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San Jose, CA - Tesla Solar Project 9/1/2021 - Extreme Requirement from the City

Just want to post an experience with people who lives in San Jose area wants to have Solar.

Order Date: 6/15
Survey: 07/08
Permit Pulled: 8/20
Installation Schedule: 09/01

Tesla solar installers and a electrician arrived on time and very informative crews

They informed me that that San Jose City no longer allows you to stack the battery as of 7/1/2021.
*Battery needs to be install alone on 2 studs exterior wall or inside garage
*3 Feet away from the gas line
*3 Feet away from any windows and doors (basically 3 feet away from anything
* If you have anything installed (Tesla Powerwall Charger) at the house without permit, the city inspector will not pass inspection of your project until you fixed it

I build a shed attached to the side of my house without permit so therefore the city inspector will not pass my solar project until I have permit for my shed.

The city wants you to go green, however they have ridiculous requirements for home owner to abide in order for you to go green.

In the end, I cancelled my Solar Project, unless I am willing to pay the city $xxxx amount of money to have permit everything I have at my place.

Good luck guys.
 

holeydonut

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
3,367
2,772
East Bay NorCal
Just want to post an experience with people who lives in San Jose area wants to have Solar.

Order Date: 6/15
Survey: 07/08
Permit Pulled: 8/20
Installation Schedule: 09/01

Tesla solar installers and a electrician arrived on time and very informative crews

They informed me that that San Jose City no longer allows you to stack the battery as of 7/1/2021.
*Battery needs to be install alone on 2 studs exterior wall or inside garage
*3 Feet away from the gas line
*3 Feet away from any windows and doors (basically 3 feet away from anything
* If you have anything installed (Tesla Powerwall Charger) at the house without permit, the city inspector will not pass inspection of your project until you fixed it

I build a shed attached to the side of my house without permit so therefore the city inspector will not pass my solar project until I have permit for my shed.

The city wants you to go green, however they have ridiculous requirements for home owner to abide in order for you to go green.

In the end, I cancelled my Solar Project, unless I am willing to pay the city $xxxx amount of money to have permit everything I have at my place.

Good luck guys.


How big is your shed? I was under the impression an un-powered, un-plumbed shed could be pretty big like 10x10 and wouldn't matter for permits.

I kind of feel like permitting for your shed (assuming it needs it) is more of a cost that you should have paid related to the shed and not necessarily a cost related to the solar+ESS.

But I do agree with you that California is going overboard in restricting how Powerwalls are installed. Especially since homes in this state tend to be smaller on account of even a burned out husk of a house costing $1mm.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
3,743
903
auburn, ca
Just want to post an experience with people who lives in San Jose area wants to have Solar.

Order Date: 6/15
Survey: 07/08
Permit Pulled: 8/20
Installation Schedule: 09/01

Tesla solar installers and a electrician arrived on time and very informative crews

They informed me that that San Jose City no longer allows you to stack the battery as of 7/1/2021.
*Battery needs to be install alone on 2 studs exterior wall or inside garage
*3 Feet away from the gas line
*3 Feet away from any windows and doors (basically 3 feet away from anything
* If you have anything installed (Tesla Powerwall Charger) at the house without permit, the city inspector will not pass inspection of your project until you fixed it

I build a shed attached to the side of my house without permit so therefore the city inspector will not pass my solar project until I have permit for my shed.

The city wants you to go green, however they have ridiculous requirements for home owner to abide in order for you to go green.

In the end, I cancelled my Solar Project, unless I am willing to pay the city $xxxx amount of money to have permit everything I have at my place.

Good luck guys.
When on builds stuff without a permit, one will get caught one of these days. Worst case, probably when one wants to sell or refinance. I never understood why folks want to roll the dice. With my remodel from the accident, I have told every contractor ALL permits MUST be pulled! I am having one mini split compressor exchanged for 2. Contractor said we are just doing a warranty repair so no need for a permit. I said but wait, you are changing the electrical which I believe needs a permit. He said yep, he agreed, and will be pulling a permit.
 
Any structure attached to the house would require a permit, whether it is habitable space or not, because it then becomes part of the house structure. If it was a detached (freestanding) shed, then the 120 sf thing applies.

Not doing inspections or finaling a permit if there is other related or unrelated unpermitted work on the property is fairly common among jurisdictions, and is not limited to California. But some don't care, and often times it depends on the inspector.
 
Permit or no permit has its own pro and con to some degrees. I build a 980sq addition to my house in 2018, permit fees (school, building development, plan, and permits) were almost $25K so the city can tax you additionally $4k/year property tax since your property value goes up after assessment.

After consulting with my friend from city "inspector/code violation", he suggested that I don't get involve with the city permit/coding violation nowaday, it can cost you upward $10k with fines, fees, permit, and approximately 6+months time to finalize everything.
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,337
10,266
SF Bay Area
The stacking of powerwalls and 3 foot distancing code rules has been coming down the pipe for a while now. Those following the thread on code changes in the SF Bay area, and eventually California if I’m not mistaken, have had a heads up this was happening to some cities sooner than others at this point I think. Some owners have had to have bollards put in their garages. Sorry you didn’t get in under the deadline. No doubt Tesla and other solar companies are not thrilled when their jobs can’t proceed and permits have already been pulled too. Some inspectors may be harder on some issues than others. Also differences in enforcement sometimes between even nearby cities.

Can’t speak to your unpermitted projects but sounds like San Jose has gotten more strict on things.
 

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