Solar energy initiatives


The Office of Sustainability (OOS) works to address solar soft costs like permit processes, provides information on solar energy, and evaluates solar opportunities in municipal buildings. In 2008, Philadelphia was named a Solar America City by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Through this effort, the City of Philadelphia worked to advance the adoption of solar energy technologies by removing regulatory barriers and reducing the soft costs (such as permitting fees) of solar development. With funding from this project, OOS worked with industry stakeholders to develop a guidebook outlining a simplified permitting process for new projects.

Solar panels

In 2012, OOS worked with City Council to pass legislation that significantly reduced the cost of solar permitting. The City continues to work with solar developers and PECO to ensure that existing policies and processes are up-to-date.

In spring of 2017, the City achieved SolSmart Gold designation. The DOE’s SolSmart program is a national recognition and a no-cost technical assistance program for local governments designed to drive greater solar deployment.

Permitting References for Solar Projects in Philadelphia: