California cities and counties now required to switch to instant, online residential solar permitting by 2024

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Senator Scott Weiner (D-San Francisco) Bill, SB 379, solar access law, was passed by both houses of the California Legislature and signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom. The bill implements immediate online solar permits in cities and counties. The Act Significantly Reduces Approval Time for Residential Solar and Solar + Energy Storage Systems, Lowers Permitting Costs for Local Governments and Homeowners, Helps California Meet Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Goals help you to SB 379 is co-sponsored by SPUR and Environment California. Member of Parliament Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) is a co-author of the bill.

Climate change is a serious threat, and California must accelerate its transition to clean energy to reach its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2045. Widespread installation of residential solar systems is helping California move toward these goals. However, while the cost of solar technology has fallen in recent years, the high costs associated with installation (including local permits and inspection requirements) remain prohibitive for many. Delays due to long permit and inspection wait times are also negatively impacting solar installations statewide. Automatic granting solves both of these problems. The Solar Access Act will enable California to implement timely and comprehensive solutions.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), a project within the U.S. Department of Energy, has launched a free-to-use program to assist local governments with residential solar and solar + energy storage permits. created. Solar APP+ provides a web-based portal that streamlines and automates permit review and can be easily implemented into existing local government permitting software. The Solar Access Act allows cities with 5,000 or more residents, counties with 150,000 or more residents, and all cities within those counties, access to solar and solar + storage systems through programs such as SolarAPP+. is required to implement instant online permission for This requirement takes effect September 30, 2024 for cities with less than 50,000 residents and September 30, 2023 for cities, counties, cities, and counties with more than 50,000 residents. This requirement also applies to charter cities. The California Energy Commission (CEC) CalAPP A program to deploy $20 million in grants to help cities and counties adopt online automated permitting systems such as SolarAPP+.

NREL first introduced SolarAPP+ in late 2020 and has gradually expanded the capabilities of the program. Many local governments, including Pleasant Hill, Sonoma County, San Jose, and Los Angeles, have already started implementing automatic permits with great success. Pleasant Hill has reduced average permit review time to zero days (same day approval) since adopting his SolarAPP+ for immediate automated permits.

“It takes too long to get clean energy permits,” said Senator Wiener. “For the future of our planet, we need to make it easy to install solar panels and energy storage in homes across the state. The Solar Access Act will help California meet our climate goals. It helps.”

News from Senator Wiener’s Office

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