Chapter 13.12


13.12.010    Findings.

13.12.020    Intent.

13.12.030    Definitions.

13.12.040    Regulation of solar leasing operations.

13.12.050    Fees.

13.12.060    Appeal.

13.12.010 Findings.

The city council of the city makes the following findings:

A. The residents of the city face the certainty of continued escalating prices for home energy supplies and continued dependence upon imported sources of energy.

B. Solar energy has been found to be an inexhaustible, reliable and nonpolluting energy resource that can contribute to the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the city by lessening dependence upon nonrenewable and imported sources of energy.

C. The high initial cost of purchasing and installing a solar energy device is the primary economic barrier to expanded solar energy use. Leasing of solar energy devices has proven to be an effective means to reduce this economic barrier and may be an attractive economic alternative to ownership for many consumers.

D. Under Section 17052.5 of the State Revenue and Taxation Code, California taxpayers who partially own and partially lease on premises a solar energy system from a municipal utility or any lessor granted a permit for municipal solar utility established by ordinance of the local jurisdiction prior to January 1, 1983, are eligible to claim the California Solar Tax Credit, thus the need for an immediately effective ordinance.

E. The establishment of a municipal solar utility program can increase public awareness of solar energy alternatives and lead to a greater degree of consumer protection and consumer confidence in leasing solar energy systems, thus substantially increasing the use of solar energy within the city. (Ord. 531 § 1, 1982)

13.12.020 Intent.

It is the intent of this chapter to establish a municipal solar utility within the city, for the purpose of satisfying the requirements contained in Section 17052.5 or Section 23601 of the California Revenue and Tax Code, and for the purpose of facilitating the leasing of solar energy devices and to establish regulating authority for any solar leasing operation that may be conducted under the program. (Ord. 531 § 2, 1982)

13.12.030 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed to them by this section:

A. “Municipal solar utility (MSU)” means a program conducted by the city or its authorized agent to promote the utilization of renewable energy and energy conservation technologies through leasing of solar energy systems as provided by Revenue Taxation Code, Section 17052.5.

B. “Solar energy system” means equipment and materials that are intended to be located on or affixed to real property for the purpose of any of the following:

1. Domestic, recreational, therapeutic, or service water heating;

2. Space conditioning;

3. Production of electricity;

4. Process heat;

5. Solar mechanical energy; and

6. Wind energy for the production of electricity or mechanical work.

The term “solar energy system” includes, but is not limited to, passive thermal systems, semipassive thermal systems, active thermal systems, photovoltaic systems and wind-driven systems.

C. “Solar lease” means a contract for the leasing of solar energy systems owned by the lessor and used by the lessee, which are affixed to, or located at, and servicing the real property owned, or occupied by the lessee.

D. “Solar lessor” means any individual or entity arranging, pursuant to a lease, for installation and servicing of solar energy systems. (Ord. 531 § 3, 1982)

13.12.040 Regulation of solar leasing operations.

A. No individual or entity shall operate as a certified solar lessor under the municipal solar utility program of the city as established in this chapter without having obtained a valid solar leasing permit from the city planning department. Such a permit shall authorize the conduct of solar leasing operations under the municipal solar utility program for a period of one year and shall be renewable.

B. After the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter, and within forty-five days after receiving the first written request from a solar lessor for a solar leasing permit, the city council shall by resolution establish all requirements for obtaining certification under the municipal solar utility program. Such requirements shall be limited to those which protect consumers against inexperienced or financially unstable solar leasing companies, substandard equipment or installation practices, or unfair lease arrangements. (Ord. 531 § 4, 1982)

13.12.050 Fees.

Reasonable fees shall be charged to cover the costs of administering this chapter and may be established by resolution of the city council. (Ord. 531 § 5, 1982)

13.12.060 Appeal.

An applicant dissatisfied with the decision of the planning department may appeal the decision to the city council. (Ord. 531 § 6, 1982)