I want to obtain a permit for solar panels. What should I know before I apply?

OC Planning offers solar panel permits for photovoltaic and solar water heating systems. The County of Orange is an agency that encourages energy efficiency and the application of new technologies. Accordingly, solar panel permit fees have been waived by the Board of Supervisors through June 30, 2013 (Ord. 08-013). Depending on your unique solar project additional permits may be necessary to ensure the safety of the structures; fees for these associated permits are not waived. For instance, if your solar panels are ground-mounted they may also require a building permit. Solar water heating systems will also require a plumbing permit (in addition to the basic solar panel permit). To obtain a permit you will need to submit plans including a basic plot plan and wet-stamped and signed structural calculations.

Zoning regulations vary depending on geographic location within the County and typically involve the evaluation of compliance with setbacks and approval by the local Homeowners Association. Additionally, depending on the nature of the proposal, the County may require submittal of glare impact analysis. We are here to help you and review your individual project. The best way to determine what is required or how you can best incorporate solar panels into your home or business is to contact us by phone, e-mail or in person at the public counter.

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