Solar panels

Building permits are required for any solar panel installations that are:

  • more than 5 sq.m (54 sq.ft) in total area and installed on a building, or
  • designed to provide hot water, or
  • designed to provide primary or supplementary heating

Permits are not required for ground mounted solar panel systems that are not connected to water or heating sources.

Forms

You need a set of drawings and the following forms to make an application:

Requirements

Designer qualifications - small buildings

Qualified individuals who may design a residential deck:

  • professional engineers must design and perform field review of the installation of the solar panel systems on a roof constructed of engineered trusses
  • a BCIN designer, qualified in structural design or a professional engineer, may design and perform field review of the installation of solar panel systems on a conventional framed roof

Drawings and documentation - small buildings

Drawings you submit must include:

  • roof plan showing roof framing and location/dimensions of the panels and the rack connection location
  • a section detail showing connection of the panels to the roof system
  • mechanical drawings where connection to HVAC or water is proposed
  • roof loading calculations stamped by the engineer or registered BCIN designer
  • manufacturer data for the proposed product

Designer qualifications - large buildings

Qualified individuals who may design a residential deck:

  • professional engineers must design and perform field reviews of the installation of the solar panel system

Drawings and documentation - large buildings

Drawings you submit must include:

  • roof plan showing roof framing and location/dimensions of the panels and the rack connection location
  • a section detail showing connection of the panels to the roof system
  • electrical drawings
  • mechanical drawings where connection to HVAC or water is proposed
  • roof loading calculations stamped by the engineer
  • manufacturer data for the proposed product

Application process

Prior to submission, ensure that all necessary and applicable permissions and approvals are met.

A complete application must be submitted with all the required forms, documents and applicable drawings. Building permit fees (see below) are required at the time of submission. Additional fees such as development charges and parkland will be calculated and invoiced at permit issuance.  

In person

Bring forms and/or digital copies to the IPPW counter on the second floor of city hall. We're open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.

We accept cash, cheque payable to the City of Waterloo, or debit.

By mail

Send forms and/or digital copies and a cheque payable to the City of Waterloo to:

City of Waterloo 
Building Standards
100 Regina St. S.
PO Box 337 STN Waterloo
Waterloo, ON
N2J 4A8

By email 

Send digital forms to building@waterloo.ca (attachment limit is 10MB total). Submissions larger than 10MB can be uploaded through 2Big4Email.

Submit payment:

  • in person at the IPPW counter on the second floor of city hall (cash, cheque payable to the City of Waterloo, or debit accepted)
  • by mail - send cheque payable to the City of Waterloo to:

City of Waterloo 
Building Standards
100 Regina St. S.
PO Box 337 STN Waterloo
Waterloo, ON
N2J 4A8

Note that for email submissions, the permit application will not be accepted until payment is made.

Submission requirements

Digital copies are required for most permit applications. Digital copies are optional for decks, sheds and small residential renovations.

Digital files must be in PDF and complete with a digital signature with BCIN declaration and/or an architect/engineer stamp as applicable.

Submitted files must not be secured or password protected. Files must be extractable.

If submitting by email, send to building@waterloo.ca (attachment limit is 10MB total). Submissions larger than 10MB can be uploaded through 2Big4Email.

If submitting on a digital storage device, use a rewritable disk (DVD-RW or DVD+RW) or a USB memory stick.

Fees

Panel type Fee
System on house or small buildings connected only to electricity $75.00
System on small buildings connected to plumbing or heating $150.00
Panels on large buildings connected to electricity, plumbing or heating $250.00

Timeline to review application

Building type Fee
Houses - singles, semis, and townhouses 10 business days
Small buildings 15 business days
Large buildings 20 business days

Other contacts