Solar Panels

Sunshine is plentiful in Medicine Hat

Installing renewable energy systems helps reduce Medicine Hat's reliance on fossil fuels, which contributes to the city's commitment to long-term sustainability of its utility division.

Before installing solar panels on your home, check the information on this page so you know what to expect, and to ensure your work process and solar collection system comply with regulations.

Getting started

Planning your home solar energy system

  • Consider what type of system you want: water heating or photovoltaic (electricity producing). Photovoltaic (PV) systems are the most popular, and are eligible for HAT Smart rebates.
  • Work with a qualified professional to select the right technology and size for your home.
  • Make sure your house is as energy-efficient as possible before adding solar collectors.
  • If you are buying a new home, it may make sense to look for a solar-ready house. It will have roof space, utility room space and a pipe chase to connect the roof and utility room.

Connecting to the City's electric grid

  • If specific requirements are met, you can connect your solar photovoltaic system (microgenerator) to City Electric's distribution system. When you do not generate enough electricity to meet your needs, you buy the shortage from City Electric. When you generate more electricity than you need, you receive a credit with the City.
  • The City will not pay you for any excess electric generation, and you will still be required to pay the "base" electric fees included with your utilities.

Microgeneration

Rebates

The HAT Smart program provides rebates to Medicine Hat residential utility customers who install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on their homes. The rebate amount is awarded based on the size of the installed system.

HAT Smart

What permits do I need?

Building Permits

A Building Permit is required prior to installation of any solar panels or solar electric generation system within Medicine Hat.

Trade Permits

  • An Electrical Permit is required prior to installation of any solar panels or solar electric generation system within Medicine Hat.
  • If you wish to interconnect your solar PV system to the City's Electric Distribution System, you must meet all conditions specified by the Electric Utility Department, including inspections.
  • If you wish to install a solar thermal system, it must be a packaged system, designed by an accredited engineer and installed by a licensed plumbing professional. A plumbing permit is required.

Contractor Zone

You may need the following:

How to apply

Online

Apply online

In Person

  1. Determine which application(s) you need. You can then download checklists and forms below to complete them, or come in person to Planning & Development Services and we will assist you.
  2. Have drawings ready: Site plan, elevation plan, floor plan.
    May be required: Floor joist and roof truss drawings.
  3. Have utility locate slips: These show the location of underground and overhead utilities, such as gas and cable lines. See free utility locates below.
  4. Bring all these required documents (USB drive preferred) and apply in person at City Planning.
  5. Payment by debit, cash, cheque, or credit card.

Payment methods

Online or phone:

  • Visa or Mastercard

In-person:

  • Debit
  • Cash
  • Cheque
  • Credit Card (Visa or MasterCard)

Mail:

  • Cheque

How long will it take to approve permits?

  • Development Permits: Timelines vary based on application type and the impact to the community.
  • Building Permits: Typically less than 6 business days, provided that an approved Development Permit (if required) has been released.

Line locates

When planning your project, it is important to know where utilities are located on your property. Locates are free of charge but require at least two days notice.

You must provide utility locate slips with a development application.

Line locates

Inspections

If a Building Permit was required for your project, then you must book a City inspection. At the discretion of the Safety Codes Officer, most projects require rough-in and final inspections, depending on the complexity of the project.

Book Online

Book Online

Please review this user guide before booking online:

Guide for ePermit Inspections

Book by Phone

Phone 403-529-8208 or fax the Inspection Request to 403-502-8036.

Risks when permits are not obtained

By not obtaining permits for work done on your home, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to potential future legal and financial issues when selling your property or making an insurance claim. There could also be consequences if you do not correct the situation, such as:

  • Enforcement action issued by a Safety Codes Officer.
  • A fine for building without a permit.
  • Having to undo work that has been completed.
  • Future legal and financial issues when selling your property or making an insurance claim.
  • Having to do more work than was originally planned and budgeted, to fix deficiencies.
  • Potential liability to you, the homeowner, in the event of an accident.

As a homeowner, you are responsible for paying any penalties, even if you hired a contractor who assured you that permits were not required.

What if I am not the property owner?

If you are not the owner of the property, then you must get the owner's consent to apply for any changes.

Owner Consent