Main page content begins here

Read about up-to-date COVID-19 related service adjustments for development, permit, licensing, and construction & inspection services.

Renewable energy systems make use of innovative technologies to collect, generate, store and use energy from non-depleting alternative sources such as wind, solar or geothermal.

About this Service

Permits are required to install systems such as Solar Photovoltaic (PV), Solar Thermal or a GeoExchange system.  Application review and approval by the City is required.

About Solar Photovoltaic (PV)

This is a system that converts sunlight into electricity. Photovoltaic solar panels are mounted on a framing system or flush with the surface of the building (either the roof or an exterior wall surface as allowed under the Land Use Bylaw) to capture sunlight.

The panels are wired to the home's electrical panel and may supply all or a portion of the total electricity consumption. The surplus electricity may be stored in a battery array for future use, or be fed back into the grid. 

These systems are also called micro-generation systems and are governed under the micro-generation regulations by the Government of Alberta, which allow Albertans to generate their own environmentally-friendly electricity and receive credit for any power they send into the electricity grid. In Edmonton, compliance with this regulation requires an application with EPCOR.

Review and approval from the City’s Development, Electrical, and Building Safety sections is required.

About Solar Thermal (Fluids)

Solar Thermal systems capture solar energy through collectors on the exterior of the building to heat air or water for use in the mechanical equipment of a building. An example would be using solar energy to heat domestic hot water for use in plumbing fixtures instead of using natural gas or electricity. Solar energy may be transmitted directly to the heat transfer medium (direct system) or through a heat exchanger (indirect system).

Review and approval from the City’s Development, Mechanical, Electrical, and Building Safety sections is required.
 

About GeoExchange System

A GeoExchange System, or geothermal system, is a closed loop network of piping in the ground which circulates fluid allowing for heat transfer between a building HVAC system and the earth.  A GeoExchange system can improve the energy efficiency of building heating and cooling systems through the use of a heat pump which can be more efficient than heating and cooling equipment in traditional HVAC systems. 

A GeoExchange system itself does not require a development permit if it meets the exemptions of Edmonton Zoning Bylaw Section 12. An applicant is, however, obligated to conform with all other legislation (eg. Municipal Government Act), bylaws (eg. Safety Codes Permit Bylaw),  land title instruments (eg. caveats, covenants, or easements attached to the site as noted in Zoning Bylaw Section 5.2), and any requirements for projects within the River Valley and Ravine System (Zoning Bylaw Section 14.1). 

Review and approval from the Mechanical, Electrical, and Building Safety sections is required.

Application Requirements

Requirements for Solar Photovoltaic (PV)
Site Plan
  • Site Plan/Real Property Report or aerial screenshot showing: 
    • All existing and proposed structures, and their distances to property lines
    • Proposed panel device dimensions in relation to existing and proposed structures 
    • Location of the electrical meter socket
Elevation Drawing
  • Show building height
  • Show the perpendicular distance of the panel from the surface of the building to the outermost portion of the panels
Structural, Engineering and Systems Documents 
  • A ‘Single Line Diagram’, showing: 
    • Module brand, model, certification mark, quantity, combined STC output, and location
    • Service entrance information: line phase, voltage, wire service provider
    • All bonding and grounding conductors, and system grounding electrodes
    • All sub and main panel bus bar ratings and feeder breaker sizes
    • DC and AC disconnect locations on site
    • Minimum conductor size and conductor length
    • Inverter brand, model, certification mark, quantity, individual and combined output rating (current voltage, voltage, and power), and their locations
    • Combiner box details, with fuse ratings where applicable
    • Solar array DC circuit rating per module for micro-inverters or DC Optimizers, or combined string ratings, at Standard Testing Conditions: Voltage Open Circuit, Maximum Power Voltage, Maximum Power Current, show number of modules per string
  • Plans, specifications, drawings or tear sheets, with CSA certification or sealed by an Alberta-registered engineering professional, of: 
    • The proposed solar panels/microgeneration system devices
    • Connection of panels/system devices to rack system
    • Connection of rack system to roof
    • Roof structure changes to be made to support the panels/system devices unless roof truss capacity for panels/devices is clearly marked on the roof layout by the roof truss supplier as capable of supporting the intended panel loading

See Standata, for discussion of rodent protection recommendations.

Requirements for Solar Thermal (Fluids)
Site Plan
  • Site Plan/Real Property Report or aerial screenshot showing: 
    • All existing and proposed structures, and their distances to property lines
    • Proposed panel device dimensions in relation to existing and proposed structures
Elevation Drawing
  • Show building height
  • Show the perpendicular distance of the panel from the surface of the building to the outermost portion of the panels
Structural, Engineering and Systems Documents 
  • Plans, specifications or drawings, sealed by an Alberta-registered engineering professional, indicating:
    • Schematic arrangement and equipment including, but not limited to:
      • Boilers, pumps, expansion tanks, zone controls, mixing valves 
      • Connected components such as supplementary baseboard and/or fan-coil units, water heater, etc.
    • Location of all included piping and heat terminal units (for example baseboard heaters, radiators, fan-coil units, etc.)
    • Operating parameters for supply and return water temperatures, design flow rates and heat output coefficient of individual piping loops 
    • Room by room heat loss calculations
  • Submit also duly-signed A-2, B-1, and B-2 professional schedules for the registered engineering professional(s), except not required for residential buildings governed by NBC(AE) Sections 9.32 and 9.33.
Requirements for GeoExchange
Site Plan
  • Site Plan/Real Property Report or aerial screenshot showing: 
    • All existing and proposed structures, and their distances to property lines,  and existing and proposed underground services
    • GeoExchange system layout
Structural, Engineering and Systems Documents 
  • Bore field design, sealed by an Alberta-registered engineering professional, indicating: 
    • Number, depth, diameter, and spacing of bores
    • Types of piping, fluid and grout
    • Heating and cooling capacity (Peak Hour and Annual Rejected/Extracted Energy) 
    • CSA C448.​1​ compliance for non-residential buildings OR 
    • CSA C448.2 compliance for residential buildings
  • Copy of installer’s accreditation certificate from 
    • Canadian GeoExchange Coalition (CGC), OR 
    • International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA)
  • Submit also duly-signed A-2, B-1, and B-2 professional schedules for the registered engineering professional(s), except not required for residential buildings governed by NBC(AE) Sections 9.32 and 9.33

Submit Your Application

Fees

Effective January 1, 2021

Development fees are found in 2021 Development Permit Fees.

The 2021 Building Permit and Safety Codes Fees shows fees associated with various permit types. 

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Permit and Inspection Process

Step 1: Apply for permits for a PV system installation under the appropriate permit type, ensuring inclusion of PV in the description of proposed work when prompted:

An electrical permit application must be included as part of any of these applications. It is not to be applied for separately; no fee refunds will be made if a stand-alone trade permit is applied for when trade permits should be included as part of the building permit project. Each bi-directional meter requires an electrical permit.

Step 2: Follow the EPCOR micro-generation process, which includes submission of a Generation Project Notice to EPCOR at distgen@epcor.com EPCOR will prepare an Interconnection Agreement for system-owner signature.  

Step 3: Begin work on the system only after the Interconnection Agreement is returned to EPCOR and all required permits are issued by the City of Edmonton. 

Step 4: Request final/service inspection by the City of Edmonton for each permit issued for each bi-directional meter.

Step 5: Forward the successful electrical inspection report in PDF format to EPCOR at distgen@epcor.com to arrange bi-directional meter installation by EPCOR. 

Solar Thermal (Fluids) Permit and Inspection Process

Step 1: Apply for permits for a solar thermal system installation under the appropriate permit type, ensuring inclusion of solar thermal in the description of proposed work when prompted:

  • As part of a New House Permit application for a new single detached, semi-detached, row house or garden suite house;
  • Home Improvement Permit application, in the case of an existing single detached house, or a single address on a semi-detached house or row house; 

An HVAC permit, a plumbing permit, and an electrical permit application must be included as part of any of these applications. They are not to be applied for separately; no fee refunds will be made  if a stand-alone trade permit is applied for when trade permits should be included as part of the building permit project.

Step 2: Begin work on the system only after the City of Edmonton has issued the required permits following satisfactory review of the application.

Step 3: Request final inspections by the City of Edmonton for each permit issued. 

GeoExchange Permit and Inspection Process

Step 1: Apply for permits for a GeoExchange system installation under the appropriate permit type, ensuring inclusion of GeoExchange in the description of proposed work when prompted:

An HVAC permit, a plumbing permit, and an electrical permit application must be included as part of any of these applications. They are not to be applied for separately; no fee refunds will be made if a stand-alone trade permit is applied for when trade permits should be applied for as part of the building permit project.

Step 2: Begin work on the system only after the City of Edmonton has issued the required permits following satisfactory review of the application.
Step 3: Request final inspections by the City of Edmonton for each permit issued.

After You Apply

Application Processing

City staff will review your application to ensure your project complies with the City of Edmonton Zoning Bylaw and applicable Safety Codes.
Application processing times vary. See up-to-date processing times for building permits and inspections
City staff may request additional information at various stages of the Development Permit and Building Permit process. To learn how to reply to a more information request in selfserve.edmonton.ca, see the More Information Requested (MIR) Guide.   
 

Changing Your Application or Permit

To make changes:

  • Before a Development Permit or Building Permit is issued, consult the City staff assigned to your file.  
  • After a Home Improvement permit is issued, consult the permit issuer to request a revision.
  • After a House or Commercial Permit is issued, request Permit Revisions in selfserve.edmonton.ca

Additional charges may apply for revisions. 

To cancel your application, email the Cancellation/Refund Request form to the person who is handling your application.

Requesting Your Mandatory Inspections

The permit holder must request inspections online at selfserve.edmonton.ca.

To learn more, visit Safety Codes Inspection Services.

Related Links

Edmonton residential solar PV rebate program Change Homes for Climate

EPCOR: Generating Your Own Energy

Visit the Solar Alberta for technical information, examples of installed systems and details on solar energy providers.
 

For More Information

Edmonton Service Centre

2nd Floor, 10111 104 Avenue NW 
Edmonton, AB T5J 0J4
Hours of Operation:
Temporarily Closed
Telephone

In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

End of page content. Please choose between the following five options:

Back to main menu Back to current page menu and content View current page breadcrumb Back to site search Continue to page footer content