Frequently Asked Questions

What are the City's current Covid-19 related procedures?

In an effort to protect public health amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and consistent with the Governor's March 19, 2020 Executive Order N-33-20, the City of Irvine is taking additional safety precautions for Building and Grading inspections.

Effective Monday March 23, 2020, the following precautions will be in effect.

  • Inspections of exterior facilities and unoccupied, unconditioned interior spaces: This includes both residential and commercial construction. In-person inspections can continue with strictly-enforced precautionary measures in place as follows:

    • No face to face contact between inspectors and site personnel. All communication will take place via email, text, or telephone only.
    • All areas that are subject to inspection must be completely unoccupied and empty. There shall be no personnel in the area including any personnel from builder, contractor, or trades.
    • Prior to inspector arrival, building plans for the area subject to inspection must be placed on a flat, cleaned surface within or adjacent to the area of inspection.
  • Inspections of interior, occupied, or conditioned spaces: In-person inspections will be suspended for both residential and commercial properties. To the extent possible, inspectors will conduct inspections of these spaces virtually through use of video applications, such as FaceTime, Skype, or WhatsApp. Virtual inspections will be coordinated as necessary by inspectors at the time of appointment.

  • General Safety Precautions: Builders, contractors, and all personnel working on job sites subject to inspection must abide by Covid-19 precautions as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control at

How long can I expect my application to take?

To review general turnaround timeframes, click here.

What happens if I need to revise approved building permit plans?

To review the City’s adopted procedure, click here.

What types of solar rebates and incentives are available?

Homeowners and businesses which install solar energy systems may be eligible for a variety of rebates, incentives, and tax credits.


The Disadvantaged Communities - Single-family Solar Homes (DAC-SASH) program provides upfront rebates to income-eligible, single-family homeowners installing solar panels. Homeowners must be customers of Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), or San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) to take advantage of the incentive. Visit GRID Alternatives' website to see if you qualify and to apply.

The following programs are administered through Southern California Edison (our local power utility) in conjunction the State of California (Go Solar California Program).     

  • Energy Upgrade California also includes a link on the main page to find a qualified contractor. Residents are not required to use the contractors listed here but it is important that the contractor you utilize is a State Licensed Contractor. You can check to see if a contractor has a valid license with the Contractors State License Board.
  • New – California Solar Thermal –This newly announced program offers cash rebates of up to $1,875 for solar water heating systems on single family homes. For more information visit the Go Solar California CSI Thermal Site.


  • A Federal Tax Credit of up to 30% of the cost is currently available for solar systems for a principal residence (rentals & second homes do not qualify). For more information visit the Go Solar California website and consult a qualified tax professional.