Can You Install Your Own Solar Panels In California?

Solar panel installation is something that you can perform on your own. There are solar systems made expressly for do-it-yourselfers that, while time-consuming at times, should be possible.

It’s worth mentioning, though, that many DIY solar panels aren’t meant to be connected to the power grid. They’re more for off-grid applications, like as powering RVs or other areas that aren’t generally supplied by a traditional utility. DIY solar panels can be used to augment your standard energy source if you just need a little amount of power. If you want to use solar energy to power your entire home, you need probably hire a professional.

Installing a complete solar energy system necessitates basic electrical knowledge in order to properly handle the wiring and other technical issues. You’ll almost certainly have to work in potentially hazardous situations, such as on your roof or with underground cables. Crossed wires can cause malfunction and even electrical fires, so the stakes are high if something goes wrong. Depending on your municipality’s zoning restrictions, it may also be illegal for you to conduct this work without the assistance of a professional.

If you have any queries concerning your home installation project, please consult a trained professional.

In California, what permits are required to install solar panels?

On July 28, the Contractor State Licensing Board (CSLB) decided 11-3 to prohibit 80 percent of California’s licensed solar contractors from continuing to build solar and energy storage systems. Despite the board’s 40-year history of comprehensive testing and formal clearance for C-46 solar specialty contractors to install solar and energy storage systems, as well as the lack of reported occurrences involving contractor mistake, this vote was taken.

The CSLB determined that the C-10 specialty license is the only one that can install solar and energy storage systems. Unlike prior votes, this one skips the regulatory approval process and takes effect after 90 days.

Is it possible to put solar panels in California?

If you’re thinking of putting solar panels in your San Diego house or anyplace else in California, one of the first questions you’ll want to ask is whether you’ll need a permit. Yes, to put it succinctly.

However, the good news is that it’s pretty easy to perform, especially if you deal with a licensed San Diego Solar Panel Installer.

It is critical to consult with an experienced specialist since installing photovoltaic panels without first obtaining the necessary permits can result in catastrophic consequences. There may be fines or you may be obliged to remove the panels in some cases.

In California, do I need HOA approval to install solar panels?

Do the community rules prohibit you from installing a solar energy system on your property if you live in a community with a Home Owners Association (HOA)? The California Solar Rights Act prohibits homeowners’ associations from restricting a person’s freedom to install solar panels. In other words, your HOA will not be able to block you from putting solar panels on your property. Of course, if you live in a Home Owners Association, you must still tell the association that a solar system is being installed. Your solar contractor can prepare designs and documentation for you to submit to your HOA in order for them to approve the solar installation arrangement.

California Civil Code

Anything that “prohibits or restricts the installation or use of a solar energy system is void and unenforceable,” according to the act’s civil code. As a result, householders have the right to install a solar system, albeit there may be reasonable limitations on where the solar panels are placed. Reasonable constraints are defined as things that “do not materially increase the system’s cost or degrade its efficiency or stated performance.”

This Solar Rights Act was updated in September 2014 to clarify what “substantially” implies when it comes to solar installation. The modification stipulated that the sum should not exceed $1,000 over the initial system cost, nor should it reduce the system’s efficiency by more than 10%.

Hire an Experienced Solar Installation Team

Whether you live in a neighborhood with or without a HOA, it is critical that you adhere to all building laws and restrictions. The majority of homeowners are unaware of these restrictions. The ideal approach is to employ an expert installation team to guarantee that you follow the building department’s, utility companies’, and Home Owner Association’s rules.

Is it necessary for me to get approval for solar panels?

Solar panels can be installed with permitted development rights. This is contingent on the terms and conditions described below.

Conservation areas are likewise subject to permitted development rights, with the exception of those covered by an Article 4 Direction. Permitted development rights for solar panel installations are no longer available. In these circumstances, you’ll need to submit a planning application.

To comply with allowed development regulations, you should position the solar panel as far as possible to minimize its impact on the building’s external look and the area’s amenity. Solar panels should be removed as soon as they are no longer needed.

Solar panels mounted on a house or a block of flats or a building in the grounds of a house or flats:

When any of the following conditions apply, you simply need to apply for full planning permission (flats) or householder planning approval (houses) to install a solar panel:

  • When measured perpendicularly, it would protrude more than 20cm from the external surface of the wall or roof slope.
  • The solar panel or equipment’s highest point will be higher than the roof’s highest point. Any chimney is not included in this.
  • It would be mounted on a conservation area wall that faces a roadway. This comprises public roads, pathways, and rights of way.
  • Your home or flat is a listed structure, or it is within the curtilage of one. Curtilage refers to the area of a garden or grounds.

You must also apply for listed building consent if your house or flat is a listed structure.

Stand alone solar panels on domestic premises (panels not on a building)

When any of the following conditions apply, you simply need to apply for full planning permission (flats) or householder planning approval (houses) to install a stand-alone solar panel:

  • There would be more than one stand-alone solar panel installed.
  • It would be taller than 4 meters.
  • It would be 5 meters inside the property’s perimeter.
  • It would be placed within the confines of a historic structure. Curtilage refers to the area of a garden or grounds.
  • Any part of the solar installation would be closer to a highway than any part of the house in a conservation area. Roads, pathways, and public rights of way all make up a highway.
  • Any stand-alone solar panel’s surface area will exceed 9m2, and any dimension of its array (including other equipment) will exceed 3m.

Why are solar panels a waste of money?

What are the most significant drawbacks of solar energy? Because solar panels cannot store electricity, their production will be reduced in overcast conditions and will be nil at night. As a result, most home solar systems necessitate the usage of a solar battery.

Is a solar license required in California?

California is the most important market for solar energy production in the United States. California produces more than 28 million MWh of solar energy per year, accounting for 30% of all PV energy produced in the United States. Because of the state’s leadership role in the United States, new regulations and changes to how installers must operate should be constantly studied, since they could have a nationwide influence. The California State License Board recently implemented a law that affects the solar business in the state (CSLB). To continue installing solar panels and storage, C-46 Solar Contractors must receive an electrician’s license by November 1, 2021. The majority of solar installers would be unable to finish the job they are now conducting as a result of this. In response, the California Solar and Storage Association (CALSSA) filed a lawsuit against the CSLB, claiming that the policy was unconstitutional.

In California, how can I obtain a solar license?

You must pass the Trade exam as well as the Law & Business exam in order to acquire your solar contractor’s license.

Although you can apply for a solar contractor license at the age of 18, due to the experience requirement, it is advised that you be at least 23 years old.

In California, do you need a license to sell solar panels?

Solar Providers and their Installers are prohibited from operating without a license. To check if the Solar Provider and Installer licenses are active and valid, go to or contact 800-321-CSLB (2752).

What is the new solar panel law in California that will take effect in 2022?

The following modifications are only a suggestion that will be voted on on February 24, 2022. A new monthly “Grid Participation Charge” of $8 per kilowatt of solar capacity installed on your property will be implemented. For most California homeowners, this will become a monthly payment of $48.