City of Fremont, CA

City of Fremont, CA


Find the latest resources and information available for installing solar power and expanding the solar market in the City of Fremont, whether you're a resident, business, installer or local government agency.

The City is well positioned for solar market growth due to a mix of renewable energy goals and supportive policies. Transitioning to solar power not only provides environmental benefits like enhanced air quality, but it also delivers a host of economic benefits from green job creation to market development. Below, there is a direct link to the City's interactive policy roadmap designed to increase local solar installations by making it easier and more cost-effective to "go solar".

Fremont is part of the San Francisco Bay Area region.

Community Profile

214,089 population
33% renewables by 2020
77 square miles

Residential Solar Potential

Upgrade to LEADER plan to display your community's solar potential.


The ASTI team has worked in close coordination with the City to develop a customized, interactive solar roadmap containing guidance on how to transform the local solar market. Each recommendation in the roadmap is supported with relevant reports, case studies, examples, and templates to support local and regional implementation efforts.

These roadmap goals are derived from attributes of successful solar communities nationwide, along with input from industry experts. Each goal represents a step toward making solar easier and more cost effective for all residents within the community. Your specific roadmap has been customized using the attributes that are relevant at the city-level in the local solar market.

Expand each focus area below to show its related goals, and click the 'Take Action' button to access the relevant resources designed to help you achieve these goals.

showPermitting Process

Current Progress:
14 of 14 goals achieved
Local Priority

[P1-CA] (AB2188 Mandate) Use Standard Permit Application Materials Specific to PV Systems(31)

No PV-specific application form

Enacted a standard PV application form for systems <10kW

City at best practice.

[P2] Make Permit Application Form Available Online(176)

Permit application form online

City is currently at best practice. Permit is available at

[P3] Allow Electronic Submittal of Application Form(86)

Application submittal can be submitted by email or in person

City currently at best practice.

[P4] Require only 1 Permit Application Submittal(163)

1 submittal

City currently at best practice.

[P5-CA] Post Permit and Inspection Process Information and Fee Schedule Online(39)

Process information online

City is currently at best practice.

[P6] Streamline Permit Processing Time and Allow Expedited Process for Qualifying Projects(75)

Most permits for qualifying systems are done over the counter. Expedited service for commercial.

City currently at best practice offering an expedited permit process. For all non-expedited permits, City should consider issuing or denying permit within 3 business days of submittal for residential and within 5 business days for commercial projects.

[P7-CA] Base Residential Permit Fee on Actual Cost to Administer(55)

Flat fee of $236.70

City currently at best practice-- residential permit fee is in compliance with State law.

[P8-CA] Base Commercial Permit Fee on Actual Cost to Administer(37)

Fee is charged at an hourly rate; Minimum charge of $576

Permit based on cost recovery and does not exceed the state cap

City currently at best practice.

[P9] Minimize Inspection Turnaround Time(146)

Within 2 business days

City currently at market best practice.

[P11] Require only 1 Inspection Visit(82)

2-3 permit inspections

Single inspection visit for solar PV installations.

City currently at best practice.

[P12] Adopt an Inspection Checklist(21)

Utilizes standard inspection checklist

City currently at best practice for residential PV inspection checklist available at:

[P13] Allow a Structural Exemption for Qualifying Systems(41)

Pre-engineered mounting systems exempt

City currently at best practice.

[P14-CA] Understand New California Solar-Specific Building, Electrical, and Fire Codes (Title 24)(54)

Have reviewed and considered solar standards in 2013 code

City currently at best practice.

[P15-CA] (AB2188 Mandate) Adopt An Expedited Solar Permitting Ordinance(4)

Fremont was one of the first cities to make the step to streamlined process for qualifying projects.

City currently at best practice.

showPlanning & Zoning

Current Progress:
3 of 5 goals achieved

[Z1-CA] Develop a Local Ordinance that Protects Solar Rights and Access(36)

Renewable energy ordinance protects solar rights.

City at best practice-- local ordinances go beyond the CA Solar Rights Act and Solar Shade Control Act and protect property owners' right to install solar.

[Z2-CA] Develop a Local Ordinance that requires Solar Ready Construction(15)

No local ordinance for solar ready construction

Explore creation of municipal ordinances which require all new homes and buildings to be built solar-ready, which go beyond California's "solar zones" mandate in the 2013 Energy Code (Section 110.10). Starting July 1, 2014, the building codes will require certain new construction to pre-wire for solar.

[Z4-CA] Incorporate Solar Priorities into Comprehensive, Energy or Climate Action Plans(44)

Solar priority in General Plan and Climate Action Plan

City at best practice.

[Z5-CA] Update Local Zoning Standards and Review for Solar Installations(31)

Solar friendly local ordinance and regulation

City at best practice. Zoning ordinance can be viewed here:

[Z6-CA] Update Local Zoning Standards and Review for Solar Installations - Historic and Viewshed Areas(14)

No solar friendly zoning ordinances and regulations exist for historic and viewshed areas

Ensure the zoning codes and ordinances that govern solar installations in aesthetically sensitive areas do not adversely affect property owners' ability to install solar. Allow staff members to review and approve applications when possible rather than requiring committee or planning commission review. CA Solar Rights Act requires that local governments use an administrative, non-discretionary review process for on-site solar energy systems that do not place restrictions on visual or aesthetic concerns.

showFinancing Options

Current Progress:
2 of 2 goals achieved

[F5a] Explore Implementation of Local PACE Financing Pilot Program (73)

PACE financing for commercial available through CaliforniaFIRST.

City currently at market best practice, but could consider a residential PACE financing program in the future.

[F7] Promote Availability of Existing Solar Finance Options and Evaluation Tools(37)

No existing solar finance evaluation tools posted on website

City has included solar evaluation tools and finance options in City website.

City currently at best practice. See for additional details.

showSolar Market Development

Current Progress:
4 of 5 goals achieved

[M1] Support Aggregate Procurement Program for Residential Sector(40)

No such programs known to exist locally

Fremont is part of the East Bay Sunshares Program.

City currently at best practice. See for additional details.

[M2] Support Aggregate Procurement Program for Commercial Sector(6)

No known program in place

Participation in CASE-SV commercial program

City currently at best practice.

[M3] Explore Implementation of Collaborative Procurement Program for Municipal Facilities and Schools(38)

Participating in R-REP collaborative solar procurement for municipalities in the Bay Area, CA

City currently at market best practice. Information for R-REP (Regional Renewable Energy Procurement) initiative, can be accessed at:

[M7] Publicize Solar Workforce Development Resources and Industry Training Tools(21)

Limited awareness of these resources locally

Provide online access to training programs and resources for the installer community and potential workforce and organize an outreach and/or training event in order to generate awareness and understanding.

[M8] Provide Solar Educational Resources to Constituents(77)

Limited awareness of these resources locally

City has published educational information about solar PV and renewable energy on City website.

City currently at best practice. See for additional resources.