Everything you need to know about the Solar Roof Mandate
Recently, the California Energy Commission (CEC) approved a solar roof mandate that requires almost all new residences and major home renovations to include home solar. With the move, California has become the first state in the nation to mandate solar energy installations. The solar roof mandate is an update to the state’s Building Energy Standards and ongoing efforts to reduce greenhouse gases.
About the Solar Roof Mandate
The new policy applies to single-family homes and multi-family units that are three stories or less. A key element in crafting the new standards was to ensure that the efficiency upgrade and solar systems would be affordable to all Californians.
Besides the requirement, the code will incentivize energy storage and other energy efficient upgrades. This means that in addition to the solar requirement, the new building standards will offer a credit for solar capacity combined with on-site energy storage. It will ensure that more homeowners benefit from efficiency while incentivizing solar-plus-storage.
Under the new change, new homes are expected to collectively slash energy use in new homes by more than 50% as a result of home solar. The commission estimates that the standards will add about $40 to an average monthly payment over a 30-year period but essentially save consumers $80 on monthly heating, cooling and lighting bills.
Solar Roof Mandate will take effect January 1, 2020
The solar roof mandate reduces net electricity load, thereby reducing the need for new generating facilities and transmission and distribution lines, but it also facilitates a closer relationship between energy consumption and energy production, and helps cultivate more efficient consumption. It can bring energy choices to consumers and is also consistent towards using electricity in lieu of fossil fuels for such things as vehicle transportation and heat.
While the core elements of the solar roof mandate are now effectively locked in, the work that’s required to roll them out is just the beginning. The state estimates the proposed solar roof mandate applying to most homes and businesses could save California residents and businesses hundreds of millions of dollars in energy costs over the next decade.
The commission’s action on new 2019 building energy efficiency standards also applies to everything from current ventilation systems to indoor air quality. California updates the efficiency standards every three years, and the state’s goal is net-zero energy homes that reduces the carbon footprint of buildings and makes them effectively energy self-sufficient.
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