Category Archives: Solar Panels

What to Know About the Changes to the 2019 Energy Code

In California, we’re living in an exciting time for renewable energy. Both the public and private sectors are starting to really embrace the industry and shift the market over to one that reflects where the future is headed.

But with the shift comes a lot of changes—namely in California’s Energy Code. Next year, the code will undergo some significant changes to adapt to legislation passed in the interval. As a potential residential or commercial client interested in renewables, they’re seriously worth taking note of.

New residential must have solar

Solar Panels Installed in CalforniaThis is something we’ve covered on our blog before—starting January 1, 2020, any new residential construction with less than three stories is mandated to have solar photovoltaic cells built. The square footage of the planned building and its number of bedrooms will determine the size of the solar system; for guidance, check out the California Energy Commission’s regulations on the topic. There, you’ll also find the exemptions to the new law, namely buildings that have limited roof space.

Non-residential has new rules

For any planned construction that is either commercial, or multi-family and above four stories, there are a few new items to keep in mind. There are updated rules on interior windows and doors leading to unconditioned space, and Demand Controlled Ventilation (DCV). The requirement for domestic solar hot water production is also being removed, but largely because property developers are encouraged to add the systems anyway.

New tests required

Another condition in the updated code will see required HERS (or Home Energy Rating System) tests for several items. They include: kitchen exhaust hoods, blower doors, insulation, and HVAC systems. Let us know if you need help—HERS rating is one of our many specialties.

Some of these changes may appear confusing at first, but they’re all designed with energy savings in mind. If you still have questions about the 2019 Energy Code, our team at Rick’s Energy Solutions is happy to help. Give us a call at 707-578-5380 today!

California Making Green Strides towards Net-Zero with Solar Panels

As we know, California has always been at the forefront of green energy. Our emission limits are now national industry standards, and innovation on the local level is often adopted by cities and municipalities everywhere. Perhaps nowhere is this momentum more apparent than in Sonoma County, where net-zero energy home construction is quickly becoming the… Continue Reading

Five Things to Know About Solar Ready Requirements

Solar is becoming an increasingly common and affordable alternative for generating electricity. Estimates are that more 1 million homes in the U.S. now have solar panels installed. California is a leading proponent of home solar panels, and has implemented solar ready requirements for new homes. Here are five things the California Energy Commission’s Efficiency Division… Continue Reading

Using Renewables to Boost Water Supplies?

California is now amid its fifth year of serious drought, and state and private agencies alike have been trying everything from water usage restrictions to exploring alternative sources of water as part of efforts to balance demand with availability. The problem with converting alternative water sources like recycled wastewater, brackish groundwater and seawater into potable… Continue Reading

Solar is Coming: San Fran to Require Panels

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors recently passed a new law that will require all new buildings that are 10 stories in height or smaller to add solar panels. The new rule goes into effect January 2017, building on an existing California law that requires all new small- and mid-sized buildings to make a portion… Continue Reading