned in with your application.
- The Electrical permit fee is $25 per $1000 or fraction thereof of project labor and equipment costs. Array and inverter costs are not included in the fee calculation.
- City surcharge: $3 per permit
- State surcharge $4.50 per permit
Record retention fee
- $4 per plan
Accelerated Plan Review fee (optional)
Applications for new construction that include plans are eligible for expedited review. Accelerated applications are reviewed within 5 business days.
- Fee: $1050
- $350 is due when you apply. You must pay the remainder once approved.
To apply, fill out an Accelerated Plan Review application and submit with your permit application. Accelerated review fees will not be credited toward your final permit fee.
Payment methods and details
Accepted payment methods
|Online through the eCLIPSE application
(There is a $200,000 limit for online payments.)
|In person at the Permit and License Center in the Municipal Services Building||
|In person at the Cashier’s Station in the Municipal Services Building
(Items paid at the Cashier’s Station will be mailed within five business days.)
Checks and money orders
- Make all checks and money orders payable to the “City of Philadelphia.”
- The individual or company listed on the check must be listed on the application.
- Personal checks are accepted.
- Checks and money orders must have issue dates within 12 months of the transaction.
Reasons your check may be rejected
L&I will not accept checks that are missing depository information or are:
- Starter checks without account info
Returned payment policy
If your check is returned unpaid for insufficient or uncollected funds:
- You authorize the City of Philadelphia or its agent to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account to collect a fee of $20.
- The City of Philadelphia or its agent may re-present your check electronically to your depository institution for payment.
You can apply for this permit in person at the Permit and License Center or online using eCLIPSE.
The application type determines how long it will take to issue your permit.
- Applications adhering to the Solar PV System Standard: within 3 business days
- Other applications for a one-or-two family dwelling: within 15 business days
- All other applications: within 20 business days
If not approved, the applicant will receive an email stating what is missing or required.
Before a permit may be issued, the contractor must be identified and confirm association with the project.
Contact your licensed electrical inspection agency when your contractor is ready to start work.
A Certificate of Approval will be issued upon successful completion of all required inspections
If applying as a licensed professional or contractor, you must first associate your license or registration with your online account.
- If you are filing the Electrical permit adhering to the Solar PV System Standard, you must select ‘Comply with EZ standard’ and upload a copy of the PECO app.
- Before a permit can be issued, the contractor must be identified and confirm association with the project.
- Applications with plans are processed within 20 days business days.
- The applicant can accelerate the application for an additional fee. Accelerated applications are reviewed within 5 business days.
- Applications without plans, adhering to the Solar PV System Standard: within 3 business days.
- Some permits may be issued immediately if the application is made by the contractor. This includes permits for rough-in approvals and telecommunications.
When the contractor is ready to start work, request an inspection through eCLIPSE or by calling (215) 255-4040.
Approval documents will be issued upon successful completion of all required inspections.