Frequently Asked Questions
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 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html
To review general turnaround timeframes, click here.
To review the City’s adopted procedure, click here.
Homeowners and businesses which install solar energy systems may be eligible for a variety of rebates, incentives, and tax credits.
REBATES & INCENTIVES
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.
- Valid Contractors License Pocket Card (or copy) which must reflect a license type for the work being done.
- A current copy of the Workers’ Compensation Certificate showing the policy number, expiration date, and the California State Contractors Board or the City of Irvine as the certificate holder.
- A copy of their City of Irvine Business License or the license number.
*YOU WILL NEED TO HAVE THE DOCUMENTATION AVAILABLE EACH TIME YOU OBTAIN PERMITS. THE CITY OF IRVINE DOES NOT HOLD ANY OF THE ABOVE DOCUMENTATION ON FILE, except City of Irvine Business License.*
FOR CONTRACTORS’ AGENTS:
The contractor may send an employee to the City with the above documents to obtain the permit. If the contractor sends an agent, they must provide the agent with a NOTARIZED LETTER OF AUTHORIZATION. The agent must also provide the contractor’s documents as described above.
FOR PROPERTY OWNERS:
Permits may be issued to the property owner after a Property Owner’s Package is filled out by the property owner. If the permit is being issued to an agent or representative of the property owner, the authorization section must also be filled out by the property owner naming the specific agent or representative. A copy of the owner’s driver’s license or other ID will be required to verify the owner’s signature. That document can be obtained by clicking here.
FOR NEW CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS OR PROJECTS THAT ADD SQUARE FOOTAGE AFFECTING THE EXTERIOR DIMENSION:
One additional set of approved plans will be required for all new construction or any construction with added square footage affecting the exterior dimension. This plan will be forwarded by the City to the Orange County Tax Assessor along with a copy of the permit (per Senate Bill 493; Chapter 510, Section 72 of the State of California Revenue and Taxation Code; Effective date January 1, 1992.)
The City of Irvine Municipal Code restricts construction activities to the hours of 7 am to 7 pm Monday through Friday, and 9 am to 6 pm on Saturdays. Construction activities are prohibited on Sundays and Federal Holidays. Construction activities in public right-of-way are not permitted unless inspections are arranged in advance. Please check with the appropriate inspection supervisor in advance of any of these days for which inspection or work to in public right of way is desired.
- The City of Irvine's Environmental Programs website offers a wealth of information and an e-newsletter on incentive programs and tips on how to save energy.
- The Energy Upgrade California website is a one-stop location where residents can enter their zip code and see energy rebates and incentives (including free items) offered by local utilities.inspection supervisor in advance of any of these days for which inspection or work to in public right of way is desired.
The City of Irvine accepts checks, cash and credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.)