The solar industry is pushing a bill in Sacramento to require local governments to streamline solar rooftop permitting in California. Permitting hurdles represent a major cost for the industry, as each local government has their own rules for permitting. This bill, AB 2188, would require locals to consult with fire and utility officials to pass an ordinance with a streamlined process:
“Your typical home solar energy system is quite cookie-cutter,” says Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar Energy Industries Association. “From Chico to Chula Vista, the exact same product, design and installation is being installed, yet many building departments require byzantine permits as if they are installing a nuclear power plant.”
California can’t control the price of solar panels (which has fallen dramatically in the last few years, based on cheap Chinese production and growing demand), and it can’t really control the marketing to persuade people to go solar. But it can control the public process related to permitting, so I’m glad to see this bill moving along as it heads to the Senate after passage in the Assembly.