Marin County, CA

Marin County, CA


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

The County 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 County's interactive policy roadmap designed to increase local solar installations by making it easier and more cost-effective to "go solar".

Marin County is a part of the San Francisco Bay Area region.

Community Profile

256,069 population
33% renewables by 2020
520 square miles

Residential Solar Potential

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


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 county. Your specific roadmap has been customized using the attributes that are relevant at the county-level in your area.

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:
12 of 13 goals achieved
Local Priority

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

Permit application form for residential PV systems available.

County at best practice. Consider using common permit materials, such as checklists and standard plans, across a region to permit submittal errors among contractors.

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

Permit application form online.

County currently at best practice-- find permit application form and guidelines here:

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

New electronic submittal system under construction

Consider allowing for electronic (online or email) submittal of solar-specific permit application form for qualifying solar projects under 10kW.

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

One submittal.

City currently at best practice.

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

Comprehensive process information online

County currently at best practice-- information regarding permitting process, e-inspection process, and checklists are available at Consider adding permit fee schedule to website.

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

Within 3 business days for residential systems; within 6-10 business days for commercial systems.

County currently at best practice for residential permits. For commercial projects, issue or deny permit within 5 business days of submittal.

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

Residential permit fee currently $250-500, structured as cost recovery.

County at best practice-- permit fee is based on cost recovery, in compliance with state law.

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

Commercial permit fee currently based on SB 1222 fee schedule, structured as cost recovery.

County at best practice-- permit fee is based on cost recovery, in compliance with state law.

[P9] Minimize Inspection Turnaround Time(147)

Within 2 or less business days.

County at best practice.

[P10] Offer Convenient Inspection Scheduling(94)

2 hour appointment window.

County currently at market best practice.

[P11] Require only 1 Inspection Visit(82)

Photographs and videos of installation may be emailed as an "e-inspection".

County currently at best practice-- see form for residential PV permit application with an e-inspection here:

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

Approval from structural engineer not required for residential systems.

For qualifying residential systems meeting certain criteria, allow an exemption from structural analysis or structural PE stamp requirements.

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

Awareness of recent solar updates in 2013 California Codes

County at best practice.

showPlanning & Zoning

Current Progress:
4 of 4 goals achieved

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

Local laws protect property owner rights to install solar systems as well as solar access.

County at best practice-- Marin County's Solar Access Code protects solar access and allows for solar easements.

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

Green Building Program includes pre-wiring for new construction

County at best practice-- Green Building Program requirements include pre-wiring for solar systems in new residential units and new commercial units over 5,000 square feet. See more details at

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

Solar goals incorporated into general plans and more.

County currently at best practice-- see 2006 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan, 2007 Marin Countywide Plan, and the 2014 update the Climate Action Plan.

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

All structures zoned to allow rooftop solar facilities.

County at best practice.

showFinancing Options

Current Progress:
3 of 3 goals achieved

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

PACE funding will be available for commercial projects in Marin County in early 2014.

County at best practice.

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

County website lists finance options.

County at best practice-- an overview of local financing options and incentives is available here Additionally, solar PV will soon be an eligible technology for Marin Clean Energy's green loan program.

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

County website contains solar finance information and evaluation tools.

County at best practice-- see information regarding incentives and financing, solar potential maps, and local solar resources at

showSolar Market Development

Current Progress:
4 of 4 goals achieved

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

Two previous rounds of a community-led group buy program.

County at best practice-- the community-led Go Solar Marin program resulted in two buying rounds. County interested in additional collaborative procurements for the residential sector in the future.

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

Municipal governments across the County participating in a collaborative procurement.

County at best practice.

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

County sponsors events and classes for community.

County at best practice-- Couny has organized outreach and training events to generate awareness and strengthen the local solar industry.

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

Educational resources available on County website and Marin Energy Watch.

County at best practice-- see and