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SB 1399: Solar energy systems (2008)


SB 1399 (2008) revises the California Solar Shade Control Act to exempt trees planted before the installation of a solar collector from the requirements of the Act. Additionally, this bill requires a building owner to notify affected neighbors prior to installing a solar collector if the building owner wishes to assert the protections provided by the Act. Finally, SB 1399 simplifies the process for local municipalities to opt out of the Solar Shade Control Act and adopt a local ordinance.

For more information, you can read the SB 1399 "Fact Sheet" prepared by a member of Senator Simitian's staff.

Final Status and Text

SB 1399 is no longer active. Its final status was:
Signed into Law

You can read its final text on the Legislature's Bill Information site.

Background Information

What the Bill Does
The rarely used California Solar Shade Control Act was enacted in 1978 during the energy crisis of the 1970s to ban a tree or shrub from shading more than 10 percent of a neighboring solar collector, with certain exceptions.

While a tree planted before the installation of a solar collector by a neighbor should not be affected by the Act, a recent court order raised questions about the clarity of current law. The court ordered that trees planted before the installation of a solar collector, but which later grew to shade that collector, must be cut down.

With the enactment of the Million Solar Roofs Initiative, there is a need to create a fair balance between the legitimate competing interests of solar collector owners and neighbors with shade trees. SB 1399 ensures that fair balance.

News & Press Releases about SB 1399

01/01/2009 - New year means new laws taking effect

12/23/2008 - New Year to Bring Protections for Victims of Sexual Abuse, Veterans & Seniors

07/23/2008 - Lawmakers favor trees in feud over shaded solar panels

07/22/2008 - Trees Vs. Solar Issue Put To Rest In The Capitol

04/22/2008 - Senate Approves "Trees Vs. Solar" Legislation 38-0

04/21/2008 - Senator Simitian Presents SB 1399 (Solar Shade Act Amendments) in Committee

03/26/2008 - Simitian Announces "Oughta Be A Law" Contest Winners