Welcome to the City of Norfolk’s Solar Resource Webpage. This webpage represents a collection of solar information and resources for our community.
The City of Norfolk’s solar goals can be found in our Climate Action Plan.
For more information about the basics of solar energy, your solar options, and questions to ask solar professionals, read the Residential Consumer Guide to Solar Power and visit the Department of Energy’s Homeowner’s Guide to Going Solar.
Norfolk is proud to be a SolSmart Silver city. The City earned this designation and recognition by implementing best practices to make it easier for residents and businesses to install and access solar energy.
Our Solar Commitment
The City of Norfolk’s Building and Zoning Departments are committed to exceptional customer service as it relates to solar permitting. To promote the continued advancement of solar in our community we are committed to the following:
- Residential solar permit applications will receive a streamlined review. You can apply for a building permit online by using City of Norfolk’s Online E-Permitting Portal https://norfolkvapermits.force.com/s/login/
- Our staff is committed to a “less than three-business day” turnaround time for small rooftop solar PV permit applications.
- Only one inspection is required for roof top solar projects. We are committed to providing inspections within 48 hours of the request. Under normal conditions inspections typically occur within 24 hours of the request.
- Zoning: Norfolk Zoning Ordinance 5.11.11
SOLAR ENERGY COLLECTION FACILITY, SMALL -SCALE
A small-scale solar energy collection facility shall comply with the following standards:
A. The facility shall comply with the maximum height standards for the zoning district in which it is located, provided that a roof-mounted system shall not extend more than 15 feet above the roofline of the structure on which it is mounted.
B. Where an existing structure exceeds the applicable height limit, a solar energy collection facility may be located on its roof irrespective of applicable height standards, provided the system extends no more than five feet above the roof surface.
C. The landowner shall be responsible for negotiating with other land owners in the vicinity to establish any solar easements designed to protect solar access for the solar energy collection facility, and for recording any such solar easement with the land records of the city.
Solar Energy Resources
Solar energy uses a renewable energy source – the sun – and provides many benefits for individuals and the community. It improves environmental quality by reducing carbon emissions and air pollution, supports local solar companies in Virginia, saves money on energy costs as the price continues to drop from technological developments, and improves electric grid resilience during peak demand and other stresses to the system.
Information and resources for homeowners wishing to learn more about installing rooftop solar on residences.
- Solar United Neighbors - a nonprofit organization building a community of people working toward a new energy system with rooftop solar at the cornerstone.
- Learn more about going solar and the Hampton Roads Solar Co-op at virtual Solar 101 information sessions this fall. Details coming soon!
- Consumer Solar Checklist – a checklist for residential consumers considering solar energy from IREC, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council.
- Clean Energy Consumer Bill of Rights – ensure a positive consumer experience by addressing important issues from IREC, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council.
- Solar Customer Resource Portal – various resources from SEIA, the Solar Energy Industries Association.
- Solar Owner’s Manual – information for current solar homeowners to ensure they are getting the most out of their system from Solar United Neighbors.
- Net Metering | Virginia | Dominion Energy – information about Dominion Energy’s net metering program
- Virginia Solar-Factsheet-2022-Q2.pdf (seia.org) – SEIA Factsheet for solar in the state of Virginia
Finding a Contractor
Find a solar contractor (or two) to assess your home for solar energy and provide a quote.
- Certified practitioners can be found through NABCEP.
- Visit EnergySage to learn about solar energy and submit for solar quotes from a network of pre-screened, local solar installers
- Find a Solar Professional from MDV-SEIA’s directory.
Please note: This is not a comprehensive list of rooftop solar contractor options available to City of Norfolk residents and should only be used as a resource to examine pathways to go solar. It is up to individual residents to review all options available to them, including working directly with a solar installation company.