The Solar Rights Act (CA Civil Code 714), enacted in 1978, bars restrictions by homeowners associations (HOAs) on the installation of solar-energy systems, but originally did not specifically apply to cities, counties, municipalities or other public entities. The Act was amended in September 2003 to prohibit a public entity from receiving state grant funding or loans for solar-energy programs if the entity prohibits or places unreasonable restrictions on the installation of solar-energy systems.
California’s solar access laws appear in the state’s Civil, Government, Health and Safety, and Public Resources Codes. California’s Civil Code (801.5) ensures that neighbors may voluntarily sign solar easements to ensure that proper sunlight is available to those who operate solar energy systems. California’s Government Code (65850.5) provides that subdivisions may include solar easements applicable to all plots within the subdivision in their plans.
The California Contractors State License Board administers contractor licenses. The C-46 Solar Contractor license covers active solar water and space heating systems, solar pool heating systems, and photovoltaic systems. C-46 requirements include four years of experience and passing the business and law exam and the trade exam. Independent license schools offer courses to prepare for license exams.
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.
The Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) Home Energy Efficiency Rebate Program offers cash rebates on qualifying energy-efficiency upgrades or improvements made to single family homes, multi-family apartments, or attached residential units (maximum of four). Prescriptive rebates are available for qualifying Energy Star dishwashers, clothes washers and water heaters. These appliance rebates can be redeemed at the point of sale through participating retailers. If the equipment is bought at a non-participating retailer, mail-in rebates are available.
The Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) offers The Home Energy Upgrade Financing (HEUF) program to its residential customers interested in making energy efficient improvements to their homes. Customers can qualify for loans ranging from $2,500 to $20,000 to purchase and install energy-efficient upgrades. Terms range from one to twelve years.
The SoCalGas On-Bill Financing (OBF) program offers qualified business customers 0% financing from $5,000 to $100,000 per meter for qualifying natural gas equipment. All institutional customers (i.e. counties, cities, school districts, etc.) may receive $5,000 to $250,000 per meter, and State of California can borrow up to $1,000,000 for one service account.
Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) offers non-residential customer rebates to encourage energy efficiency. More information about rebates and equipment requirements can be found at the program website.
Southern California Gas Company provides incentives to encourage the owners and managers of multi-family residential buildings to increase their energy efficiency. The program offers rebates for the installation of qualified energy-efficient products in apartment dwelling units and in the common areas of apartment and condominium complexes, and common areas of mobile home parks. Equipment must meet the efficiency standards provided on the web site.Contact Southern California Gas Company for additional information.
Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) offers non-residential customers incentive programs to encourage energy efficiency. More information about the incentive amounts and equipment requirements can be found at the program web site.