Solar Construction Permitting Standards

March 04, 2023


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. 

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: State
Category: Regulatory Policy
State: Colorado
Incentive Type: Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
Web Site:
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Solar Water Heat
  • Solar Space Heat
  • Geothermal Electric
  • Solar Photovoltaics
  • Geothermal Direct-Use


Name: CRS § 30-28-113
Date Enacted: Subsequently amended
Expiration Date: 12/31/2029
Name: CRS § 31-15-602
Date Enacted: Subsequently amended
Expiration Date: 12/31/2029
Name: CRS § 24-48.5-113
Expiration Date: 12/31/2029


Name: Public Information
Organization: Governor's Energy Office
Address: 1600 Broadway
Denver CO 80202
Phone: (303) 866-2100

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.