California Civil Code Section 714
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California Laws > Civil Code > California Civil Code Section 714
714. (a) Any covenant, restriction, or condition contained in any
deed, contract, security instrument, or other instrument affecting
the transfer or sale of, or any interest in, real property, and any
provision of a governing document, as defined in Section 4150 or
6552, that effectively prohibits or restricts the installation or use
of a solar energy system is void and unenforceable.
(b) This section does not apply to provisions that impose
reasonable restrictions on solar energy systems. However, it is the
policy of the state to promote and encourage the use of solar energy
systems and to remove obstacles thereto. Accordingly, reasonable
restrictions on a solar energy system are those restrictions that do
not significantly increase the cost of the system or significantly
decrease its efficiency or specified performance, or that allow for
an alternative system of comparable cost, efficiency, and energy
(c) (1) A solar energy system shall meet applicable health and
safety standards and requirements imposed by state and local
(2) A solar energy system for heating water shall be certified by
the Solar Rating Certification Corporation (SRCC) or other nationally
recognized certification agencies. SRCC is a nonprofit third party
supported by the United States Department of Energy. The
certification shall be for the entire solar energy system and
(3) A solar energy system for producing electricity shall also
meet all applicable safety and performance standards established by
the National Electrical Code, the Institute of Electrical and
Electronics Engineers, and accredited testing laboratories such as
Underwriters Laboratories and, where applicable, rules of the Public
Utilities Commission regarding safety and reliability.
(d) For the purposes of this section:
(1) (A) For solar domestic water heating systems or solar swimming
pool heating systems that comply with state and federal law,
"significantly" means an amount exceeding 20 percent of the cost of
the system or decreasing the efficiency of the solar energy system by
an amount exceeding 20 percent, as originally specified and
(B) For photovoltaic systems that comply with state and federal
law, "significantly" means an amount not to exceed two thousand
dollars ($2,000) over the system cost as originally specified and
proposed, or a decrease in system efficiency of an amount exceeding
20 percent as originally specified and proposed.
(2) "Solar energy system" has the same meaning as defined in
paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 801.5.
(e) (1) Whenever approval is required for the installation or use
of a solar energy system, the application for approval shall be
processed and approved by the appropriate approving entity in the
same manner as an application for approval of an architectural
modification to the property, and shall not be willfully avoided or
(2) For an approving entity that is an association, as defined in
Section 4080 or 6528, and that is not a public entity, both of the
following shall apply:
(A) The approval or denial of an application shall be in writing.
(B) If an application is not denied in writing within 60 days from
the date of receipt of the application, the application shall be
deemed approved, unless that delay is the result of a reasonable
request for additional information.
(f) Any entity, other than a public entity, that willfully
violates this section shall be liable to the applicant or other party
for actual damages occasioned thereby, and shall pay a civil penalty
to the applicant or other party in an amount not to exceed one
thousand dollars ($1,000).
(g) In any action to enforce compliance with this section, the
prevailing party shall be awarded reasonable attorney's fees.
(h) (1) A public entity that fails to comply with this section may
not receive funds from a state-sponsored grant or loan program for
solar energy. A public entity shall certify its compliance with the
requirements of this section when applying for funds from a
state-sponsored grant or loan program.
(2) A local public entity may not exempt residents in its
jurisdiction from the requirements of this section.
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Last modified: March 17, 2014