California Modifies Its Solar Rights Act

December 17, 2004

Two photos of a small commercial building located on a street corner, one before the installation of a solar power system on the roof and the second after the installation.

The town of Los Gatos, California, refused to issue a building permit to allow Akeena Solar to connect its PV modules to the electricity grid because they are visible from the street.
Credit: Akeena Solar

California Governor Arnold Swarzenegger signed a strengthened Solar Rights Act, which passed the California Legislature in September, to minimize restrictions that towns and local zoning agencies can place on solar installations. The act limits building officials' review of solar installations to health and safety requirements. It also sets a monetary limit of $2,000 that local governments can require homeowners or solar developers to spend on aesthetic improvements to solar installations.

Source: October 14 article by Jesse Broehl, editor,