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The U.S. Department of Energy and the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center are excited to announce that a new, modernized DSIRE is under construction. The new version of DSIRE will offer significant improvements over the current version, including expanded data accessibility and an array of new tools for site users. The new DSIRE site will be available in December 2014. Staff are currently working hard on the new version of DSIRE but are also maintaining the content of the current version of DSIRE. Thank you for your continued support and patience during this transition. We hope you are as excited for December as we are! The U.S. Department of Energy and the North Carolina Solar Center are excited to announce that a new, modernized DSIRE is under construction. The new version of DSIRE will offer significant improvements over the current version, including expanded data accessibility and an array of new tools for site users. The new DSIRE site will be available in the summer of 2014. Staff are currently working hard on the new DSIRE and are unfortunately only able to make minimal updates to the DSIRE website at this time. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for using DSIRE.

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California

California

Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

Printable Version
Solar Rights Act   

Last DSIRE Review: 10/02/2012
Program Overview:
State: California
Incentive Type: Solar/Wind Access Policy
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Passive Solar Space Heat, Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Solar Thermal Electric, Solar Thermal Process Heat, Photovoltaics, Solar Pool Heating
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential, Nonprofit, Schools, Local Government, State Government, Fed. Government, Agricultural
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
CA Civil Code § 714 et seq.
1978
Authority 2:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
CA Health and Safety Code § 17959.1
9/24/2004
1/1/2005
Authority 3:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
CA Government Code § 65850.5
2004
1/1/2005
Summary:

The Solar Rights Act (CA Civil Code 714), enacted in 1978, bars restrictions by homeowners associations (HOAs) on the installation of solar-energy systems, but originally did not specifically apply to cities, counties, municipalities or other public entities. The Act was amended in September 2003 to prohibit a public entity from receiving state grant funding or loans for solar-energy programs if the entity prohibits or places unreasonable restrictions on the installation of solar-energy systems. A public entity is required to certify that it is not placing unreasonable restrictions on the procurement of solar-energy systems when applying for state-sponsored grants and loans.

The Act was amended again in September 2004 by extending its prohibition on restrictions to all public entities. Additional key changes minimize aesthetic solar restrictions to those that cost less than $2,000 and limits building official’s review of solar installations only to those items that relate to specific health and safety requirements of local, state and federal law. Assembly Bill 1892 of 2008 further amended the civil code to nullify any restrictions relating to solar energy systems contained in the governing documents of a common interest development. A common interest development includes community apartment projects, condominium projects, planned developments and stock cooperatives.

Reasonable attorney's fees incurred during a court case between a property owner and a common interest development or HOA will be awarded to the prevailing party. AB 2180 of 2008 provided even more consumer protections under the Civil Code by providing that any homeowners' association that is not a public entity that willfully violates the Solar Rights Act must pay the solar system owner a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000. AB 2180 further provides that the approval or denial of any application submitted to authorize the installation of a system must be made in writing within 60 days. If the application is not denied within 60 days it will be deemed approved unless the delay is the result of a reasonable request for additional information.

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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2013 - 2014 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.