City of Jackson, CA

City of Jackson, CA

JACKSON'S SOLAR ENERGY INFORMATION HUB

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

Jackson is well positioned for solar market growth due to a suite of aggressive 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’.

 

Community Profile

4,651 population
33% renewables by 2020
4 square miles

Residential Solar Potential

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

Roadmap

The Solar Roadmap 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:
9 of 15 goals achieved
60%27%
Planned
Local Priority

[P1-CA] (AB2188 Mandate) Use Standard Permit Application Materials Specific to PV Systems(32)

There is a standard building permit application form, but nothing specific to PV currently. Currently working on it and will add it to the City's website.

Standard application is available for systems <10kW. Using common permit materials, such as checklists and standard plans, across a region reduces permit submittal errors among contractors.

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

Building permit application form available online, though no PV specific forms are currently in use.

If a standard PV application form is adopted per goal [P1], make the form available online in an easily accessible location. Building permit application form can be found here: http://ci.jackson.ca.us/city-services/building-department

[P3] Allow Electronic Submittal of Application Form(87)

Permit application can be emailed to a staff member of the building department or submitted in person. City is working toward online submission.

[P4] Require only 1 Permit Application Submittal(164)

Single permit application submittal.

[P5-CA] Post Permit and Inspection Process Information and Fee Schedule Online(40)

Contact Information is online. No permit process information/checklist available online

Provide clear written instructions on permitting and inspection processes along with a checklist of required application materials. Also, provide information on permit fee schedule, along with any rebates and incentives. Ideally, there is easy access from a primary menu page.

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

Permit processing time is 4-10 days for residential projects and 11-15 for commercial projects.

Jackson substantially complies with AB 2188 and expedites building and solar permits to the best of its ability.

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

Permit application fee is valuation based for residential projects.

Permit fee for residential systems is based on cost recovery or a flat fee no more than $500 for systems <15 kW. Larger systems can be $15 for every kilowatt (kW) over 15 kW. Open-ended valuation based fee structures are inconsistent with State law.

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

Permit application fee is valuation based for commercial projects.

Permit fee for commercial systems is based on cost recovery or a flat fee no more than $1,000 for systems <50 kW, plus $7 for every kW between 51 kW and 250 kW, plus $5 for every kW over 250 kW. Open-ended valuation based fee structures are inconsistent with State law.

[P9] Minimize Inspection Turnaround Time(147)

Permit inspection request turnaround time is 2 days or less.

City currently at best practice.

[P10] Offer Convenient Inspection Scheduling(94)

Inspection appointment window given to installer is 2 hours or less.

City currently at best practice.

[P11] Require only 1 Inspection Visit(82)

Two inspection visits are required.

The City has combined the roof-mount, ground, and final inspections into one for most residential projects.

[P12-CA] (AB2188 Mandate) Adopt an Inspection Checklist(13)

The current checklist will be modified to be solar specific and the City plans to get it online.

Utilize a standard inspection checklist for PV systems. The checklist serves as a guide for inspectors and installers containing points of emphasis and common issues.

[P13-CA] (AB2188 Mandate) Allow a Structural Exemption for Qualifying Systems(26)

Structural PE stamp is required for commercial systems.

City currently at best practice.

[P14-CA] Understand New California Solar-Specific Building, Electrical, and Fire Codes (Title 24)(55)

Awareness of recent solar updates in 2013 California Codes.

City currently at best practice.

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

No existing ordinance to streamline process for qualifying projects, but looking to make changes in the City's ordinances later this year.

Create an ordinance to expedite and streamline the permitting process for residential rooftop solar energy systems under 10kW. This ordinance must substantially conform to the recommendations, standard plans and checklists found in the most updated version of the Office of Planning and Research's Solar Permitting Guidebook (OPR Guidebook).

showPlanning & Zoning

Current Progress:
3 of 6 goals achieved
50%50%
Planned

[Z1] Pursue Protection for Solar Rights and Access(72)

State laws provide limited protection for solar rights and solar access, but no local ordinance

City currently at best practice at the state-level. Consider creating local ordinances go beyond the CA Solar Rights Act and Solar Shade Control Act, which would protect property owners' right to install solar and ensure their property has unobstructed access to direct sunlight.

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

No local ordinance requiring solar ready construction, but enforcing the CA building code that requires 1 of every 10 homes in a new subdivision be solar ready. Working toward ordinance.

Explore creation of municipal ordinances which require new homes and buildings to be built solar-ready (i.e. solar zone on roof, pre-installed conduits, space for inverter, spare breaker space in electrical panel for solar interconnection).

[Z3] Require Solar on New Construction(4)

No local ordinance requiring solar on new construction, but enforcing the CA building code that requires 1 of every 10 homes in a new subdivision be solar ready.

Explore implementing solar mandates for new construction for all buildings or a segment of the new building stock.

[Z4-CA] Incorporate Solar Priorities into Comprehensive, Energy or Climate Action Plans(45)

Solar development goals are included in City's Energy Action Plan.

City currently at best practice.

[Z5-CA] Update Local Zoning Standards and Review for Solar Installations(32)

No local standards for solar zoning and review.

Nothing restrictive in City ordinances. The City focuses on protecting solar access in a couple of locations.

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

Design Review Committee approval is required for solar development in historically sensitive 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:
1 of 3 goals achieved
33%
Planned

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

No local PACE program for solar projects.

The City Council adopted participation in the PACE program at the February 22, 2016 meeting. See City website for the staff report and resolutions. The PACE information will be added to the website Energy Action Plan page that is being developed.

[F6] Encourage Local Financial Stakeholders to Establish New Solar Loan Programs(63)

No existing local solar loan progam.

Encourage local financial institutions to establish loan programs for solar energy systems.

[F7] Promote Availability of Existing Solar Finance Options and Evaluation Tools(38)

Limited knowledge of solar finance options and tools.

Publicize the availability of local solar finance options and solar evaluation tools for potential buyers. This can be done via webinars, marketing materials, or by providing links and information online.

showSolar Market Development

Current Progress:
0 of 5 goals achieved
20%
Planned

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

No such programs known to exist locally.

Support the creation of a working group of community leaders and funding providers. This group would evaluate options and determine the most viable approach for aggregating residential solar based on best practices to date.

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

No local aggregate solar procurement program for commercial sector.

Establish a working group of businesses and commercial property owners to leverage their solar purchasing power by aggregating facilities for solar evaluation and procurement to reduce energy costs while demonstrating community leadership.

[M6] Explore Installing Solar at Municipal Facilities, Including Landfill and Water Treatment Facilities(62)

No known solar projects at these sites currently.

Establish a working group to identify solar feasibility at municipal facilities, including landfill and water treatment sites.

[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. Publicize these events, along with external resources/trainings, through various community outreach channels.

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

Limited awareness of these resources locally.

Help promote the availability of online tools and resources for the residential, commercial, and municipal solar markets through existing networks.

Resources