CA Solar Permitting Bill Lands on Gov Brown’s Desk

House with rooftop solar set in a meadow

Time to toast an important legislative victory in Sacramento! Last week, the California Senate approved a bill to streamline solar permitting, clearing the final legislative hurdle for AB 2188 (Muratsuchi). Governor Brown is expected to sign the bill into law, which will require cities and counties across the state to conform to statewide best practices for solar permitting. That means lower costs and reduced wait times for many future solar customers. Big kudos to our friends at the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA), and to the thousands of Vote Solar citizen members and others who pitched in to support AB 2188!

Here are some of the details on the bill:

  • Applies to permitting for PV systems 10kW or less, and solar thermal systems 30 kW or less
  • 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
  • Requires that ordinance to create a permitting process for solar PV and solar thermal systems consistent with the goals and intent of the California Solar Rights Act and must “substantially conform” with the recommendations, standard plans, and checklists found in the most updated approved version of the Office of Planning and Research’s Solar Permitting Guidebook
  • Also seeks to streamline Homeowner Association (HOA) approval processes, reducing the ability for HOAs to increase the solar system’s cost or decrease the system’s efficiency
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