Solar Panels

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 building's 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 The HUB as an Alteration Type-2. 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 electric (photovoltaic or PV) projects must file for an ED16A Form: Electrical Permit Application, which may be filed online, in person by a licensed NYC Master Electrician, or by mail.
  • All solar hot water (thermal) projects must file for a Plumbing Permit.
  • All PV projects pursuing a solar Property Tax Abatement (PTA4) must be filed online through The HUB using Professional Certification of Objections and Directive 14. Solar hot water projects currently do not qualify for the Property Tax Abatement (PTA).
  • For projects not pursuing a Solar Property Tax Abatement (PTA), the following options are available for submitting building permit applications (including solar hot water):
    • Full Plan Review- File a Plan/Work Approval Application (PW1) application in person at a Borough Office (recommended for complex installations) or online through The HUB
    • 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

Solar Inspections

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 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 HUB.

Applications for a solar tax abatement require that the eligible expenditures of the solar electric generating system are disclosed. The solar electric generating system compliance period is the tax year in which the property tax abatement commences and the three tax year immediately thereafter. (Tax years begin July 1 and end the following June 30.)

Additional Resources

  • Installing Solar and Green Roof Systems
    To see Installing Green Roof and Solar Systems flyer in one of the requisite citywide languages, please email The translated flyers will be available on this website soon.