COVID-19 Essential Services Memo Posted on Mar 22, 2020
Some helpful guidance from the California Solar & Storage Association on COVID-19's impact on cleantech industry services:
COVID-19 Essential Services MemoMarch 21, 2020 at 1:00pm
Based on the published guidance available as of the date and time of this memo, CALSSA concludes that the local and state orders, and the federal guidelines, allow for the continued work of the solar energy and energy storage industry under the essential services exemption provided the industry adheres to social distancing standards to the greatest extent possible.
While this document is intended to provide information related to those exemptions, it is critical that the industry use common sense and uphold a strong commitment to meeting the intent and spirit of the Shelter in Place orders. Protecting our workers, our customers, and our community is ultimately our highest priority and clearest guiding principle. This includes following CDC and OSHA social distancing recommendations, some of which are highlighted in this memo. As California faces another electricity crisis in the near future with fire season soon upon us, we must work together to build stronger, more resilient communities and we must do so in the safest manner possible.
As we all know, the governmental response to the COVID-19 crisis is changing by the hour. CALSSA will do its best to stay on top of this dynamic situation and to post updated information as the situation develops on our COVID-19 resources page. We encourage our members to track and follow the updated guidance provided by local governments in your service areas.
STATE GUIDANCE ON ESSENTIAL SERVICES
On March 19, 2020, the State of California issued a statewide Shelter In Place order stating (1):
"The California State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health is ordering all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence, except as needed to maintain continuity of operation of the federal critical infrastructure sectors, critical government services, schools, childcare, and construction, including housing construction." (2) (emphasis added)
On March 20, 2020, the State of California added to their COVID-19 webpage a “list of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers (pdf). This document tracks with the federal guidance documents cited in the statewide order from the previous day.
(1) Order of the State Public Health Officer, March 19, 2020 found at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/CDPH%20Document%20Library/COVID19/Health%20Order%203.19.2020.pdf and Executive Order N-33-20 found at https://covid19.ca.gov/img/ExecutiveOrder-N-33-20.pdf.
(2) It is important to note that the 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Title 24 of the Codes of Regulations) for low-rise residential buildings include minimum requirements for solar energy systems. See California Energy Commission, “Residential Compliance Manual for the 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, Title 24, Part 6, and Associated Administrative Regulations in Part 1”, page 7-1.