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CEC is committed to creating a more resilient and just region in the face of climate change. Through our work with the Central Coast Climate Justice Network and elsewhere, our vision includes an end to racial injustices and their resulting environmental inequities.

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.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Please help the City of GOLETA speed their process up! We waited more than 4 months for them to work with our contractors and once finally done, we were told they will limit work done within Goleta due to the hardnose inspectors and permiters. Shameful!they don’t know what they are doing in the City of Goleta, they are ridiculously strict and non-communicative!

  2. Hi Sue,

    While CEC is in discussions with Goleta staff to streamline their solar permitting process, support from local constituents is incredibly important. The best thing you can do is contact the City Council members and encourage them to implement a streamlined solar permitting process. Tell them your story and ask for their help.

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