Climate Action Plan - Measure E-2.3

Solar Photovoltaics on Existing Homes


The County makes solar permitting easy by implementing its Solar Ready Ordinance which supports the installation of solar PV systems to produce clean, renewable electricity at unincorporated residences.
  • 2020 Target: 52,273 homes with solar PV
  • 2030 Target: 130,175 homes with solar PV

Total Number of Homes with Solar PV

How are we doing?

An equivalent of 38,510 average sized homes have had solar PV installed since the CAP 2014 baseline. In 2018, these solar installations produced 324,543 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity. The County issued a total of 6,561 solar permits in 2018, with 5,871 of those permits processed instantly online! The County has achieved 74% of the 2020 target so far.

How is this measured?

The Department of Planning and Development Services measures the number of homes with solar PV systems by taking the total amount of kilowatt (kW) capacity installed and dividing it by the average size of a residential solar installation (5.06 kW). To meet our 2020 goal, there must be 52,273 homes with solar PV systems installations in the unincorporated area to achieve a total capacity of 264,695 kilowatts that will generate an estimated total 320,679 MWh of electricity per year.

Why is this important?

Solar photovoltaics capture a renewable energy resource that allows residents to power their homes without creating any greenhouse gas emissions from on-site electricity generation. Unlike fossil fuels that require environmentally damaging extraction and processing, solar power only needs the shining San Diego sun! Solar power also does not create air or water pollution that compromises public health. Installing more solar panels on homes also makes the county more resilient by ensuring that residents have a power source in case of natural disaster or grid failure.

Where are we going?

The County aims to install solar PV systems on 52,273 homes by 2020 and an additional 77,902 homes from 2021-2030. Thanks to the Solar Ready Ordinance approved by the Board of Supervisors in 2015, newly constructed dwellings include solar-ready electrical equipment and roof space for easy installation of future PV. Widespread installation of solar panels and battery storage will allow residents to produce their own clean power, supporting the County’s pursuit of a distributed power generation future. As a supporting effort, the County collaborates with SDG&E to increase battery storage capacity to use all the power generated by solar panels. The County also provides outreach to property owners about financing programs to make installing solar panels accessible to all. This measure is supported through the ongoing implementation of the Comprehensive Renewable Energy Plan (CREP) Phase One Report, the County’s long-range renewable energy plan.
San Diego County Online Solar Permits Provide Bright Future