|Statewide Solar Permitting Standards
|Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Solar Photovoltaics
Note: A.B. 1132 of 2023 extended the expiration date for the permit fee limitations from January 1, 2025 to January 1, 2034.
Permit Fee Limitations
Two bills signed in 2012 (AB 1801 and SB 1222) place limits on the fees that cities, counties, cities and counties, and charter cities can charge for a solar permit. CA Government Code § 65850.55 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.
CA Government Code § 66015 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:
The law 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.
AB 2188 (CA Government Code § 65850.5) of September 2014 required all city, county, and city and county governments to adopt an ordinance that creates an expedited streamlined permitting process for small residential rooftop solar energy systems. In developing an expedited permitting process, the city, county, or city and county must provide a checklist of all requirements for small rooftop solar energy systems to comply with to be eligible for expedited review.