Solar technologies can capture a reliable, renewable source of energy that reduces demand on New York City's electrical grid and reliance on other fuel sources. Solar panels can generate electricity, capture and store thermal energy and they may even take the place of more conventional building materials.
Before installing a solar hot-water or a solar electric-generating system, also known as photovoltaics, you must hire a Professional Engineer or Registered Architect to be sure your buildings structural system can maintain the weight of the equipment. Permits are required for the installation of all building-connected solar energy systems.
Filing for a Permit for Solar Installations
There are several options for filing solar energy projects at the Department of Buildings. Projects may be filed as part of another New Building or Alteration permit application. They may also be filed separately through the borough offices or through the Development Hub. Complete applications can typically be reviewed in five to ten days. Large or complex projects may require more review time. Some applications may be processed the same day or within twenty-four hours, depending on the filing process utilized. For additional information on how to file, applicants and owners are encouraged to review the following:
- All solar projects must file for an Electrical Permit (Form ED16A), which may be filed online, in person, or by mail.
- All projects pursuing a solar Property Tax Abatement (PTA) must be filed online through the DOB Development Hub, using Professional Certification of Objections.
- For a plan review from the Buildings Department, applicants may file using one of the following options:
- Full Plan Review- File an application in person at a Borough Office (recommended for complex installations)
- Professional Certification Of Objections/Self Cert- File an application in person at a Borough Office
- Same Day Review (Directive 14) - Consult with your borough office for their Same Day Review requirements.
- For applicants that do not wish to request a plan review from the Buildings Department, plans may be certified by the Registered Design Professional. These applications are subject to audit.
- Hub Self Service-Professional Certification- File an application Online
- Professional Certification- File an application in person at Borough Office
The Department of Buildings requires inspections for all solar installations that require a permit. Review the following inspection guide to know what to expect during inspections.
Solar Solar Inspections Fact Sheet (PDF)
Solar Panel Tax Abatement
New York City offers property tax abatements to property owners that install solar electric-generating systems (photovoltaic solar panels) on their buildings. In order to pursue the property tax abatement, projects must be filed along with a PTA4 Application at the DOB Development Hub.
Download the PTA4 Form - Rev. 8/09
Download the PTA4 Instructions