Getting a permit for solar panels will now be faster for those in San Diego!

Shortie

Well-known member
Jul 9, 2023
100
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If you live in San Diego you will be pleased to know that it will now be faster for you to get a permit for solar panels. This will be known as an instant permit and will make processing faster for solar customers within San Diego.

Prior to them making this change and permits now being faster to process for those who wish to use solar panels on their homes, the waiting time for permits was at 10 days so this is a major turnaround and one I am very sure that most will be happy about if they are looking to get solar panels installed.

How has this change come about? It has been made possible by the use of a brand-new self-certification process which allows all applications to bypass a review of their installation by the city depending on the kind of building that is entered into the application!

If you live in San Diego, are you happy about this new change?
 
Location
San Diego, California, United States
Interesting! I actually live in San Diego and went through the solar permitting and installation process back in 2021. I recall it took a few months from designing the system to receiving Permission to Operate (PTO) from the utility (San Diego Gas & Electric) and getting the system energized. As part of the process, you have to submit your design for the solar system to the City for review/approval before they'll allow it to be installed. It sounds like the new self-certification will allow potential solar customers to basically skip the review/approval step and save some time.

Always great to hear about permitting improvements but kind of a shame, and a little ironic, that these reforms come following California's phase out of NEM 2.0 earlier this year. I guess a silver lining is that shorter permitting times will mean that new solar customers can get started sooner with that much longer payback period 🤣.

Thanks @Shortie for sharing. I'd heard about this but wasn't aware of the details.
 
10 days really wasn't a long time to get a permit in the first place. The reason I say that is because usually it's the job of the installer/contractor to gain the permit in most states. Is that the same in California? If the contractor puts in the permit request as soon as the client signs the contract to agree to the solar panels, then by 10 days, the product should have been ready by then and the schedule open for installation.
 
10 days really wasn't a long time to get a permit in the first place. The reason I say that is because usually it's the job of the installer/contractor to gain the permit in most states. Is that the same in California? If the contractor puts in the permit request as soon as the client signs the contract to agree to the solar panels, then by 10 days, the product should have been ready by then and the schedule open for installation.

Yes, exactly right, the solar installer handles the permitting. Except the permitting step doesn't run concurrently with other steps in the process, i.e., there's a wait between permit application and permit issuance during which the installer can't make progress on any other steps until the permit is in hand.

After you contract, the installer can't immediately apply for a permit because they first need to work with you to prepare final (CAD) drawings for the system. The installer needs your sign-off on these and is required to include these as part of their permit application to the City. The installer then obviously needs to wait until that permitting step is complete before moving forward with the remaining steps (installation, inspections, and power-up). Looking back at my emails, it was about 30 days between signing off on the drawings and getting the permit. I'm not exactly sure when the installer submitted the permit application during that timeframe so all I can say is that permitting took 30 days at most but was probably a little less than that.

Overall I agree that permitting isn't the most time-consuming step, though in my case it probably represented about 20-30% of the overall timeline (the entire process took about three months between contract signing and Permission to Operate). Based on my own experience, it seems that replacing the permit process with the new self-certification will make a notable, but not world-changing, difference in terms of total time to get solar installed.
 
I don't live in San Diego, and I would like to know how this solar permit rule differs from permitting rules in other states. Is there any difference between the permits you get for households and the solar permits for businesses? How much money do you have to spend to get a solar permit and how long can you continue to use it before it is due for renewal?
 
It's indeed promising news that the permit process for solar panels in San Diego will be faster. This development can have numerous positive effects, such as motivating more residents to embrace renewable energy and fostering sustainable practices. By expediting permit approval, it may facilitate the transition to clean energy and contribute to a greener future, benefiting both the environment and the community as a whole.
 
This is fantastic news for San Diego residents! Faster and instant permits for solar panels are a game-changer. The reduction from a 10-day waiting period to an instant permit will undoubtedly encourage more people to embrace solar energy. The introduction of the self-certification process is a smart move, streamlining the application process and making it more accessible. It's a win-win for both residents and the environment.
 
This is fantastic news for San Diego residents! Faster and instant permits for solar panels are a game-changer. The reduction from a 10-day waiting period to an instant permit will undoubtedly encourage more people to embrace solar energy. The introduction of the self-certification process is a smart move, streamlining the application process and making it more accessible. It's a win-win for both residents and the environment.

One thing that I like is that this permit for getting a solar energy will definitely be of great benefits to the environment. Solar energy is known to be one of the best source of energy with regards to being environmental friendly and getting a better instant permit to install one at home or in the offices for those that are staying in San Diego is worth celebrating.
 
Well, if I was living in San Diego, I wouldn't be crying over 10 day period of wait for my permit to install my solar system. I'm not saying that getting it done in the same day is bad but I believe there are other aspects of permitting process in San Diego that needs a more serious redress than the permit for solar system installation.
 
Well, I don't live in San Diego, but I feel so glad to hear about the fast permit process for those who want to install solar systems in their homes.

Some of you might be wondering, if I'm not living in San Diego, why am I feeling so happy? Well, I'm feeling happy for the people who are struggling to get permits to fulfill their urgent needs.

Because after reading about their real stories of struggles and frustrations getting different permits, it feels so good to see some improvements and ease in getting some types of permits.
 

For further information on this GPT, visit the U.S. National/Federal GPT page.

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