The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, the California Office of the State Fire Marshal, the California Building Standards Commission, and the California Department of Housing and Community Development have updated the California Solar Permitting Guidebook in response to new legislative orders and updated codes.
Today, OPR will be discussing updates to the Guidebook at the Center for Environmental Research & Technology’s Solar Energy Conference in Riverside, California.
The 2019 Fourth Edition includes:
- Update to PV Toolkit Documents #2 and #3 including an increase in the allowable PV module short circuit current rating from the 9.6 amp limit to 13 amps. This change is additionally reflected in the Supplemental Calculation Sheets of the PV Standard Plan.
- Minor edits to the Eligibility Checklist document to match AB 2188.
- Updates in alignment with the legislation of AB 2188. This includes the note that a “residential permit fee” means the sum of all charges levied by a city, county, city and county, or charter city, in connection with the application for a solar energy system.
- Update to Permit Fee Limits for PV in compliance with law and added Permit Fee Limits for Solar Thermal.
- Update to PV Toolkit Documents #3 and #4 to include the ability to connect to the supply side of the service disconnecting means for certain cases where permitted by the local utility. This change is additionally reflected in the Solar PV Standard Plan – Simplified.
- Removed the 100 amp minimum rating for new load centers from the micro-inverter toolkit document. Please defer to current code in order to ensure they are code-compliant.
- Removed references to the Code Bulletin that are no longer applicable to the Guidebook.
Updated resources at the end of the Guidebook.
- Alternative Energy Equipment and Systems Marking and Application Guide by Underwriters Laboratories
- Overview of Overheat & Freeze Protection Mechanisms in OG-300 Certified Solar Thermal Water Heating Systems by Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (ICC-SRCC)
- Sustainable Energy Action Committee (SEAC)
- California Solar & Storage Association
- Guidelines for Roof-Mounted Photovoltaic System Installations by the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA)
- Solar Product Certification Listings by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO)
- Solar Training and Education for Professionals (STEP) program, administered by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC)
- California Solar Rights Act: A Review of the Statutes and Relevant Cases by Energy Policy Initiatives Center at the University of San Diego School of Law
- Updated various references to the 2016 codes throughout the Guidebook. Please refer to the California Building Standards Commission website for more details on code updates.
- Updates to formatting and page numbering throughout the Guidebook.
The first California Solar Permitting Guidebook was published in 2012, the result of a collective effort of stakeholders from local government, the building industry, professional associations, solar companies, utility providers, and state regulatory agencies. The Guidebook offers standardized documents that serve as templates for creating uniform and expedited permitting for small-scale solar. These templates can also be individually downloaded from the Center for Sustainable Energy’s Streamlined Solar Permitting Resources webpage.
Additional permitting materials can be found on OPR’s Renewable Energy webpage. OPR is continually seeking examples of permitting documents and resources to share with jurisdictions for wider use. OPR is also reaching out to local governments interested in improving permitting.
For more information contact:
OPR Policy Analyst Trelynd Bowles