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What California’s New Solar Mandate Means for Home Builders

The future of solar in the golden state is shining much brighter now that that the California Energy Commission unanimously voted to require that all new homes built after Jan 1,  2020 have solar panels.

Updates to the Title 24 Standards decree that builders who obtain construction permits issued after the mandate goes into effect must fit new houses with a solar array that has an annual electrical output equal to, or greater than, the dwellings annual electrical usage.

If you’re a home builder in California, here’s three reasons this change will be advantageous for you:

 

LOWER MONTHLY HOME PAYMENTS

In a market where home prices are already high, the requirements are estimated to add nearly $9,500 to construction costs or an additional $40 a month in mortgage payments. So how does that save the eager home buyer money, you might wonder?

According Energy Commission spokeswoman Amber Beck, increased home energy efficiency will shave on average about $80 off monthly bills. Subtract that from the increased mortgage and you have a net gain of $40.

Even better is the fact that it’s a pretty sure bet electrical rates will continue to rise over the next few years, and suddenly it becomes much more appealing to own a new energy efficient home fitted with solar than an older one that costs more money to power.  

 

LOCATION IS EVERYTHING!

Much like selling a house, location is everything when it comes to decking out a house with a solar array. The location of a home will determine how many panels it needs to satisfy the Title 24 Standards, and will make building in areas that have a higher Sun Number more appealing.

For reference, California’s average system size accross its different climates comes to around 3.38 KW, or about twelve 3ft x 5ft solar panels.

Location will also come into play when it comes to knowing where to source bulk deals on equipment to maximize profits. Wholesale online dealers such as GoGreenSolar will usually go the extra mile and help with contracting out the installation and offering advice on the best direction and angle to build a roof.

 

UPSELL

The new building standards are also offering a credit for solar capacity combined with on-site energy storage. The credit is meant to encourage builders and/or buyers to include energy storage systems to increase the efficiency of their solar array and can be offset with monthly payments.

Ultimately, while the code is might appear ambitious at first read, it leaves a lot of interpretation and wiggle room up to the builders to determine how they will implement it. If necessity is the mother of invention, many of us Bear state residents are looking forward to seeing all the innovative new solar homes that will soon rise.

 

We can help you build homes with solar. Call (866) 798-4435 to find out more!

Author: Harold Tan

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