Getting Started with Solar

The City of Pico Rivera has a goal to increase solar energy and encourages solar system development in the community. The City offers a collection of solar information and resources about the basics of solar energy, your solar options, the online permitting process, inspections, questions to ask solar professionals, and information about adhering to state solar goals. Read the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Solar Consumer Protection Guide and visit the Department of Energy’s Homeowner’s Guide to Going Solar.

The City of Pico Rivera is working to become a SolSmart designated community by implementing best practices to make it easier for residents and businesses to install and access solar energy. SolSmart is a national program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy that has helped hundreds of local governments become “open for solar business.” Learn more about the program here.

Our Solar Commitment

The City of Pico Rivera and Office of Sustainability is committed to exceptional customer services as it relates to solar processes. To promote the continued advancement of solar in the community the City is committed to the following:

  • Provide clear guidelines about the solar permitting and inspection process with SolarAPP+.
  • Process small rooftop solar PV permit applications through a portal that provides automated project plan reviews, automated permits, online payment processing, and online scheduling for inspections.
  • Offering inspection appointment times for solar projects within a 2 hour window.
  • Provide excellent customer support through the Building and Safety Division at 562.801.4360 or
  • The City of Pico Rivera ensures equitable access to solar by offering a catalog of programs under the Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy Division (PRIME)

The Benefits of Going Solar

Solar energy uses a renewable energy source – the sun – and provides many benefits for individuals and the community. It improves environmental quality by reducing carbon emissions and air pollution, supports local solar companies in California,, creates local jobs, saves money on energy costs, and improves electric grid resilience during peak demand and other stresses to the system.

Solar Maps and Potential

Investigate your property’s solar potential by clicking here. You can also estimate the performance of potential PV projects using the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s PVWatts Calculator.

Solar Energy in The City of Pico Rivera

Provide a table or link to a dashboard that indicates your community’s solar metrics. This information should be updated at least annually and may include the details bulleted below.

  • Post community metrics related to the number of solar PV and solar PV plus storage permits, as well as inspections processed by the community annually, average annual permitting, and average annual inspection timelines.
  • Post metrics related to the number of municipal solar PV or solar PV plus storage/EV installations and installed capacity, municipal solar PV energy procured (ownership, PPAs, community solar offtake), and percent (%) of municipal energy usage offset by renewable energy.
  • Share progress towards achieving solar PV targets or metrics detailed in the community’s most current published version of relevant local plans (e.g., energy plan, climate plan, comprehensive plan).
  • Post an online dashboard or summary of solar PV metrics for your community, including total installed solar PV capacity, solar PV + storage installations, and community solar and/or solarize subscribers (if applicable). Metrics should identify solar PV adoption in DACs as well.


List or describe information about local government solar projects in the community. This provides an opportunity to link to monitoring information, photos, and/or articles about the solar projects.

Helpful tip: You might need to reach out to your Building Department or local utility to find this information. You can ask your contact for the number of installed projects and the total capacity in kilowatts (kWs). It is helpful to separate the type of system into residential and nonresidential.

Local Solar Projects

List or describe information about local government solar projects in the community. This provides an opportunity to highlight work the community is doing and/or link to monitoring information, photos, and/or articles about the solar projects.

Finding a Contractor and Going Solar

Find a solar contractor(s) to assess your home or business for solar energy and provide a quote.

  • Certified practitioners can be found through NABCEP.
  • Visit EnergySage to learn about solar energy and submit for solar quotes from a network of pre-screened, local solar installers.

Financing, Incentives, and Tax Exemptions

Typically, solar installations are paid for through loans, upfront payments, or a power purchase agreement (PPA).

Federal Incentives: There are many new incentives and funding opportunities available for solar and other clean energy technologies.  

  • A great place for residents to start identifying the federal incentives for which they are eligible is this calculator from Rewiring America. The rebates and incentives available through the federal Inflation Reduction Act can vary depending on your location and income.
  • Additional details about benefits in the Inflation Reduction Act can be found on the White House’s website or the Department of Energy website.

State and local incentives:

  • Information about state incentives can be found in this database maintained by the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center.
  • Many new state programs are expected to be announced in 2024 as a result of federal funding. Stay tuned for announcements from your state!

Consumer Protections, Solar Right, and Procedures

Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy (PRIME) has recently partnered with Tesla Inc. and Participate. Energy to launch Power Choice. This exciting new program provides residents with the opportunity to harness the benefits of solar power and battery storage— without the burden and costs of installation and ownership. Read More →

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Job Training and Educational Opportunities

If you are interested in pursuing a career in solar energy, here are some links to regional and national educational courses, programs, and/or trainings offered from colleges, universities, technical institutions, and non-profits.

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