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For Immediate Release: Friday, June 21, 2024

Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services (DPS) has launched “eSolar,” an automated permitting application to speed up and streamline the permitting process for residential rooftop solar systems by approved installers. Montgomery County is the first County in Maryland to utilize a third party to accelerate the permitting process for residential rooftop solar.

eSolar expedites code compliance review times to save time and money for installation of solar panel systems. The new program integrates app approved third-party certified documents, including Solar APP+ (Solar Automated Permit Processing Plus), for residential rooftop solar systems through DPS’ electronic plan review system (ePlans). 


“Montgomery County is committed to reducing our carbon footprint and encourages everyone to invest in renewable and sustainable energy sources,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “eSolar is a win for Montgomery County homeowners who plan to add solar panels to their residential rooftops. Instead of applications sitting in a queue waiting for approval, this automated permitting tool will expedite reviews, reducing delays and streamlining the permitting process. This will save time, and less waiting leads to more solar on rooftops and a greener Montgomery County.”

Licensed contractors are eligible for the eSolar program, which is designed for residential rooftops only. Contractors must have a valid Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC) license and projects must conform with the eligibility checklist that is posted on the DPS website.  Townhouses four stories above grade are considered commercial structures (not eligible for eSolar) and require a commercial solar permit.

There are two permits required for residential rooftops: the building permit for the attachment of the solar panels and an electrical permit for the connection to the home’s electrical service. These permits are issued in real time once the fees are paid online. DPS stamped approved APP certified documents serve as approved plans. This process replaces the department’s building and electrical reviews for these applications. Inspections are scheduled online as normal and require the online documents to be on site. Permitting fees are posted online. 

“We are excited to launch eSolar after a successful pilot program with three companies,” said DPS Director Rabbiah Sabbakhan. “During the pilot program, DPS issued eSolar permits to participating companies and created tracking records for monitoring eSolar permits. eSolar streamlines and helps incentivize the process for permits for residential rooftop solar by running a compliance evaluation to facilitate building permit approval. During the last five years, DPS has issued more than 5,600 solar permits for residential rooftops. Those numbers are expected to increase dramatically now that we have officially launched eSolar with faster permit review and issuance. This highlights DPS implementing another significant permitting streamlining effort.”

In July 2021, County leaders announced the development of a solar automated permitting processing program (SolarAPP+) a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The DPS pilot program officially began in 2023. 

For more information about eSolar, visit the DPS website at or stop by the department’s customer service lobby at 2425 Reedie Drive, seventh floor, in Wheaton. DPS offices are open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday and appointments are not needed. More information also is available by calling MC 311 or 240-777-0311. 

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Release ID: 24-291
Media Contact: Sonya Burke 240-855-9813