On May 9, 2018, the California Energy Commission (CEC) voted unanimously to incorporate advanced efficiency measures and rooftop solar in virtually all new homes built in California after January 1, 2020.
These measures update current commitments to solar that are expected to save Californians an additional $1.7 billion in energy costs over the next 30 years.
This commitment is the result of over two years of concerted effort to define technical requirements for this code change as well as address questions and concerns from all major stakeholders involved.
New residences and major home renovations on buildings under three stories will be subject to the new codes. If a building is not suitable for a rooftop array, the new standards require that such buildings have access to community solar or offset energy use. Some homes may be exempt on a case-by-case basis.
Currently, in California, around 15,000 new homes that include solar panels are built each year. The number is expected to surge to approximately 100,000 new solar homes a year when the new standards go into effect. Many California builders and architects will be taking the plunge much sooner.
California’s commitment to solar as part of the home building process will go a long way to normalizing the use of solar power for many, many families and small businesses across the state. In fact, while the Title 24 rules only apply to new homes, they will no doubt help solar conversion sales to existing homes through greater public awareness.
Dan Dunmoyer, CEO and President of the California Building Industry Association, went on record after the vote saying, “the CEC has struck a fair balance between reducing greenhouse gas emissions while simultaneously limiting increased construction costs.”
His association supports the new codes as do many other stakeholders including numerous affordable housing groups and alternative utility suppliers.
A key consideration of the new code is to ensure that efficiency upgrades and solar systems are affordable to all homeowners. The measures are expected to add $8,000 to $12,000 to the cost of adding solar to a new home which has been opposed by some.
However, CEC calculations found that the new codes will add about $40 to an average monthly payment while saving around $80 on monthly heating, cooling, and lighting bills.
In addition, Title 24 provides strong codes aimed at providing energy-efficient solar and energy storage that are expected to contribute to a reliable, distributed grid (no single points of failure) while keeping utility bills down.
For more information, contact us at SunLynk.