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 wants you to know about these solar ready requirements if you’re looking at buying or building a new home.
When did the solar ready requirements go into effect?
California’s solar ready requirements, as specified in the state’s 2013 Energy Standards, went into effect July 1, 2014. There was some confusion about the effective date, though, since a date of Jan. 1, 2014 was initially proposed.
Are all homes required to be solar ready?
No. The solar ready requirements apply only to newly built, single-family homes in subdivisions with 10 or more single-family homes. The solar ready requirement does not affect existing homes that are modified or expanded.
Why are new homes required to be solar ready?
The solar ready requirement makes it less expensive and easier to install solar water heating systems or photovoltaic panels at a later date. The solar ready requirement specifies that a roof or overhang must have a designated solar zone that is free of shade or obstructions. The electrical service panel also must be able to accommodate photovoltaic panels and a solar water heating system.
Which subdivisions are affected by solar ready requirements?
The solar ready requirements apply to all single-family homes located in subdivisions with 10 or more single family homes, if the subdivision map is completed after July 1, 2014. The regulations also apply to subdivisions if the original map expired and a new map was completed after July 1, 2014.
How is solar ready compliance monitored?
Solar ready compliance documents must be submitted to the enforcement agency by the home builder, along with permit applications and building plans.
Rick’s Energy Solutions assists homeowners, designers and contractors with preparing and submitting Title 24 energy conservation and green building compliance documents. Contact us today at 707-578-5380 to learn more about our energy efficiency services.