Board Looks at Building More Green and Solar Into Codes

County supervisors directed County planners Wednesday to start drafting potential building code improvements that would make it easier for new homes to add rooftop solar electricity panels and charging stations for electric cars.

Board Chairwoman Dianne Jacob and Supervisor Dave Roberts directed the County’s Department of Planning and Development Services in April to look for ways to change unincorporated building codes to encourage cost-effective green building.

At Wednesday’s meeting, the Board voted to pursue four possible building code improvements that would require home builders to:

  • Build new homes with 200-amp electric panels — large enough to allow future electrical additions.
  • Build electrical conduit into homes that would allow homeowners to put in wiring for rooftop solar electricity-generating panels.
  • Install electrical conduit that would allow homeowners to add wiring for electric car charging stations.
  • Reserve space on south-facing rooftops that would allow homeowners to install solar photovoltaic panels.

Once the department creates the potential building code amendments, they will be brought back to the Board for final consideration.

The County taken numerous actions to support green building over the years, including waiving building permit and plan check fees for solar rooftop applications, cutting fees and speeding processing times for projects that use green building techniques and creating a landscaping ordinance that promotes water conservation.

Gig Conaughton is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact