Is solar mandatory in California? Starting at the beginning of 2020, California became the first state to require solar panels for most new homes. The new legislation is an effort to use 100% of state electricity from renewable sources. So yes, solar panels are now required for new buildings under four stories. If this is the first you’ve heard about the mandate, this blog is for you! We’ll go over some of the new legislation requirements and some of the benefits you’ll receive from going solar.

California Solar Mandate

Governor Newson cited that “homes built with solar are more resilient to power outages, have increased value, and save the homeowner more than $15,000 in energy costs over 30 years.” When you consider the financial benefits to property owners and environmental advantages, it’s easy to understand the purpose of this bill. The only properties exempt from this new mandate are structures rebuild after natural disasters, community solar project participants, correctional facilities, and areas with poor solar access or low electricity rates.

Is Solar Required for Residential Developments?

Yes, the mandate requires all newly constructed single-family and multi-family residences up to three stories high to include solar. So, no matter how wide an apartment complex is, it will require rooftop solar panels if the buildings are no more than three stories high. The solar panels must have a large enough capacity to cover the annual energy consumption of the building. It’s understandable that it’s challenging to determine energy use for a brand-new building that no one has lived in yet. At Sunlight Solar, we can help you estimate the average energy consumption based on factors such as the number of occupants, square footage, amount of bedrooms, and so on. Additionally, if you plan to build an ADU on your property, they will also require solar panels, which you can learn more about by clicking here.

Solar panels in residential neighborhood

How to Maximize Solar Panels?

Harnessing solar power is one of the greatest ways to generate clean and renewable energy. Homeowners and business owners may want to find out how to get the most out of their systems. If you’re looking to maximize your energy independence, you can add a solar battery to your system to store excess electricity for later. When you do this, you’ll use less overall power and increase your savings on energy bills. During power outages or when there’s damage to the grid, homes with solar storage batteries won’t be affected and can operate completely “off the grid.” Depending on the type of solar storage, it may allow property owners to reduce the required roof space of their solar panels.

Does California Offer a Tax Credit?

Both business owners and homeowners are eligible for the federal solar investment tax credit, which can help lower the overall cost of installing the system. They can save up to thousands of dollars with the federal tax credit! It’s applied to a fixed percentage of the solar energy system’s total cost. In 2021, properties are eligible for a tax credit towards 26% of their system, and in 2022, a 10% credit is available only to commercial systems.

Give Sunlight Solar a Call

Whether you’re planning on building a new home, ADU, or rental property in California, they’ll be powered on affordable, renewable energy! You’ll reap the benefits of lower energy bills and the peace of mind of knowing that you’re helping out the environment! If you have any questions about solar panels or would like to get a quote for your project, please give us a call. You can reach us at (858) 564-8032 or by filling out our contact form on our website.