Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Blog California Becomes First State to Mandate Solar on New Homes

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 increase home prices by about $10,000.

The standards focus on four key areas: smart residential photovoltaic systems, updated thermal envelope standards (preventing heat transfer from the interior to exterior and vice versa), residential and nonresidential ventilation requirements, and nonresidential lighting requirements. The ventilation measures improve indoor air quality, protecting homeowners from air pollution originating from outdoor and indoor sources. For the first time, the standards also establish requirements for newly constructed healthcare facilities.

“Under these new standards, buildings will perform better than ever, at the same time they contribute to a reliable grid,” Commissioner Andrew McAllister said in a release. “The buildings that Californians buy and live in will operate very efficiently while generating their own clean energy. They will cost less to operate, have healthy indoor air and provide a platform for ‘smart’ technologies that will propel the state even further down the road to a low emissions future.”

Under the new standards, nonresidential buildings will use about 30 percent less energy due mainly to lighting upgrades. For residential homeowners, based on a 30-year mortgage, the Energy Commission estimates that the standards will add about $40 to an average monthly payment, but save consumers $80 on monthly heating, cooling and lighting bills.

“With this adoption, the California Energy Commission has struck a fair balance between reducing greenhouse gas emissions while simultaneously limiting increased construction costs,” California Building Industry Association CEO and President Dan Dunmoyer said in a release. “We thank the Commissioners and their staff for working with the building industry during the past 18 months and adopting a set of cost-effective standards that ensures homebuyers will recoup their money over the life of the dwelling.”

California’s decision is certainly well received by the Tesla Energy division, which produces solar panels and battery storage systems. The company began earlier this year installing its solar roof product.

For more information about the standards, view the Commission’s frequently asked questions page.

 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • Like
Reactions: MacGreiner
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.
 

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
13,728
18,930
New Mexico
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.
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.
 
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.

There is a big difference between retrofit costs to an existing roof and making it part of the original fabric.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Esme Es Mejor
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Eclectic
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.

In the future....storage at the house is going to be the deal. In other words.....off grid will grow stronger and stronger.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: Blup85

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
9,113
13,819
United States
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.

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.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: gene

Az_Rael

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Jan 26, 2016
5,681
8,986
Palmdale, CA
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.

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.
 
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.

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.
 
  • Informative
  • Like
Reactions: gene and nwdiver
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.
 

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
13,728
18,930
New Mexico
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.
As I told you, your system is 4x the size modeled by the CEC
 
  • Like
Reactions: gene

Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,299
7,645
Canyon Lake,CA
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.
 

gene

Active Member
Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2013
2,420
14,654
Santa Barbara, CA
[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.
 
Last edited:

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
13,728
18,930
New Mexico
Read the law. It makes allowances for shaded areas.
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.
 
Last edited:
  • Love
  • Like
Reactions: EinSV and gene

gene

Active Member
Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2013
2,420
14,654
Santa Barbara, CA
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.
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.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: Blup85

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top