California Civil Code > Civil Code §801.5. Solar Easements; Solar Energy Systems Defined
*New statutes and amendments effective January 1, 2022 are shown in bold, underline italics. [ ] indicates an amendment of deleted text only.
(a) The right of receiving sunlight as specified in subdivision 18 of Section 801 shall be referred to as a solar easement. “Solar easement” means the right of receiving sunlight across real property of another for any solar energy system.
As used in this section, “solar energy system” means either of the following that is designed to serve one utility retail customer on the same property, more than one utility retail customer on the same property, one utility retail customer on the same, adjacent, or contiguous properties, or more than one utility retail customer on the same, adjacent or contiguous properties, and is not designed for procurement of electricity by an electric utility:
(1) Any solar collector or other solar energy device whose primary purpose is to provide for the collection, storage, and distribution of solar energy for space heating, space cooling, electric generation, or water heating.
(2) A structural design feature [ ], including [ ] the following:
(A) Solar racking, solar mounting, and elevated solar support structures, including, but not limited to, solar carports, solar shade structures, solar awnings, solar canopies, and solar patio covers, regardless of whether the feature is on the ground or on a building. Elevated solar support structures include the aboveground superstructure and associated foundation elements that support the solar collectors or other solar energy devices described in paragraph (1).
(B) Any design feature, whose primary purpose is to provide for the collection, storage, and distribution of solar energy for electricity generation, space heating or cooling, or for water heating.
(C) Any photovoltaic device or technology that is integrated into a building, including, but not limited to, photovoltaic windows, siding, and roofing shingles or tiles.
(b) Any instrument creating a solar easement shall include, at a minimum, all of the following:
(1) A description of the dimensions of the easement expressed in measurable terms, such as vertical or horizontal angles measured in degrees, or the hours of the day on specified dates during which direct sunlight to a specified surface of a solar collector, device, or structural design feature may not be obstructed, or a combination of these descriptions.
(2) The restrictions placed upon vegetation, structures, and other objects that would impair or obstruct the passage of sunlight through the easement.
(3) The terms or conditions, if any, under which the easement may be revised or terminated.
(c) As used in this section, “electric utility” means an electrical corporation as defined in Section 218 of the Public Utilities Code or a local publicly owned electric utility as defined in Section 224.3 of the Public Utilities Code.