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City Makes Emergency Permanent Generator Permit Process Easier

Post Date:11/18/2019 9:23 AM

Historically the City has always required a permit for permanent backup generators. As an added convenience to obtaining this permit for Contractors and other members of the general public, the City is changing the name of a generator permit from a Miscellaneous Electrical Permit to a Generator (Permanent Backup) Residential and offering the permit both over the counter and on line. The permit fee remains the same $124. The City does not require a permit for portable generators.

The new Generator (Permanent Backup) Residential Permit fee is $124 and the permit can be found online or picked up at City Hall in the Community Development Department Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The installer must use the generator installation manual and the transfer Switch installation manual and then provide those documents to the City’s building inspector during the inspection. The City requires the following inspections for an emergency generator:

  • Set/backs/forms and footing;
  • Rough electrical;
  • Rough plumbing;
  • Gas pressure test; and
  • Final.

Setback requirements for the generator location are found in the installation manual for each specific product. However, the exhaust pipe of the generator must be at least 10 feet away from any dwelling unit window or door opening. In Vacaville, an emergency generator is only allowed to run continuously during an emergency that involves a PG&E power outage. Single family dwelling unit emergency back-up generators running when power service is online violates the Vacaville Municipal Code addressing the noise ordinance.

In the case where the generator fuel source comes from the PG&E natural gas meter, generator installers should check with the utility to verify that the existing meter has the capacity to serve the generator, as well as the appliances in the building.