The Problem: Local permitting requirements drive up the cost of going solar in California.
It is twice as expensive to go solar in California than in many other developed places. A typical rooftop solar project costs homeowners $22,800 in California. In Japan: $13,200. In Germany: $9,600. 
The major difference is that in California, outdated permitting requirements and staffing shortages can add months of delays and thousands of dollars to solar and battery projects. Streamlining that process can make it faster and easier for people to go solar. The Solar Access Act (SB 379) was recently passed into law to help make that happen. 
Solution: Streamlining solar permitting can make it faster and easier for you and your neighbors to install solar panels and/or batteries.
The new Solar Access Act requires most cities and counties to adopt online, automated, and instantaneous streamlined permitting for residential solar and storage systems . You can help make sure your local city and/or county are in compliance.
Cities and counties currently have three paths to comply with the law to make it easier for people to go solar:
- They can adopt SolarAPP+, a software system made by the Department of Energy and the nation’s leading building safety organizations. SolarAPP+ issues permits instantly to most residential rooftop solar projects that meet state codes, and it’s free for cities to use.  More than 20 California cities and counties already use it. 
- They can use Symbium, a free software system which automatically checks for code compliance and issues permits instantly for residential rooftop solar and battery storage systems. 
- Or cities and counties can enhance their existing system to match the capability of SolarAPP+ or Symbium.
Deadlines for funding and compliance:
- California has made grants available for any of the paths to compliance. The grant deadline was May 1st, but there are still funds left, and your town can still apply. It’s first-come, first-served, and the maximum amount is $100,000. 
- Big cities and counties (more than 50,000 people) were required to comply with the Solar Access Act by September 30, 2023. If these cities and counties have not yet adopted instant, online, and automatic permitting for rooftop solar and storage systems that verifies the system is up to code, then they are out of compliance with the law.
- Smaller cities (less than 50,000 people) are required to comply with the Solar Access Act by September 30, 2024.
- Cities with fewer than 5,000 people and counties with fewer than 150,000 people are exempt from the Solar Access Act, but they can still adopt the software and apply for the grant to make it easier for residents to go solar.
Don't see your city or county on the map?
If you’re a city or county official:
- Thank you to all cities and counties that have taken action to comply with the Solar Access Act to make it easier for residents to go solar!
- The compliance map is based on publicly available data from the California Energy Commission, National Renewable Energy Lab, SolarAPP+, Symbium, and the State of California Department of Finance (for population counts).
- If your jurisdiction has additional information you would like to make public about the steps you have taken to comply with the law, please email [email protected].
If you’re a resident:
- Call your City Mayor or County Board of Supervisors and ask them to make it easier for local residents to go solar.
- You can look up their phone number using the tool below. Here’s a suggestion for what to say. Feel free to modify as you see fit:
“My name is ___ and I live in ____. The new Solar Access Act requires cities to streamline their solar permit process to make it easier for residents to go solar. I support this. Will you comply with the law?”
Look up your local elected officials here