November 9, 2022

Permitting Solar on Properties with Unpermitted Structures

Find out how to permit solar on structures that were constructed or modified without appropriate building permits or building records.

What do you do when a property owner applies for a permit for a solar photovoltaic (PV) project on an existing structure and then discovers during the review process that the structure is out of compliance?

This informational bulletin offers a step-by-step guide to obtain solar project permits in keeping with pertinent codes and standards.

SEAC’s Unpermitted Structures working group developed this informational bulletin to suggest pathways to permitting based on two scenarios. In one case, the unpermitted structure is the site of the proposed PV system. In another, the unpermitted structure is on the premises but is not the site of the proposed system.

The Permitting Solar on Properties with Unpermitted Structures informational bulletin can help inform building officials, solar contractors, property owners, and other stakeholders. SEAC published the document in March 2022.

SEAC makes this informational bulletin publicly accessible to anyone who fills in the download form on this page. Your privacy is important to us. We do not sell or share your personal data.


This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) under the Solar Energy and Technologies Office Award Number DE-EE0009002.0001. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Department of Energy or the United States Government.