Solar Construction Permitting Standards (California)

From Open Energy Information

Last modified on February 12, 2015.

Rules Regulations Policies Program

Place California
Name Solar Construction Permitting Standards (California)
Incentive Type Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
Applicable Sector Commercial, Industrial, Local Government, Residential
Eligible Technologies Photovoltaics, Solar Space Heat, Solar Water Heat
Active Incentive Yes
Implementing Sector State/Territory
Energy Category Renewable Energy Incentive Programs

Last DSIRE Review 2012-10-22
Last Substantive Modification
to Summary by DSIRE

References Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)[1]


Two bills signed in 2012 place limits on the fees that cities, counties, cities and counties, and charter cities can charge for a solar permit. AB 1801 specifies that a local government cannot base the fee for a solar permit on the value of the solar system or the value of the property on which the system will be installed. It also requires the local government to separately identify every fee charged on the invoice provided to the applicant. The definition of a solar system under AB 1801 includes photovoltaics (PV), solar water heating, and solar space heating.

SB 1222 restricts a city, county, city and county, or charter city from charging more for a solar permit than the estimated reasonable cost of providing the service for which the fee is charged. The law further provides specific limits on the dollar amount local governments may charge for a permit:

  • Residential solar energy systems: $500, plus $15 for every kilowatt (kW) over 15 kW
  • Commercial solar energy systems: $1,000 for systems up to 50 kW, plus $7 for every kW between 51 kW and 250 kW, plus $5 for every kW over 250 kW

The restrictions of SB 1222 only apply to roof-mounted PV systems, not ground-mounted systems or solar thermal systems. The law also gives local governments the ability to exceed these cost limits by resolution or ordinance if they provide substantial evidence of the reasonable cost to issue the permit, and meet other criteria.

Authorities (Please contact the if there are any file problems.)

Authority 1: SB 1222
Date Enacted 2012-09-27
Expiration Date 2018-01-01
Authority 2: AB 1801
Date Enacted 2012-09-25

  • Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.[1]


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