California - Requirements for Solar Power Installation

California State licensing requirements for solar power installers and solar power installations

The rules that regulate the installation of solar power systems are different in each state and even sometimes from county to county. It is important that you are aware of these rules as a potential customer because often it is a condition of receiving rebates and incentives that your system meets these requirements. We have created pages which will help you make sure your installer is properly licensed and assist you to ask your installer the right questions about the solar panelsystem they are proposing to install for you, generally the following needs to be considered;

  • Licensing requirements for Solar Installers in each state
  • Equipment Standards or Certification
  • Interconnection Standards and other requirements

We have done our best to get as much info as we can, as always the people who know the current state of play in your area are you local solar power professionals. At the time of researching this page (May 2012) the Californian government is currently reviewing several policies including its interconnection standards. The following information was found on the Go Solar California Government Website and Department of Energy Website.

Licensing requirements for Solar Installers in California

Solar Installers are required to register with the California Energy Commission through its online database. Except for those systems that are self-installed, all systems must be installed by appropriately licensed California contractors in accordance with rules and regulations adopted by the California Contractors State Licensing Board (CSLB.) Installation contractors must have an active A,B,C-10, or C-46 license for photovoltaic (PV) systems. All systems must be installed in conformance with the manufacturer's specifications and with all applicable electrical and building code standards.

Building Energy Code

In California residential solar power installations must conform to; State developed code, Title 24, Part 6, exceeds 2009 IECC, and is mandatory state wide. Buildings must also meet requirements set by CALGreen, the state wide green building code.

Interconnection Regulations (small generator)

In California residential solar power installations must conform to; Small Photovoltaic (PV) and Wind-Energy Systems Under 10 kW PV and wind-energy systems under 10 kW qualify for net metering and "simplified interconnection," under which no supplemental review or interconnection studies are necessary. These systems must comply with the requirements in National Electrical Code Article 690 and UL 1741. While utilities must provide a bi-directional meter for net-metered systems, system owners who choose to employ TOU metering must pay for the new meter.


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