California Caps Solar Permitting Fees

Gov. Jerry Brown of California has signed a law designed to help reduce the costs of solar installation by limiting permitting fees up to $500.

According to S.B. 1222, the bill’s sponsor, State Sen. Mark Leno, Californians’ costs for solar have “remained much higher than necessary in some places because of inconsistent local permitting fees and costly inspections that are ill-suited for modern solar technology.”

The law prohibits a city or county from charging fees greater than $500 for installations up to 15 kW, or $500 plus $5 for each kilowatt more than 15 kW. Exceptions can be made if a local agency submits “substantial evidence” of its administrative costs to issue the solar permit.

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