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Blog California Becomes First State Mandate Solar on New Homes

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by TMC Staff, May 10, 2018.

  1. TMC Staff

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    On Wednesday, California became the first U.S. state to require solar panels on new homes, a move that signifies solar’s move into the mainstream. The measure will require units built after Jan. 1, 2020 to adopt the standards set by the California Energy Commission. The Commission unanimously approved the new standards, which are expected to...
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  2. barjohn

    barjohn Member

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    I wonder where they get this $10K number. I am having a system installed and it is more like $35K and I had quotes as high as $48K. They should be more honest about the cost of installation for solar. 34 panels (in my system) alone cost about $16K if you went out and purchased just the panels.
     
  3. SageBrush

    SageBrush 2018: Drain the Sewer

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    They estimated ~ $3/watt. Your system is ~ 4x larger than the model system.

    Honestly ? You are making someone rich. You are paying around $1.3 a watt for panels. The going rate is half that. As for the rest of the bill ... crazy. You are a poster child example of subsidies not flowing to the customer.
     
  4. Nigel Quinton

    Nigel Quinton Member

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    There is a big difference between retrofit costs to an existing roof and making it part of the original fabric.
     
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  5. Blup85

    Blup85 Member

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    I don't really get this. I'm a huge supporter of solar (Installed 7-8 systems for friends, family and myself) but solar does not work for everyone.. shade, etc.. Making it mandatory seems ignorant blindly adopting policy that "makes you feel good". In the next 5-10 years energy storage and grid stability is going to be the largest hurdle. It doesn't make sense to make all the power during the day only to have to fire up the coal plants at night to supply power for my AC running all night because I live in a hot climate. Hopefully there are alternatives to forcing solar on a home that doesn't make sense, and energy storage of equivalent size can be installed instead.
     
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  6. Garlan Garner

    Garlan Garner Well-Known Member

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    In the future....storage at the house is going to be the deal. In other words.....off grid will grow stronger and stronger.
     
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  7. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    WAAAAY cheaper to install solar on a new house. You must be using super-premium panels. The 4.5kW project I finished recently used 300w panels from Mission Solar for $0.65/w or ~$195/panel. A builder buying panels by the container could probably get panels for <$0.50/w. We installed the 4.5kW array for $13k and it will cover 120% of the home owners use. Adding this to a new home when you already have roofers and electricians onsite shouldn't run >$10k.
     
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  8. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    My city implemented this policy about 7 years ago. Shading is not normally an issue with new construction around here, as all the new construction happens on bare lots with no trees. The required system size is pretty small, so many families end up upgrading it during the construction process or even afterwards once they figure out it is undersized.

    I guess I don't see a reason it has to be a statewide mandate vs letting local cities do it themselves as mine has for our own needs. My city has also "outlawed" grass in new developments for front yards, all of which makes sense for our desert community.

    Mandating solar panels makes sense for us, but not so much in a small mountain community that is surrounded with pine trees and shade issues.
     
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  9. Garlan Garner

    Garlan Garner Well-Known Member

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    Indeed it is Waaaaayyyyyyy cheaper to install during construction. I installed my system ( click the link to track my progress below in my signature ) myself after construction so the installation price didn't matter much to me. I installed 54 panels on the east and west sides of my roof - since my house faces south and we didn't want panels on the front side of my house. I haven't had an electric bill in 5 years so far...... however with the Model 3 I'm hoping to break even. I don't like selling electricity back to my power company.....however its been pretty profitable so far.
     
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  10. Garlan Garner

    Garlan Garner Well-Known Member

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    Solar is indeed the way to go.

    Its quiet
    Its clean
    Its renewable
    Its quiet
    It doesn't degrade hardly at all over time.
    It requires no maintenance or cleaning.
    Its quiet
    Its hardly noticeable when not installed on the front of your home.


    Oh...wait........did I mention that its quiet - just like a tesla.
     
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  11. Garlan Garner

    Garlan Garner Well-Known Member

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    I also believe that new construction should come with powerwallls also.
     
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  12. barjohn

    barjohn Member

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    My system is 11.9KW using LG 350W panels with Enphase IQ7 Plus micro inverters. The system could have been less with less efficient and cheaper panels or more with Sunpower panels and micro inverters. My monthly average power usage is 1,668KW or about 20KWH per year. Solar City (Tesla) quoted me $41,632 for the similar sized system. I had 6 bids and all came in with similar power requirements based on my past electric bills and ranged from a low of $31K to a high of $48K. All were quoted with a 20 year loan and various interest rates ranging from 2.99% to 6.99% nothing down on any of these. The target from my view point was to come in below my current average monthly utility bill as it is today so I will start out ahead and stay ahead as the utility rates increase over time.
     
  13. SageBrush

    SageBrush 2018: Drain the Sewer

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    As I told you, your system is 4x the size modeled by the CEC
     
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  14. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    I wonder if the Tesla solar roof tiles will find a market from this.
     
  15. Uncle Paul

    Uncle Paul Active Member

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    Tesla solar is going to be super popular in California. The cost of putting on Solar tiles should be less than putting on a conventional tile roof, then covering them with ugly panels.

    Wonder how this mandate is going to work out for someone who is building a vacation house in the state? Will be rarely there to use electricity, but will have to pay the full cost of solarization. Solar will be generated all year, but the owner may be there only a few weeks a year.
     
  16. gene

    gene Supporting Member

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    Yes, of course. In areas with Spanish tile requirements. Which is much of California's wealthier areas such as Santa Barbara and Orange County.
     
  17. gene

    gene Supporting Member

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    Read the law. It makes allowances for shaded areas.
     
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  18. gene

    gene Supporting Member

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    #18 gene, May 10, 2018
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
    [QUOTE="Uncle Paul, post: 2732138, member: 18019

    Wonder how this mandate is going to work out for someone who is building a vacation house in the state? Will be rarely there to use electricity, but will have to pay the full cost of solarization. Solar will be generated all year, but the owner may be there only a few weeks a year.[/QUOTE]

    Perfect! A great argument for keeping net metering valid.
     
  19. SageBrush

    SageBrush 2018: Drain the Sewer

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    #19 SageBrush, May 10, 2018
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
    Exactly. If only people would read the law before they start declaring that the sky is falling. There are also provisions for community sharing.

    The law also has a host of energy conservation initiatives that I think (not sure) can substitute for PV. It is a remarkable law, a veritable check-list of all the things I want in my house:

    PV
    Heat pump
    DHW heat recovery
    Improved home envelope

    It is like they actually spoke to people who have a clue.
     
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  20. gene

    gene Supporting Member

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    Did you read the law? It makes allowances for shady properties. It also addresses storage. In addition the SGIP program in California is resulting in a serious amount of Powerwalls or other batteries attached to homes but also used by utilities to alleviate the need for peaker plants. SGIB and ITC together pay for about 80% of the storage.
     
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