Green Energy Permits
As the most popular Green improvement in Napa County, solar panel installations are a good long-term option for controlling your energy costs. A building permit is required for all new solar panel installations. In Napa, we distinguish between Roof and Ground Mounted systems. Permit fees are currently subsidized by the Building Division to help keep your costs low. Applications for ground systems will require the approval of multiple departments, and as such will have a slightly higher cost than roof-mounted systems.
You can use our Residential Solar Installation Checklist (PDF) to see what documents to submit with your application. As with any construction project, check the California State License Board to be sure your contractor is licensed and properly insured. Because each commercial installation is unique, please contact a member of our staff to discuss commercial solar submittal requirements.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations
We expect to see a larger number of electric vehicles hit our streets in 2015. If you're planning on purchasing one, you may want to consider installing a charging station on your property. Before you buy a charging station, you'll need to confirm that your current electrical system is adequate. Napa allows Type I and II charging systems in residential situations. We strongly recommend you hire a licensed electrician to evaluate your home's electrical system and install the charger. If you need to upgrade your electrical service to power the unit, be sure to include this information in your permit application. You will also need to contact PG&E and comply with any requirements they may have. All commercial installations must be done by a licensed professional.
Residential EV charging stations qualify as quick permits, and as such can be completed within 10 to 12 working days. You can also apply for residential systems using our Same-Day permitting process. The submittal requirements (PDF) are the same, no matter which route you choose. Be sure to include a completed EV Charging Station Worksheet (PDF) with your submittal. We cannot issue a permit without this form.
Wind Energy Systems
Whoosh! If your property is blessed with a gentle breeze, you might want to consider installing a wind energy system to help with your electrical needs. In 2011, Napa County adopted Ordinance 1351 permitting the installation of small wind energy systems in the county. In order to install a Wind Energy System, you will need both a Building Permit and a Planning Permit (PDF). Both wind generators and wind energy systems require permits. Building Permit requirements are the same as for solar systems. Your application will be reviewed and processed within 10 to 12 business days.
Don't get confused! Wind energy systems use wind to create energy. Wind generators, which are the large fans you see in vineyards, use energy to generate wind.