Adding insulation and air sealing (sealing areas where outside air enters your home uncontrollably through cracks and openings) are two of the most significant energy efficiency improvements you can make to your home.
This work does not require a permit unless you are opening concealed areas of a wall, ceiling or floor.
If you have single-pane windows in your home, replacing them with energy efficient windows can save you between 10 and 25 percent per year on heating and cooling.
You can replace windows and doors within the existing framed openings in your home without a permit.
Ground-Source Heat Pumps
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has called ground-source heat pumps the most energy-efficient, environmentally clean and cost-effective space conditioning systems available.
A grading permit is required to excavate for the installation of wells or loops and a licensed electrician will have to pull an electrical permit for the connection of the various components.
Solar or Wind Power
Installing a solar photovoltaic system or small wind electric system on your home will always require a licensed electrician and an electrical permit. In most cases a building permit will be required for the construction or evaluation of the structures supporting the components of these power systems.
Installing a solar water heating or space heating system will require a licensed plumber and a plumbing permit and in most cases a building permit. A solar water heating system for your swimming pool will not require a permit.