What is the rooftop solar permitting process for residential & commercial installations in Oberlin? Click the appropriate tab below to find out more:
You will need to submit building and electrical plans of your proposed solar array stamped by a design professional (engineer or architect licensed by the State of Ohio) along with your permit application. If you need to find a solar installer, the City of Oberlin has compiled a list of installers who have installed solar PV in Oberlin. The list can be found on the card at the top if this page.
Apply for an Interconnection Meter and Agreement with Oberlin Municipal Light and Power (OMLPS). Call OMLPS for details & forms (440) 775-7261.
Turn in your building permit application with the required drawings and your Interconnection Meter and Agreement Application to the City of Oberlin Building Office, 69 S. Main Street, Oberlin, Ohio 44074. You may also submit your applications and information electronically using the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your applications and information will be reviewed by the appropriate City staff. You will be notified by the Building Office if any additional information is needed in order to issue your permits. Complete applications will be reviewed within 3 business days of receipt. You will be notified via telephone when the review of your applications is complete and permits can be issued. Building permits will be issued by the City of Oberlin Building Office when you pay the building permit fees and the fee for a new bi-directional electric meter which will need to be installed in order to receive net billing credit on your electric bill after your solar PV is connected to OMLPS. Your contractor must also be a registered contractor with the City of Oberlin in order to do construction work in the City.
When building permits are issued, the Building Office will inform you what inspections are required during the construction process for the scope of work you are undertaking. Normally, for residential rooftop solar installations, a “rough-in” and a “final” building inspection and a “rough-in” and a “final” electrical inspection are required.
Required inspections during the course of construction work can be scheduled through the City of Oberlin Building Office by calling 440-775-7182 at least 24 hours in advance. When the solar PV installation has passed all of its inspections, the Building Office will notify OMLPS. OMLPS will contact you to sign the Interconnection Agreement.
Once the Interconnection Agreement is signed, OMLPS will install a bi-directional meter on your residence. After the meter is installed, your installer may turn the power on to your new solar PV array.
What are the permit fees for a residential rooftop solar PV installation?
The following permit fees will need to be paid prior to building permits being issued for your rooftop solar PV array. Building permit fees are based on the size of your solar PV array:
- Plan Review Fee: $100 plus $4.00 per 100 square feet
- Building Permit Fee: $100 plus $10.00 per 100 square feet
- Electrical Permit Fee: $100 flat fee
- Bi-directional Meter Fee: The fee for a new electric meter which allows for net billing is $180. This is to be paid along with your building permit fees.
How long will it take me to obtain my building permits for a residential solar PV installation?
Normally, it takes approximately 3 business days to turnaround the building permit plan review for a residential solar PV installation. The maximum timeframe would be 5 business days.
How do I schedule an inspection for a rooftop solar PV installation – commercial or residential?
To schedule an inspection, call the City of Oberlin Building Office at 440-775-7182, giving a minimum 24-hour notice. The City’s inspectors must conduct an inspection within 48 hours. An inspection appointment time will be given by the inspector so you will know a definite time he or she will be at your residence.
How do I connect my rooftop solar PV to the Oberlin Municipal Light and Power System grid – residential or commercial?
After your rooftop solar PV array has passed all building inspections, the City of Oberlin Building Office will notify Oberlin Municipal Light and Power System (OMLPS) that your solar PV array is ready to “plug-in” to the electric grid. OMLPS will contact you to sign an Interconnection Agreement. After that agreement is signed, OMLPS will install a bi-directional meter on your residence/building which will allow for net billing. Power can then be turned on to your solar PV array by your solar installer.
What do I do if my home is designated as a City historic landmark?
If your home is on the City historic landmarks list, prior to obtaining building permits you will need to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness for any solar PV installation which would be an exterior alteration to your house. The City of Oberlin Historic Preservation Commission is the City commission which grants Certificates of Appropriateness. The application form can be found here. Guidelines for the installation of solar PV on historic properties can be found here. Additional tips on how to maintain an historic house sustainably can be found here.