Depending on the type of green project, one or more of the following licenses may be required to perform
work on your property:
- Home improvement
It is important to know what type of license your contractor holds and to ensure that the contractor
does not perform work outside of the scope of that license. For example a home improvement contractor's
license does not authorize the licensee to perform electric, HVACR or plumbing work.
Permits and Inspections
In addition to having the proper license, contractors must comply with the requirements of the locality
or jurisdiction where the work will be performed. In some cases, homeowners have been fined or have been
required have the work removed due to a contractor's failure to obtain the proper permits.
Home Improvement Commission (MHIC)
The Maryland Home Improvement Commission issues licenses to home improvement contractors, subcontractors
and salespersons. Most green projects on residential property fall within the definition of "home
improvement" and therefore must comply with the requirements of the Home Improvement Law. "Home
improvement" includes installing solar panels, windmills, or insulation, as well as other products that are
permanently attached to your home or land.
A comprehensive assessment of your home and its energy-using systems provides homeowners with information
regarding the existing condition of your home and identifies areas where energy efficiency, comfort and
safety upgrades can be made. An energy auditor is not required to hold a MHIC license or to be a licensed
home inspector; however, if the individual performs any work as a result of the energy audit (beyond
changing light bulbs or a shower head), a home improvement license will most likely be required.
Geothermal Heat and Power
Geothermal systems must be installed by a licensed HVACR contractor. The individual who digs the well must
hold a State-issued well-drillers license and the person who lays the pipe must be a licensed plumber or
HVACR contractor. Any required connection to the potable water supply must be done by a licensed master
plumber for the jurisdiction.
All types of insulation, regardless of the materials used or the installation technique, must be installed
by a licensed MHIC contractor or subcontractor.
Rain barrels that sit underneath a downspout and are not permanently attached to the downspout or the
ground are not considered to be "home improvement;" therefore the seller or installer is not required to
hold a MHIC license.
Solar panel systems must be mounted by a licensed home improvement contractor or subcontractor,
regardless of whether the system is attached to the roof or other part of the house, or attached to the
land adjacent to the house. The individual who connects the solar panels to the electric box or to the
grid is required to hold an electrician's license issued by the local jurisdiction where the property is
located. If the solar panel will be used to heat water, such as a hot water heater or a pool, then a
licensed plumber is required to connect the system to the potable water supply.
Windmills and Wind Turbines
Windmills or wind turbines must be mounted or installed by a licensed home improvement contractor or
subcontractor, regardless of whether the windmill's base is attached to the roof or other part of the
house, or attached to the land adjacent to the house. The individual who connects the windmill or wind
turbine to the electric box or to the grid is required to hold a master electrician's license issued by
the local jurisdiction where the property is located. Only a few local jurisdictions in the State do not
issue local master electrician's license, in which case, the individual making the connection must hold
a State master electrician's license.
Licensing, Permits and Inspection Agencies
- E-mail: Maryland Board of Heating, Ventilation,
Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) Contractors
Licenses HVACR contractors
- E-mail: Maryland Home Improvement Commission
Licenses home improvement contractors, subcontractors and salespersons
Maryland Board of Master Electricians
Licenses master electricians (local license also required)
Maryland Board of Plumbing
Licenses plumbers to perform work in State (except for Baltimore County and Montgomery and Prince
- Washington Suburban Sanitation Commission
Licenses gasfitters and plumbers for work performed in Montgomery and Prince George's Counties
Go to the Departments of Permits and Inspections
website to find your local Department of Permits and Inspections.