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Office of Energy & Sustainable Development (OESD)
Office of Energy & Sustainable Development (OESD)

SolSmart Gold LogoSolar Photovoltaic (PV) Permitting and Submittal Requirements 

The City of Berkeley encourages the installation of renewable energy systems through low permit fees for solar photovoltaic (PV) installations and standardized solar permitting guidelines. Berkeley's efforts to make it cheaper, easier and faster to go solar have been nationally recognized with a SolSmart Gold award.

Submittal Requirements: Small solar PV rooftop systems (10kW AC or less) for single family and duplex homes qualify for streamlined permitting offering the use of standard plans and electronic submission of applications. Please see the Solar PV Residential Requirements for Streamlined Review for full details and use the Code Compliance Checklist for Solar PV (One or Two-Family Dwellings) to submit a permit application.

The permitting requirements for larger solar PV systems, and PV installations at multifamily and commercial buildings, are described in Solar PV System Submittal Requirements. For general solar information and resources, see Solar Information.

Application submittal and permit fees: Call 510-981-7502 for an appointment to submit application materials and obtain permits for solar PV systems. Projects eligible for streamlined review may elect to submit applications electronically, through Permits Online or by e-mailing materials to

All solar PV systems must meet fire safety requirements. For any questions regarding Fire Department regulations, please contact the Fire Life Safety Plans Examiner at 510-981-7447.

Residential solar electric permits fees are set at the minimum electrical permit fee per installation with no extra charge for hourly plan check fees. Multifamily (3 or more units) and commercial permits are subject to hourly plan check fees. If structural work is needed, building permit and plan check fees will be based on the valuation of the structural work required.

Materials and Submittal Requirements for Solar PV Permit Applications

Be solar ready by designing and building to accommodate future installation of a PV and/or solar thermal system. The 2016 Energy Code (Title 24, Part 6, Section 110.10) specifies mandatory requirements for solar ready buildings applicable to hotel/motel and multifamily buildings of 10 stories or fewer, other nonresidential buildings of 3 stories or fewer, and single family homes that are part of a subdivision of 10 or more homes.   

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Office of Energy & Sustainable Development (OESD), 1947 Center Street, 1st Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: Phone: (510) 981-7465
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
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