Starting in January 2020, California’s solar mandate will go into effect requiring all newly built homes to be solar-powered. The rule marks a new phase in California’s environmental policies, which have often set trends and established standards nationwide.

Whether you are building in California or across the United States, Stillwater Dwellings offers a unique approach to Green Energy Management Systems (GEMS) that benefits all new homeowners who are looking to build a sustainable home.

We’ve taken a unique, design-focused approach to the integration of solar energy. Our architects, along with our solar partners at Exponent Solar Energy, sit down with you at the very beginning of a project to design a cohesive and streamlined solar solution that does not compromise the integrity of your home’s design, yet meets your energy needs.

While California is the first state to institute a formal solar mandate, others will likely follow and we are here to help all homeowners who wish to get a jump start on Green Energy Management.

What does the new mandate mean for California residents who are building a new home? Here is the breakdown.

  • New homes built in CA after Jan 1, 2020, must be equipped with a solar electric system
  • Solar systems must be sized to offset 100% of the home’s electricity usage – but homes can still use energy from other sources, like gas
  • The size of the solar array can be reduced if other energy efficiency improvements are made elsewhere, like the inclusion of energy storage or green building materials
  • The new standard includes an exemption for houses that are often shaded from the sun. It also includes incentives for people to add a high-capacity battery to their home’s electrical system, to store the sun’s energy.

While the up-front cost of solar is expected to add roughly $10,000 to the price of a new home, the resident is expected to save around $19,000 on energy costs over the life of ownership.

In addition, solar systems improve property value by an average of 3.74%, according to a paper published by the Lawrence Berkeley National Library. Homes with solar energy systems are more desirable to buyers.

For more information about California’s solar mandate, visit the California Energy Commissions webpage about Building Energy Efficient Standards – Title 24

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