Program Solar Construction Permitting Standards
Category Regulatory Policy
Implementing sector State
Last Update
State Colorado
Technologies Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Solar Photovoltaics
Sectors Residential

Owners of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, solar water heating systems, geothermal electric systems, and geothermal space heating and cooling systems in Colorado are required to obtain a building permit before their systems may be installed. Permits are handled at the local level and awarded by counties and municipalities.

In effective August 10, 2022 the legislature enacted a statewide cap for permit fees for active solar energy and geothermal energy devices. For systems up to 2 MW-DC, counties and municipalities can charge no more than the lesser of the local government's actual cost to issue a permit or $500 for a residential application and $1,000 for a nonresidential application. For systems 2 MW-DC or larger, the local government can charge no more than what it actually costs the government to issue the permit. City and county permits combined may be larger than these limits but cannot individually exceed the limits. The same fee restrictions have also applied to agencies, institutions, authorities, and political subdivisions of the state since 2011.

An "active solar energy system" means a single system that contains electric generation, a thermal device, or is an energy storage system.

A “geothermal energy system” means a system that uses geothermal energy for water heating or space heating or cooling in a single building, for space heating for more than one building through a pipeline network, or for electricity generation.

The expiration date for the statutes that cap permitting fees is December 31st, 2029. 

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