Building a New Home in California? You’ll Need a Solar Power System.
Back in 2018, the California Building Standards Commission approved a mandate that changes Title 24 of the state’s building codes. The code change requires all new homes built in the state of California to have solar power systems installed on them. As of January 1st, 2020, that requirement goes into effect.
Capital City Solar has created this article to answer some of the questions we commonly hear from Sacramento residents who are planning on having a home built. Whether you are commissioning a new home, or you’re a builder or contractor, we can help you fulfill California’s new solar power requirements. To learn more, contact us at (916) 782-3333, or fill out our contact form and we’ll be in touch.
Does the January 2020 deadline apply to when a permit is filed, or when construction starts?
The deadline applies to the date on which a builder files a building permit. If the permit is filed prior to January 1st of 2020, a solar power system is not required, even if building does not start until 2020.
Does the solar power requirement apply to housing developments? What about custom homes?
The requirement applies to all homes. Home builders have the option of directly installing panels on each home they build, or to build shared solar power systems that power a group of interconnected homes.
The requirement does not apply to multifamily units and other large developments standing more than 3 stories tall.
How do you pay for solar power systems on new homes?
A contractor can roll the cost of the system of a system into the price of a home (or arrange for a system to be leased month to month). Alternatively, if you have commissioned a custom home to be built for you, you can opt to pay for the system directly.
We have worked with both builders and homeowners to help them meet California’s solar power requirements.
How large does the solar power system have to be?
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) originally considered requiring that new homes be net zero energy, meaning that 100% of a home’s energy needs be covered by solar power.
However, they instead opted for a compromise where solar power installations must be sufficient to make a home net zero electricity. This means that only a home’s electricity usage must be offset by the solar power installation. Thus, if your home uses natural gas for heating and/or cooking, this energy usage does not have to be accounted for by the solar power system.
The minimum required size (or rather, the minimum energy production) of a solar power system is based upon the size of the home. Typically, the absolute minimum requirement for smaller homes is an energy capacity of 2 to 3 kilowatts. But it should be noted that this is on the small side, and homeowners opting to install such a small system will result in more costly electricity bills.
Are new homes required to also have a home battery system?
Home battery systems are not required. However, qualifying home battery systems allow you to reduce the minimum size of the solar power system, if you so wish.
Will a solar power system increase the value of a home?
Recent studies have indicated that homes in California with solar power systems had an added resale value of $4,260 per kilowatt of power capacity. In the Sacramento region, solar-powered homes typically sold for 3% to 7% more than comparable homes without solar power systems.
Are you a having a custom home built for your family, or are you a contractor looking for a reliable solar power installer?
For more than 15 years, Capital City Solar has worked with residential and multifamily developers to design and install cutting-edge solar power solutions. Whether you’re a contractor, or you’ve commissioned a custom home here in the Sacramento area, we can help you meet California’s new Title 24 requirements, while also getting the best possible value in terms of both system quality and energy savings.
If you have questions, or you’re ready to learn more about how Capital City Solar can help you, give us a call or fill out our form today!