Governor Brown has called for a renewed effort to streamline permitting for solar energy systems as a way to cut costs, create more jobs and economic development, and make solar power affordable to more Californians. In 2011, the Governor's Office of Planning and Research issued a "California Solar Permitting Guidebook". That guidebook is now being updated and CALSEIA is working with OPR to ensure the strongest guidebook product possible.
AB 2188 (Muratsuchi) has been introduced. The bill aims to cut soft costs associated with permitting and inspections of solar energy systems. The bill will be heard in Assembly Local Government Committee sometime this spring. CALSEIA's vision for the bill is to require the following:
Mandate that all cities and counties adopt an expedited permit process for all small, "cookie cutter," residential solar energy systems (under 10kW or 30 kWth).
For those systems that quality for expedited review, the permit process would include a simple checklist that would be published on-line, along with list of other required documents.
Submittal of the application would be over-the-counter or on-line, and handled within 24-hours of submission.
No plan check or discretionary reviews would be allowed.
Admission of electronic submittals would be mandatory and eventually everything would be done on-line through a single statewide website.
Inspections would be scheduled within 2-days of request or through a third-party inspection.