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Solar West Hollywood

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Solar West Hollywood

On September 21, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 2188 (AB 2188), a follow up to California’s Solar Rights Act of 1978. AB 2188 makes permitting of solar energy installation more consistent statewide by requiring cities and counties to adopt an ordinance creating a streamlined permitting process for small residential rooftop solar systems.

In keeping with the City’s core values of environmental responsibility and bringing the City into substantial conformance with State requirements, West Hollywood has adopted an ordinance that further streamlines its approval process for qualifying solar energy systems. This streamlined approval process will help homeowners by providing guides and checklists that simplify plan preparation and expedite City reviews, approvals and inspections.

What types of solar energy systems does the ordinance cover?

The ordinance covers qualifying small residential rooftop installations on single or duplex family dwellings. These rooftop installations include:

  • Simple Photovoltaic Systems (PV) 10 Kilowatts (kW) or Less
  • Solar Water Heating (SWH) Systems 30 Kilowatts Thermal (kWth) or Less
  • Solar Pool Heating (SPH) System Installation of 30 kWth or Less

 Getting Started

With the help from the Center for Sustainable Energy, Building and Safety has developed a set of guides to assist constituents through the expedited approval process. These guides provide a checklist to help determine if your project qualifies, determine what permits and approvals are required, and provide information that will help with plan submittal, fees and inspections.

Agency Approvals

  • Planning Approval
    Qualifying systems will be processed similar to nondiscretionary permits (zone clearance). New solar energy system installations found to exceed the maximum height limitations of the zoning district or found to adversely impact public health and safety will not qualify for the streamlined process.  A Zone Clearance permit shall not be conditioned on approval of an application of an association.
  • Los Angeles County Fire Department Approval
    Los Angeles County Fire department review and approval for these small residential rooftop installations has been deferred to Building and Safety.  Roof access and pathways shall be provided per the Los Angeles County Fire Code, Section 605.11 and the California Residential Building Code, Section R324.7.
  • Southern California Edison
    West Hollywood is serviced by Southern California Edison (SCE). SCE customers who produce their own electricity from eligible renewable energy generating systems are eligible for SCE’s rate option called Net Energy Metering (NEM). The NEM allows Edison customers to receive a credit for the surplus electricity supplied to the electric grid. The credit is applied to offset all or part of customers’ electric bill. PV systems that will be linked to the electricity grid, known as interconnection, need prior approval.  Edison’s interconnection approval is separate from West Hollywood’s and customers are encouraged to contact them early in the planning process. Edison’s approval process may take up to 30 days.

More information on NEM can be found on Edison’s website.


Inspections can be scheduled through the Building and Safety Division’s automated inspection request line at (323) 848-6335. Requests received within the business hours of 8:00AM to 6:00PM will be typically scheduled for the next business day.


Building, electrical and plumbing plan check fees and associated permit fees for qualifying residential rooftop solar energy systems have been waived by the City of West Hollywood. A zone clearance fee from the Planning Division as well as any State and outside agency fees will apply.  Permit fees for required structural upgrades to existing buildings as part of the system installation are not waived.

Go Solar West Hollywood

For those interested in learning more about going solar, Go Solar West Hollywood is a city-sponsored program to encourage property owners to go solar. West Hollywood has partnered with EnergySage, an online marketplace to help property owners receive and compare quotes!

Contractor Classifications Authorized for Solar Energy Projects