The days are getting shorter, but it’s still bright and sunny in the solar realm. Both the City and County of Santa Barbara are working to make it easier for residents to get permits for rooftop solar arrays.
As with any construction project, solar permits are required for homeowners and businesses that want to install solar panels on their roofs. Processing time varies widely depending on the city or county where the permit is granted.
A new, expedited solar permitting process makes solar installations go more smoothly for all parties involved. This improved system lowers regulatory barriers for local businesses and simplifies the process for homeowners. It reduces the amount of municipal staff time needed to process the permits. It also cuts the amount of time solar companies spend on the process, which brings down the cost of solar overall. Solar that costs less, paired with a hassle-free process, makes it easier for Santa Barbarans to generate clean, local and renewable energy for our region. It’s a good deal for our local environmental and economic health.
The City of Santa Barbara has lead the way for years with an over-the-counter permitting process that is quicker than most other cities. The City has recently revised their guidelines to make them even more user-friendly. With a little nudging from CEC, the County of Santa Barbara recently stepped up as well. They rewrote their guidelines for residential rooftop solar permitting to expedite the process (read the new County process). A process that used to take 2 to 6 weeks will now only take 2 days. We applaud the elected officials and dedicated staff who made these changes possible.
Now, CEC is working with the other cities in Santa Barbara County to take a second look at their permitting processes, as well as encourage expedited permitting for commercial projects.