Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Permits
The City issues permits over-the-counter for simple residential rooftop PV systems as described below. Other PV systems may require plan review.
Over-the-Counter Rooftop PV Permits
A qualified contractor (CA licensed class B, C10 or C46) can obtain an over-the-counter PV permit for a simple residential rooftop system on a single-family lot when the project meets the following criteria:
- The system is no larger than 10 kilowatts alternating current nameplate rating or 30 kilowatts thermal.
- The system conforms to all applicable state fire, structural, electrical and other building codes as adopted by or amended by the city, county, or city and county and paragraph (3) of subdivision (c) of section 714 of the Civil Code:
- A solar energy system for producing electricity shall also meet all applicable safety and performance standards established by the California Electrical Code, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and accredited testing laboratories such as Underwriters Laboratories and, where applicable, rules of the Public Utilities Commission regarding safety and reliability.
- Installed on a single-family dwelling or duplex.
- The solar panel or module array that does not exceed the maximum legal building height as defined by the authority having jurisdiction.
PV Permit Application
Complete the Solar Eligibility Checklist in order to determine eligibility for expedited review.
Complete the Building Permit application. Zoning/Planning review is NOT required for residential rooftop PV systems that meet the criteria.
- Electronic submittal: Email Community Development
- Facsimile submittal: fax to 562-989-7391
- Over-the-counter submittal: Walk-in applications will also be accepted for expedited review during the Building Department’s counter hours, currently 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The fee for a qualified permit for a single PV system is $332. This includes plan check, inspection, miscellaneous permit processing and State mandated permit fees. Fees for additional types of submittals can be reviewed on the attached Schedule of Fees.
Review Time for Electronic / Facsimile Submittals
Following best management practices, electronic submittals will be reviewed within 24-hours. Plan checks will be no more than 3 business days for occasional cases when best management review times cannot be met. Incomplete applications will receive a written correction notice detailing the deficiencies in the application along with any additional information required to be eligible for the expedited permit issuance.
Approval / Permit Issuance
Upon confirmation that the application and supporting documents are complete and the requirements of the checklist are met, the applicant will be notified to come to the City to pay for permit issuance fees and obtain the building permit.
Business License Required
Contractors are required to have a business license in the city of Signal Hill. Complete the Business License Application (PDF), and contact the Finance Department for fee information at 562-989-7315.
Only one inspection shall be required for a small residential rooftop solar energy system. Inspections are scheduled within 24-hours of a request on Monday through Friday during regular business hours. Leave request at the Inspection Request Line: 562-989-7348. If the project fails inspection, subsequent inspections will be performed as needed until the project meets solar building code requirements.
Following inspection and approval of the system, Building Department staff will contact Southern California Edison and provide a release as permission to connect to the local distribution grid. The Comprehensive Inspection Reference (PDF) is available to alert applicants about inspection requirements.