It takes less than a day to install a typical home solar system yet it can take up to six weeks to get a permit. The overly bureaucratic and sometimes byzantine process for securing what should be a simple permit is becoming a bigger problem as permit applications flood building departments. Permitting is being brought into the 21st Century. CALSEIA is cutting soft costs by streamlining permitting for all solar technologies.
What does AB 2188 (Muratsuchi) do to Streamline Rooftop Solar Permitting in California?
AB 2188 requires local governments to adopt a solar ordinance by September 30, 2015 creating a streamlined permitting process that conforms to best practices for expeditious and efficient permitting of small residential rooftop solar systems.
By improving the efficiency of solar permitting statewide, AB 2188 will help lower the cost of solar installations and further expand the accessibility of solar to more California homeowners who want to control their electricity bills and generate their own clean energy. In addition, making solar energy more affordable will help the state reach its renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals, and create more local jobs.
Minimum Eligibility Criteria for Expedited Permitting
Expedited Permitting Ordinance
Improving the Permitting Process
Improving the Inspection Process
Changes to HOA Approval Process
Separate from the permitting process for cities and counties, AB 2188 also provides for some tightening of the Homeowner Association (HOA) approval process.
The Office of Planning and Research published a 2014 California Solar Permitting Guidebook, including checklists and standard plans as well as recommendations for streamlined permitting that include timelines for review and inspections. These documents and recommendations are mandeted by AB 2188. CALSEIA sat on the steering committee for the Guidebook.
Solar Permitting Resources
SolarPermit.org hosts the National Solar Permitting Database, a free, online database of information related to solar permitting requirements of cities and counties across the country. Developed by Clean Power Finance and supported by a Department of Energy grant, SolarPermit.org organizes and simplifies solar permitting processes by compiling the information in a single location. Using the community-based platform, users of the database keep the information up-to-date and relevant. The project's goal is to minimize the time and resources required to and support the mass-market adoption of solar.
Solar ABC's - The Solar America Board for Codes and Standards (Solar ABCs) is a collaborative effort funded by the U.S. Department of Energy that dedicates experts to transforming solar markets by improving building codes, utility interconnection procedures, and product standards, reliability, and safety, and is part of its overall strategy to reduce barriers to the adoption of solar technologies and to stimulate market growth.