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Solar Powering - Chula Vista

Chula Vista has one of the highest number of Solar Photovoltaic (PV) installations in the region.  Residents and businesses, who install Solar PV, are typically able to reduce their long-term electricity costs and to help lower demand for fossil fuel burning power plants in the community.

The City of Chula Vista has implemented numerous policies, programs, and ordinances to help facilitate Solar PV and other renewable energy technologies (such as Solar Hot Water) in the community.

Solar PV Installation

Quick Reference Guide

INCENTIVES

Solar PV & Hot Water incentives are available through the California Solar Initiative (CSI).  In the San Diego region, the California Center for Sustainable Energy administers the CSI incentive. Go Solar Logo
PERMITTING
The City's Building Division has created a Solar PV Submittal Requirements Form (#4613) to help outline the necessary permitting steps for installations.  Residential permits are $250, while commercial permits start at $2,544.82. Sustainability Desk
FINANCING
There are a variety of programs to help finance Solar PV systems.  For residential systems, low-interest loans are offered through banks and the City's Home Upgrade, Carbon Downgrade program.  For commercial systems, the City is part of CaliforniaFIRST, a special property-assessed financing tool.

Incentive Money

SINGLE-FAMILY AFFORDABLE SOLAR HOMES (SASH)
GRID Alternatives, a non-profit organization, administers a special California incentive program to help low-income families gain access to Solar PV systems at little or no cost.
GRID Alternatives Logo

 

INCENTIVES

In order to access California Solar Initiative (CSI) incentives, community members should follow this step-by-step process:

Step 1: Energy Efficiency Audit
Complete an energy efficiency audit and make sure to take advantage of all the cost-effective ways to save energy and money in your home or business.  To request a FREE home energy evaluation from the City, please contact 619-409-3893 or Conservation@chulavistaca.gov.

Step 2: Find a Solar Installer
Qualified contractors are your key to getting the most productive solar energy system for your home or business.  A list of qualified contractors can by accessed by clicking here.  

Step 3: Apply for Rebates
Qualified contractors will handle the CSI application process for your rebates in two or three steps.

Step 4: Install Your System
If you have received your reservation confirmation letter, you're ready to install your system.  After it has been inspected by Building Inspectors, it can be interconnected to the utility's power grid.  The SDG&E application for Solar PV interconnections can be accessed by clicking here.  

Step 5: Claim Your Incentive
When your project is installed and operational, you may submit the Incentive Claim Form (provided through application process).

 

For more information, visit the California Solar Initiative website by clicking here.  To contact the California Center for Sustainable Energy, which administers the CSI incentive in SDG&E's service territory, please call 858-244-1177 or email csi@energycenter.org.

 

PERMITTING

The City of Chula Vista requires building permits for solar energy installations.  Below is an overview of the permitting process for Solar Photovoltaic systems. 

Step 1: Review Permit Submittal Requirements

The City's "Solar PV Systems: Minimum Submittal Requirements" Form provides helpful tips on submitting a successful permit application.

Step 2:  Check on Property's Historical Status

For buildings greater than 45 years old and of historical significance, there could be additional guidance on the proper design and location of solar energy systems.  Check with the Planning Division (619-691-5101), if you think that your building may be considered historic.

Step 3:  Submit Permit Application

To apply for a Solar Photovoltaic system permit, you must complete a "Residential Addition/Remodel Worksheet" (Form 4562) and submit it at the City's Building Counter (see address below).  In addition to the Worksheet, the submittal package should include:

Solar Permitting Flow Chart

  • (3) copies of a Plot/Site Plan & (2) copies of Construction Plans
  • Permit fees are currently $250 (flat rate) for residential Solar PV systems, while commercial permits start at $2,544.82 (100 or less panels).

Step 4: Plan Check Process

The Plan Check process usually is 10 calendar days for an initial review.  Follow-up reviews (rechecks) are an additional 10 days.

Step 5: Building Permit Issued

After all of the required approvals are received, the City's Development Services Department will issue a building permit and Solar PV installation can proceed.

Step 6:  Installation Inspection

After the Solar PV system is installed, a Building Inspector will assess the bolting of the panels to the roof structure as well as all aspects of the electrical system including grounding, sub-panels, and inverter.  Building inspections can be scheduled by calling 619-409-5434 and choosing "Option 1."

Other Important Permitting Contact Info

Development Services Department

Public Services Building B

276 Fourth Avenue

Chula Vista, CA  91910

arrow Phone Numbers

Planning Division - (619) 691-5101

Building Division - (619) 691-5272

Building Inspection - (619) 409-5434

  • Schedule Inspection:  Option 1
  • Inspection Results:  Option 3
  • Plan Review Status:  Option 4

arrow Business Hours

Monday - Thursday 10:00AM - 4:00PM*

*New Building Permit Submittals accepted until 3:00 pm

To learn more, please visit the Development Service Department's more-detailed Solar PV Permitting website by clicking here.

 

FINANCING

To help offset the upfront costs of solar energy systems, there are a variety of financing tools available to residential and commercial property-owners.  It is important to seek professional financial advice before investing in solar energy systems.

Single-Family Residential

arrow Chula Vista Home Upgrade, Carbon Downgrade - Low-interest financing for up to 20-year terms for Chula Vista residential property-owners with energy efficiency prerequisites (limited funding available).  

arrow Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs) - A form of credit in which a home serves as collateral and a property-owner can withdraw funds as needed and pay back the debt indefinitely.  This type of loan is typically available through local banks.

arrow FHA 203(k) Rehabilitation Loans - The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) administers a special program designed for individuals that want to renovate a single-family home (including installing Solar PV panels), so they can live in it as their primary residence.  The FHA gurantees the renovation costs in coordination with a local lender.

arrow HUD FHA PowerSaver Loans - The federal government administers, in coordination with local lenders, a program to insure fixed rate loans up to $25,000 to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements at single-family homes up to 20-year terms.

arrow Fannie Mae Energy Mortgage - The organization's “energy improvement” mortgage add-on allows single-family homebuyers to finance energy retrofits by folding the improvement's cost (up to 10% of home's market value) into the home purchase (or refinance) mortgage at current market rates.  This type of loan is typically available through local banks.

arrow CA Clean Energy Upgrade Financing Program (ABX1 14) - California administers a special program designed to lower the interet rates on residential energy upgrade loans made by local banks and credit unions. 

Commercial & Multi-Family Residential

arrow CaliforniaFIRST - Chula Vista is a participant in the CaliforniaFIRST Program, which allows property owners to finance the installation of energy and water improvements on commercial, industrial, and multi-family (over 5 units) buildings and pay the amount back as a line item on their property tax bill.

Third-Party Ownership Options

arrow Solar Power Purchase Agreement  - A financial arrangement in which a third-party developer owns, operates, and maintains the Solar PV system, and a customer agrees to site the system on its property and purchase the system’s electricity.  This financial arrangement allows the customer to avoid upfront installation costs and usually have lower electricity costs.

arrow Solar Leases - While it is similar to Power Purchase Agreements in that a third-party pays for and owns the system, a customer pays a fixed monthly fee that is not tied to actual energy use and is responsible for system performance, operations, and maintenance.

Need help? Contact the City's Conservation Section at 619-409-3893!

 

Your Community, Your Environment, Your Choice

Schedule a FREE Residential or Business Energy Evaluation

Apply for a Solar PV Incentive

Apply for a Solar Hot Water Rebate

Determine Whether you Qualify for the Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes Program (SASH)

Additional Information

CA Center for Sustainable Energy

Go Solar California - CA Solar Initiative

National Rewnewable Energy Laboratory - Solar Research

City Of Chula Vista

 


   


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