Solar Electric Systems

Rooftop Solar Purchasing Options in Arlington

Capital Area Solar Switch

The 2024 solar co-op program, called Capital Area Solar Switch and managed by Solar United Neighbors, is opening on April 1, 2024. Through the co-op, you can receive a discount offer for a rooftop solar install by a local vendor, have access to customer service support, and get help and resources to add electric vehicle chargers or battery storage systems to your home. After receiving a personal recommendation on the website, homeowners will need to pay a refundable $150 deposit if they are still interested and wish to begin working with the selected vendor. If the homeowner decides not to move forward, this deposit is refundable at any point prior to confirming a final agreement with the installer.

Signing up for the co-op provides you with an installation offer and does not require you to go forward with a solar install or contract. Register today!


View the Solar 101 Webinar


Solarize is another option to buying rooftop solar. The 2024 program is launching on April 1, 2024. The program is managed by the Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) and provides a streamlined process, including a competitive installer bidding process and ongoing customer support. After signing up, residents can expect a rooftop solar assessment, introduction to a vetted installer, an on-site inspection, and a custom proposal to go solar. There is no requirement to move forward with installation until after a contract is signed.


The County is providing the above for informational purposes only. If a resident wants to join a co-op program, it is their responsibility to understand the risks of joining such a program. Furthermore, the County is not in any partnership with the above entities but rather is providing the information for residents to review if they are interested. If there are any issues related to the installation of the solar system, the resident is responsible for contacting the contractor or solar company to discuss issues resolutions. Finally, if a resident decides to sign-up for a co-op program, the resident understands that the County bears no responsibility for any damage of any kind.

Please note this is not a comprehensive list of rooftop solar options available to Arlington County 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.

Solar Tax Exemption Credit

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Arlington County Solar Exemption Tax Credit Program

Property owners may qualify for a tax exemption credit on installed certified solar energy equipment, facilities, or devices that are to be designed and used primarily for the purpose of collecting, generating, transferring, or storing thermal or electric energy. Pursuant to Virginia Code § 58.1-3661 & Arlington County Code Section 20-9, property owners may apply to the County Building Official to have their equipment certified and approved for a tax exemption in the form of a credit deducted from their annual real estate tax bill. Once certified, the qualifying solar energy equipment, facilities, or devices are valued by the Arlington County Real Estate Assessor to determine the amount of the tax exemption credit to be deducted from the annual real estate tax bill. This annual tax exemption credit deduction will last for five years starting in the year following the application approval. If an application is approved and certified, the tax exemption will be in effect on January 1st of the following year and will be in effect for five consecutive years.

Solar Exemption Application:


Application Process:

  • Ensure that all solar equipment is properly permitted and installed as required under the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC).
  • Complete a Solar Energy Equipment, Facilities, or Devices Taxation Application and submit the application and required documentation to the Arlington County Building Official.
    • Provide a copy of the plans, specifications, and drawings of the solar energy equipment, facilities, or devices.
    • Provide a brief narrative description of the function of the solar energy equipment, facilities, or devices.
    • Provide any documentation for the cost of the installed solar energy equipment, facilities, or devices (materials and labor).
  • The application will either be denied by the Arlington County Building Official, at which time a denial letter will be provided, or will be certified and sent to the Arlington County Assessor for valuation. (Any person aggrieved by a decision of the local building department may appeal such decision to the local board of building code appeals, which may affirm or reverse such decision)
  • If certified, the Assessor will determine the value of the equipment which shall not be less than the normal cost of purchasing and installing such equipment, facilities, or devices. 
  • A written determination of value will be provided to the property owner from the Assessor, and the value will be used annually for a consecutive five-year term to calculate the exemption credit that is deducted from the annual real estate tax bill.


Sample Exemption Credit Calculation:

  • An application was submitted and approved during the 2023 calendar year which means an exemption credit will be calculated and deducted from the 2024 real estate assessment tax bill.
  • The cost of installation and purchasing the equipment was determined by the Assessor to be $30,000.
  • Based on the FY 2025 real estate tax rate of $1.033 per hundred dollars of assessed value, the $30,000 exemption value would equate to a tax credit deduction of $309.90 from the annual real estate tax bill amount. This is calculated by dividing the $30,000 by 100 and multiplying that amount by $1.033. ($30,000/100)*1.033 = $309.90
  • The exemption value as determined by the Assessor upon approval of the application will remain the same for each of the five consecutive years 2024 – 2028.
  • The calculated exemption credit deducted from the annual real estate tax bill will be calculated each year based on that year’s tax rate.


Please contact the Department of Real Estate assessments at 703-228-4874 or with any questions or assistance with this process.

Getting a Solar Permit in Arlington

Installing a solar photovoltaic (PV) system in Arlington County requires obtaining permits from the County’s Inspection Services Division (ISD). ISD is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, except County holidays.

SolSmart Logo

This website contains the minimum information and details required to be submitted when applying for a permit to install a solar PV system. Please note that in some circumstances inspectors may require additional information. This is a basic pre-submittal guide intended to expedite the permitting process by minimizing the number of required revisions.

Our local utility, Dominion Energy, has its own process and this site does not explain its requirements in full. Contact Dominion for what it requires.

  • For single family or townhome applications, the installer must have proper state electrical licensing.
  • For all other applications, the installer must have proper electrical and building licensing.
  • The installer must send a completed Distributed Generation (DG) Interconnection Agreement to Dominion Energy to connect the solar system to the grid. The agreement form must be signed by the customer/owner, and ideally would be submitted prior to installation.
  • Installer submits the permit application in person at 2100 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 1000, Arlington, VA. For commercial buildings, complete project construction documents are required. Include proper permit fees per the County’s current Fee Schedule.
  • Upon successful plan review, Inspections staff will issue the necessary permit(s). Click here to check your permit status online.
  • Inspections staff will make final inspection after project completion.
  • Upon passing Arlington County’s inspection, call Dominion Energy at 1-866-DOM-HELP for inspection and meter exchange forms.
  • Installer makes commissioning appointment with a Dominion Energy representative to obtain final power utility inspection and schedule meter exchange.
  • Project is commissioned and begins generating electricity.


Pre-Submittal Permit Checklist for Solar PV System

  • For single family homes and townhomes: Filled out electrical permit for project and appropriate fees submitted. The following must be provided on site for the inspector: an electrical wiring diagram, panel attachment details and manufacturer specifications for the entire PV system.  Note for townhomes, no part of the PV system may be within 4 feet of a firewall that does not have a parapet extending above the roof covering by at least 30 inches.  However, if the PV system is class A fire rated, serving as a roof covering and does not penetrate the roof within 4 feet of a fire wall, it may be installed within 4 feet of a fire wall.
  • For commercial buildings: Filled out electrical and building permit with structural package for project and appropriate fees submitted. The construction documents must include an electrical wiring diagram, panel attachment details, manufacturer specifications for the entire PV system, the fire class rating of the PV panel system (Class A, B or C), and roof plan of PV system showing roof access and pathways (§605. and §605. of the 2012 Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code.)


Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I find the required permit forms?

  • Refer to application forms here for Residential Permits (for single-family homes and townhomes): Electrical Permit.
  • Refer to application forms here for Commercial Permits (for all other applications): Electrical Permit, Building Permit with structural construction documents package.

Are there any incentives or rebates available?

How long does it take to obtain a permit?

  • Residential projects (single family homes) are generally issued on the same day they are requested.

How do I schedule an appointment for inspection?

  • Call Integrated Voice Response (IVR): 703-222-3700; or a Permit Specialist at 703-228-3800 from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday; or Check & Schedule Inspections Online

What about solar projects on historic properties?

  • Click here for information or contact the County’s Department of Planning and Community Development at 703-746-4666 for guidance.


Best Practices

Here are some suggested practices that may help make solar easier, faster, cheaper:

  • Submit Distributed Generation/Net Metering forms ahead of project completion to accelerate utility approvals.
  • Minimize installer/contractor visits by planning ahead and coordinating same day inspections; such as with the County’s final inspection and then the utility interconnection commissioning appointment.
  • Have ready to sign at County final inspection and required utility forms/electric inspection certificates.
  • Per electric code, permanently and clearly label all required devices, including the AC disconnect near the meter to improve visibility and safety.
  • Consider rooftop solar when getting a new roof.  Have a feasibility study completed for both.
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