A workshop was held on December 8, 2022, to provide an overview of the CEC’s proposed guidelines mandated by SB 379. Public comments must be submitted by 5:00 PM on January 9, 2023. Comments submitted to the docket should be focused on feedback to staff recommendations in the proposed guidelines.

General comments and questions should be emailed to calapp@energy.ca.gov. Please also review the “Common Questions” section below. An FAQ document related to SB 379 and the related reporting requirements will posted soon.

  • Senate Bill 379 (Wiener, 2022) requires most California cities and counties to implement an online, automated permitting platform that verifies code compliance and issues permits in real time or allows the city, county, or city and county to issue permits in real time for a residential solar energy system, as defined, that is no larger than 38.4 kilowatts alternating current nameplate rating and a residential energy storage system, as defined, paired with a residential solar energy system that is no larger than 38.4 kilowatts alternating current nameplate rating
     
  • A city with a population of fewer than 5,000 and a county with a population of fewer than 150,000, including each city within that county, is exempt.
     
  • A city with a population of 50,000 or fewer that is not exempt shall satisfy the requirements by September 30, 2024.
     
  • A city, county, or city and county with a population of greater than 50,000 that is not exempt shall satisfy the requirements by September 30, 2023.
     
  • Full text of Senate Bill 379 (Wiener, 2022).

Residential Solar Permit Reporting – Senate Bill 379 - Proposed Guidelines

  • These proposed Guidelines are made available for public comment and shall be the basis for public input at the public workshop held on December 8, 2022. Feedback will inform proposed final guidelines prior to being adopted at a publicly-noticed Energy Commission business meeting.
  • As defined in SB 379, a city, county, or city and county shall report to the Energy Commission when it is in compliance with this legislation. Additionally, a city, county, or city and county shall report annually to the Energy Commission within one year of implementing an online, automated solar permitting system. This annual reporting requirement shall become inoperative on June 30, 2034.
     
  • Reporting will focus on the following criteria:
    • The number of permits issued for residential solar energy systems and residential energy storage systems paired with residential solar energy systems; and
    • The relevant characteristics of those systems
  • SB 379 Guidelines will define these requirements and establish other items relevant to this reporting.

Q. I have questions about SolarAPP+. Who do I talk to?

Q. How do we determine if we are exempt from these requirements?

  • A: SB 379 establishes exemptions based on population.  A city with a population of fewer than 5,000, and a county with a population of fewer than 150,000 (including the population of each city within that county) is exempt from the requirements of SB 379.  Population is determined by the latest estimates provided by the State of California Department of Finance.  Population estimates can be accessed here.

Q. Is financial assistance available to help our jurisdiction comply with SB 379

  • A. Yes, the California Automated Permit Processing (CalAPP) Program is a grant program for cities and counties to receive assistance implementing an online, automated permitting platform. A first come, first served, grant funding opportunity was developed and released prior to the passage of this legislation, and applications are accepted until May 1, 2023. More information about CalAPP.

Q. How do I comply with the SB 379 reporting requirement?

  • A. Staff are currently developing guidelines which will define a process for jurisdictions to comply with this mandate. A public workshop will be held to solicit feedback and a public comment period will be open following this workshop. We encourage public input during this process! Workshop information will be posted on this webpage when it becomes available.

The California Automated Permit Processing (CalAPP) Program is a grant program for cities and counties to receive assistance implementing an online, automated permitting platform. A grant funding opportunity was developed and released prior to the passage of this legislation, and applications are accepted until May 1, 2023. More information about CalAPP

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