NEW: SolarAPP+ for Streamlined Solar Panel Permitting

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The City of Houston has partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to introduce SolarAPP+, a plan review software designed to simplify obtaining a permit for rooftop solar installations. Following thorough testing to ensure it meets Houston’s unique local environment, the Houston Permitting Center will allow licensed contractors registered as installers with SolarAPP+ and the City of Houston to use the app for quick and easy processing of Solar Photovoltaic (PV) applications without needing traditional plan review beginning July 15, 2024.


What SolarAPP+ Does  

The goal of SolarAPP+ is to:  

  • Streamline the process for checking building codes.  
  • Accelerate the granting of solar panel permits. 
  • Increase overall efficiency for eligible rooftop solar systems.   

This means that licensed contractors and installers can acquire their solar PV permits much faster, making the overall approval process smoother and more efficient in completing solar projects.   

Important to Know  

Projects located in areas where the basic wind speed design is 140 mph or greater, also known as a windborne debris region, are not eligible for SolarAPP+ and must submit their plan for review using the traditional submittal process.  


Registering SolarAPP+  

If your solar panel company is interested in registering, follow the steps below:  

  • First, make sure your company electrical contractors are licensed by the State of Texas and registered with the City of Houston.  
  • Second, contact Maher Khansa at [email protected] to obtain registration details.  


How to Use SolarAPP+  

  1. Submit your project details through the SolarAPP+ application. 
  2. Confirmation will be sent to you through email. 
  3. Upload confirmation to the city’s iPermits system (The confirmation email will serve as proof that your solar project has been designed to meet Houston's adopted Construction Code.) 
    1. Note: ONLY licensed contractor who have registered as an installer with SolarAPP+ and the City of Houston can utilize the application 

For more information on solar panel permits and the integration process of SolarAPP+ with Houston’s permitting process, visit Houston Permitting Center - Solar Permits. Additional information on the SolarAPP+ software can be found on NREL’s website at NREL - SolarAPP+.   


Updated: 6/13/2024