Solar Rights

The South Bay Cities Council of Governments is committed to increasing the adoption of solar energy systems within its membership. To educate our residents and businesses, the SBCCOG has provided a summary of State policies related to a property owner’s solar access and solar rights, including links to policy.

  • California State law has protected a homeowner’s right to solar access for over 30 years. With passage of the Solar Rights Act in 1978 (AB 3250, 1978), the State established protections to a homeowner’s right to the sun for solar collection and limitations on the ability of a Homeowner’s Association (HOA) and local governments restrict that right.
  • The Solar Shade Act (AB 2321, 1978) further promoted a homeowner’s right to solar access by protecting existing solar systems from shading caused by trees growing on adjacent properties, so long as the solar system was installed prior to the tree’s planting.
  • In 2014, the Solar Efficiency Permitting Act (AB 2188, 2014) streamlined the permitting process for solar systems 10 kW/AC or less. It also prohibited Cities from conditioning the approval of a small residential solar permitted on approval of an HOA.
  • AB 1414 (2017) capped the amount permitting agencies can charge a homeowner for a small rooftop solar system (10 kW/AC or less) at $500.