Solar Electric Requirements

To begin a solar project in the City of Milwaukee, permits will need to be obtained before starting work.  Electrical contractors performing work in the City of Milwaukee must meet both State of Wisconsin and local contractor credentials requirements to pull permits.



Required Electrical Installer Credentials:

  1. Electrical License - Electrical contractors must have both State of Wisconsin and local City of Milwaukee licenses.
    • Master Electrician License (State of WI License per SPS Ch. 305.43 requirements).  Click HERE to go to the online application form provided by the State of Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.
    • City of Milwaukee Electrical License.  For more information and application contact the Department of Neighborhood Services, Electrical Section at (414)286-2532.
  2. Building Credentials for One and Two Family Dwellings - Contractors working on one and two family dwellings must have both State of Wisconsin and local Milwaukee building credentials. 
    • In accordance with State of Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services requirements, any business preforming work on a one or two family dwelling requiring a Uniform Dwelling Code building permit is required to have a Dwelling Contractor Certification and employ someone who holds a Dwelling Contractor Qualifier Certification. 
    • The City of Milwaukee requires a person or business to obtain a home improvement contractor license for any installation, repair, or remodeling to an existing home or building used for residential purposed (not exceeding six living units), accessory buildings or appurtenances thereto. 

a. Dwelling Contractor Certification.  Click HERE to go to the online application form provided by the State of Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.

b. Dwelling Contractor Qualifier Certification.  Click HERE to go to the online application form provided by the State of Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.

c. City of Milwaukee Home Improvement Contractor License.  Click HERE for more information and the online application from the City of Milwaukee.

Please note that Electrical Contractors by the City of Milwaukee do NOT need to obtain an Home Improvement Contractor License for electrical permits, respectively because they provide bonding and/or proof of insurance under city certification for these permit types.  Licensed electricians responsible for obtaining permit types other than electrical must obtain the Home Improvement Contract License.



Required Solar Electric Permits

  1. Electrical Permit
    • Electrical Permits can be submitted to the City of Milwaukee's Development Center via:
      • Mail or In-Person: 809 N. Broadway Street -1st Floor, Milwaukee, WI 53202
        • Click HERE for a PDF version of the City of Milwaukee's electrical permit.
      • Fax: (414)286-0251
      • Online (using the e-Permits systems)
  2. Building Permit  - Building permits require additional documents, such as a plan review application, to be submitted with the permit form.  Submitting the additional documentation makes the process faster and more efficient for all parties involved.  Please submit the following documents with your building permit at the beginning of the process:
    • Building Permits can be submitted to the City of Milwaukee's Development Center via: 
      • Mail or In-Person: 809 N. Broadway Street -1st Floor, Milwaukee, WI 53202 
        • Click HERE for a PDF version of the City of Milwaukee's building permit. 
      • Fax: (414)286-0251
    • Plan Review Application
      • Plan Review applications can be submitted to the City of Milwaukee's Development Center via:
        • Mail or In-Person: 809 N. Broadway Street -1st Floor, Milwaukee, WI 53202
          • Click HERE for a PDF version of the City of Milwaukee's plan review application form.
        • Fax: (414)286-8232
      • Plan Review applications require additional documents to be submitted with the application form.  Submitting the additional documentation makes the plan review process faster and more efficient for all parties involved.  Please submit the following documents with your plan review application form:
        • Roof documentation showing the attachment and existing structure (such as rafter size, spacing, span, grade and species of lumber, etc.)
        • Documentation showing a catalog cut sheet of the solar device by weight
        • Provide structural calculations that are performed by a knowledgeable person showing that the structure is capable of supporting the additional weight from the new solar equipment
        • Site plan and placement plan showing the location of the solar energy system on the lot and the design of the system.  Placement plan should include any improvements, landscaping or other features on adjoining lots that impacts the location of the proposed solar energy system.


Permit Costs

  1. Solar Electrical Permit Fee: $0.60 per KW (not to exceed $260.00 per unit)
    • Residential (One and Two Family): $65 minimum + $3.00 processing fee
    • Commercial: $75 minimum + $3.00 processing fee
  2. Building Permit Fee
    • Residential (One and Two Family): $60 minimum or 1% of construction cost + $3.00 processing fee + assessor fee
    • Industrial/Manufacturing/Commercial: $80 or 1% of construction cost + $3.00 processing fee
  3. Plan Review Fee
    • Residential: $60 minimum
    • Commercial: $85 minimum


Check Your Work and Submit.

Installers are encouraged to use this helpful checklist to aid in the permitting process.  It should help make sure they have all the materials needed when submitting permits for a solar project.  Click the button below to download the City of Milwaukee Solar Electric Checklist.

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