By Daniel O’Reilly l  ARCH x TECTURE

From the 1st of January 2023, the Berlin Solar Ordinance mandates the installation of rooftop solar panels on all non-public construction projects in Berlin. In addition to new builds, existing buildings are included, where there are significant alterations to the roof. No distinction is made between residential, commercial and industrial buildings. 

Significant grants and low-interest financing options are available from both the Federal and State of Berlin governments. In addition, the installation of solar panels can generate passive revenue for your building, as Stromnetz Berlin (Grid operator) reimburses you for any excess energy fed back into the grid. 

Exemptions exist for:

  • underground buildings, greenhouses and tents.
  • buildings with a useful area of 50sqm or less
  • garages and ancillary facilities where the main building is already included in the solar obligation. 
  • buildings under monument protection
  • in the case of technical impossibility 

What is a significant alteration to the roof?

When 50% of greater of the roof’s waterproofing layer (ie roof tiles, metal cladding, bitumen etc) is replaced. 

Does completing regular maintenance on my roof oblige me to install solar panels?

No. The regular maintenance of the water-bearing layer (roof cladding or roof covering) does not trigger the solar obligation. However, if due to severe storm damage a fundamental renovation of the roof was necessary, this may trigger the solar obligation. 

How many solar panels are required?

New Buildings: 30% of gross roof area

Existing Buildings: 30% of net roof area

Exemptions for Smaller Residential Buildings:

  • For residential buildings with a maximum of two flats, it is therefore sufficient if the installed power reaches two kilowatts. This limit mainly applies to two-family houses.
  • For residential buildings between at least three and a maximum of five flats, it is sufficient if the installed power reaches three kilowatts.
  • For residential buildings with at least six and a maximum of ten flats, it is sufficient if the installed power reaches six kilowatts.

Are there any alternatives?

Yes. Installing a solar thermal system on the roof also satisfies the ordinance. This can be done in conjunction with a green-roof (ie planted) and additional grants are available from the State of Berlin for this. 

In addition, installing a solar panel system on other surfaces, such as the facade would also satisfy the ordinance. 

How can I calculate the potential returns for a solar installation?

Use this calculator from the Berlin Government:

What grants are available?

EnergiespeicherPLUS // The Energy Storage PLUS 9 programme – State of Berlin

Promotes the purchase of grid-connected electricity storage systems in connection with newly installed photovoltaic systems. A grant of up to 300 euros per kilowatt hour of storage capacity is awarded.


GründachPLUS // GreenRoofPLUS State of Berlin


Effiziente GebäudePLUS // Efficient BuildingsPLUS State of Berlin

Only funding stream 2 available, alternative funding available federally through BAFA


Bundesamt für Wirtschaft und Ausfuhrkontrolle (BAFA) – Federal Government

If you would like to learn about the solar potential in renovating your roof, contact us today