SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Calif. Assembly Bill (AB) 2188, by Assemblymember Muratsuchi (D – Torrance), passed the Assembly Floor today with a 58-8 vote and now heads to the Senate. The Solar Rights Act of 1978 declared that the timely and cost-effective installation of solar energy systems was a matter of statewide concern.

Assemblymember Al MuratsuchiHowever, present-day solar permitting in California is a patch work of complicated regulations and prices that vary between cities and counties. This complexity hinders the growth and sales of solar energy systems and discourages businesses and individuals from going solar.

AB 2188 is progress on the goals adopted by the Solar Rights Act and will create a streamlined permitting process that will help drive down the cost of going solar and increase access to Californians.

“I authored this bill to streamline regulations, cut down on bureaucratic delays, and make solar more affordable,” said Assemblymember Muratsuchi. “This bill is good for jobs, good for business, and good for the environment.”

Specifically, AB 2188 requires local governments to adopt a modernized solar ordinance that creates a streamlined permitting process for small residential rooftop solar systems that meet certain building and safety standards. A recent study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that modernizing the solar permitting process by using web-based or electronic submission and processing can reduce the price of an average residential solar system by $1000 or more.

Several jurisdictions, such as the City of Los Angeles, San Jose, Richmond, Oakland, and San Diego County have already developed streamlined permitting requirements for small residential projects that meet certain criteria. These local governments have demonstrated that the state can reduce permitting time frames while maintaining important safety protections. Further, streamlining the solar permitting process, as mandated by AB 2188, would spur local investments which will result in higher tax revenues and local economic development.

Assemblymember Muratsuchi represents the 66th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Gardena, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, the Los Angeles communities of Harbor City and Harbor Gateway, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Torrance and the unincorporated communities of El Camino Village and West Carson.