Law and regulations

Environmental permit: who needs it and when?


The decision to install solar panels on your commercial building is a socially responsible choice that not only increases energy efficiency but also saves significant costs. However, before taking the plunge and embracing solar energy, it’s important to understand how the environmental permit may apply and what role it plays in this process.

What is an Environmental Permit?

An environmental permit is permission from the government for certain activities that may impact the physical environment. In the case of solar panels, it involves installing installations that may alter the structure of a building. While not all solar panel projects require a permit, it’s essential to understand when and how this may apply.

When is an Environmental Permit Needed for Solar Panels?

Type of Building: In some cases, solar panels can be installed on regular buildings without a permit, but for monuments or protected cityscapes, a permit is often required.

Altering Appearance:

If the solar panels significantly change the appearance of the building, a permit may be necessary. For example, when placed on the roof plane facing the street.

Large-scale Projects:

Large-scale solar panel projects, such as solar parks, usually require a permit due to their greater impact on the environment.

How to Apply for an Environmental Permit for Solar Panels?

Preliminary Research/Do I Need an Environmental Permit? Conduct preliminary research to determine if your situation requires a permit. Check the zoning plan and any local regulations.

Submit Application:

If a permit is required, submit an application to the municipality. Ensure all required documentation, such as drawings and specifications, is included.

Assessment and Decision:

The municipality assesses the application and makes a decision. This process may take some time (approximately 8 to 16 weeks), so be patient.


If the permit is granted, you can proceed with the installation of the solar panels according to the approved plans.


In some cases, an environmental permit is required to install solar panels on your roof. There is no difference between regular PV panels or the PVT-3 panels from Solarus. Therefore, it is advisable to conduct prior research to determine whether you need an environmental permit or not. Roughly, this depends on the type of building, the altered appearance, and the scale.

Check now easily via our free tool whether you need an environmental permit.

Let’s get in touch with our

Hot Water Specialist

If you are interested in partnering with Solarus or investing in our company, we invite you to take action today. Contact Solarus today to learn more about how you can be a part of the solution and help create a more sustainable future for us all. Together, we can make a difference.

Michael Boyce

Michael Boyce

Hot Water Specialist

+27(0) 63 647 4197

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