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California Bill Would Streamline Solar Construction Permitting

FLICKR / Elliott Brown
 

FLICKR / Elliott Brown

It could soon be easier to install solar panels on your house. A bill now in the California legislature would require cities and counties to adopt an ordinance that streamlines the permitting process for residential solar projects.

Democratic Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi says his bill would require cities to draw up checklists for expedited review of permit applications and to conduct inspections within five days of receiving an application. He says installers often wait weeks to get approval for a job.

"They told me that it takes 65 days on average to install solar panels on someone’s rooftop, and 64 of those days are spent wading through all the different bureaucratic requirements," says Muratsuchi.

Some opponents said the bill could lead to less thorough safety inspections. Supporters say the bill does not preclude local jurisdictions from adopting strict codes and complete inspections.

The bill is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee early next month.

 Al Muratsuchi