Residential Rooftop Solar Permitting

Residential Solar Energy Application Guidelines 

Three options are available for obtaining solar permits. Please review the options below to identify the one that aligns most with your requirements.

1. Instant Review

Per California SB 379, an automatic permit review is available for solar systems that are 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. The City is using Symbium for this exciting, new feature and applicants can apply, upload and receive approval through by using the address bar below. An expedited fee of $25 dollars applies for this permit.

How to apply for an instant permit for solar and/or battery storage system:

  1. Enter the property address in the address bar above. Symbium provides rich data about the property and its permit history.
  2. Click on the Rooftop Solar or Battery Storage Installation button. When you're ready to apply for an instant solar permit, click on the Rooftop Solar or Battery Storage Installation button in the Property Improvements section.
  3. Download your approval document. Answer questions about the scope of work. If you project is code compliant, you can download your approval document. 
  4. Apply for a permit. Upload your approval document to your online permit application or bring the approval document to the building counter at City Hall to get your permit issued in real time. 

To watch a demo of how to use Symbium to apply for an instant solar permit, visit: symbium.com/solarpermits/apply

2. Regular Expedited Review

Per California Assembly Bill 2188, a regular expedited review is available for 10kw or less of solar photovoltaic and 30kw or less of thermal solar water heating on one- or two-family dwellings, at no extra fee. In order to qualify, complete and upload the corresponding “Eligibility Checklist” with your plans and Building Application in your Maintstar portal. For more information, and for plan submittal requirements, please visit the California Solar Permitting Workbook.

 Expedited Applications:

3. All other PV Plan Submittal Requirements:

  1. Completed permit application in Maintstar.
  2. Demonstrate compliance with the eligibility checklist for expedited permit application (above) and upload it to Maintstar.
  3.  A complete Electrical plan that includes:
    1. Locations of main service or utility disconnect.
    2. Total number of modules, number of modules per string and the total number of strings.
    3. Make and model of inverter(s) and/or combiner box if used.
    4. One-line diagram of system. Specify grounding/bonding, conductor type and size, conduit type and size and number of conductors in each section of conduit. If batteries are to be installed, include them in the diagram and show their locations and venting.
  4. Equipment cut sheets including inverters, modules, AC and DC disconnects, combiners and wind generators. Labeling of equipment as required by CEC, Sections 690 and 705.
  5. Site diagram showing the arrangement of panels on the roof or ground, north arrow, lot dimensions and the distance from property lines to adjacent buildings/structures (existing and proposed) d) A roof plan showing roof layout, PV panels and the following fire safety items: approximate location of roof access point, location of code-compliant access pathways, PV system fire classification and the locations of all required labels and markings. Examples of clear path access pathways are available in the State Fire Marshal Solar PV Installation Guide. http://osfm.fire.ca.gov/pdf/reports/ solarphotovoltaicguideline.pdf.
  6. Completed expedited Structural Criteria checklist (link below), along with required documentation. For non-qualifying systems, provide structural drawings and calculations stamped and signed by a California-licensed civil or structural engineer, along with the following information:
    1. The type of roof covering and the number of roof coverings installed. Type of roof framing, size of members and spacing. Weight of panels, support locations and method of attachment. Framing plan and details for any work necessary to strengthen the existing roof structure. Site-specific structural calculations. Where an approved racking system is used, provide documentation showing manufacturer of the rack system, maximum allowable weight the system can support, attachment method to the roof or ground and product evaluation information or structural design for the rack system.

Solar Water Heating Plan Submittal Requirements:

  1. Completed permit application in Maintstar.
  2. Demonstrate compliance with the eligibility checklist for expedited permit application (above) and upload to Maintstar.
      1. A complete Plumbing, Electrical, Structural and Mechanical Plan that includes:
      2. Total number of collectors and area.
      3. Make, model and collector certification number. System certification number. Solar storage tank name, model, insulation and capacity. Heat exchanger make and model (if applicable).
      4. Specifications of heat transfer fluid (if applicable).
  3. A roof plan showing roof layout and solar collectors with attachment details.  
  4. System schematic, including major components.
  5. Equipment cut sheets including collectors, controller, storage tank/heat exchanger (if applicable).
      1. Provide structural drawings and calculations along with the following information:
      2. The type of roof covering and the number of roof coverings installed.
      3. Type of roof framing, size of members and spacing.
      4. Weight of panels, support locations and method of attachment. Framing plan and details for any work necessary to strengthen the existing roof structure. Site-specific structural calculations.
      5. Where an approved racking system is used, provide documentation showing manufacturer of the rack system, maximum allowable weight the system can support, attachment method to the roof or ground and product evaluation information or structural design for the rack system.