City of Davis - Solar Shade Control Act

July 06, 2021


Purpose: This policy is designed to control the planting and maintenance of trees and shrubs around solar collectors so that they may maintain effectiveness.

Solar collector is defined by the city as a fixed device structure, or part of a device or structure, which is used to transform significant amounts of solar energy into thermal, chemical, or electrical energy. The solar collector must be used for any or all of the following: water heating, space heating or cooling, power generation.

Also includes south-facing windows which, when unobstructed, would not be shaded.

Standards: it shall be unlawful for any person owning, or in control of a property to allow a tree or shrub to be placed, or if placed, to grow on such property, subsequent to the installation of a solar collector on the property of another so as to cast a shadow greater than ten percent of the collector absorption area upon that solar collector surface on the property of another at any one time between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Exceptions: Does not apply to preexisting trees and shrubs that at the time of the installation of the solar collector cast as shadow, trees planted, grown, or harvested on timberland as defined in Section 4526 of the State Act or on land devoted to the production of commercial agricultural crops. Nothing in this article shall apply to the replacement of a tree or shrub which had been growing prior to the installation of a solar collector and which dies subsequent to the installation of such solar collector.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: Local
Category: Regulatory Policy
State: California
Incentive Type: Solar/Wind Access Policy
Web Site:
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Solar - Passive
  • Solar Water Heat
  • Solar Space Heat
  • Solar Thermal Electric
  • Solar Thermal Process Heat
  • Solar Photovoltaics
  • Solar Pool Heating


Name: Davis Municipal Code Art. 40.38

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.