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California Mandates Solar for Nearly All New Homes

In a historic move, California has become the first state in the country to require solar panels on nearly all new homes.

On May 9, 2018, the California Energy Commission (CEC) unanimously approved standards that, among other things, mandate the installation of solar energy systems on all new residences and major home renovations on buildings under three stories, starting on January 1, 2020. In the event the building is not suitable for a rooftop solar array, the standards require that the homes have access to community solar or offset energy usage through additional efficiency gains, while some homes may be exempt entirely.

The standards were approved as part of a broader update to the Building Energy Efficiency Standards, which are a part of the state’s energy code. Such efficiency standards also apply to everything from current ventilation systems to indoor air quality. California updates the efficiency standards every three years.

“This is an undeniably historic decision for the state and the U.S.,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association. “California has long been our nation’s biggest solar champion, and its mass adoption of solar has generated huge economic and environmental benefits, including bringing tens of billions of dollars of investment into the state.”

The CEC estimates that the standards will provide homeowners with a net savings in their electricity bills of about $40 per month.

For further information on the topic, click here to see the CEC’s press release.

© 2019 Foley & Lardner LLP

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About this Author

Jason W. Allen, Foley Lardner, Energy Industry Lawyer, Finance Attorney
Partner

Jason Allen is a partner and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP, where he is a member and co-chair of the Energy Industry Team. He is a member of the Finance & Financial Institutions, Transactional & Securities, and Private Equity & Venture Capital Practices. Mr. Allen’s practice focuses in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, private equity, finance, and general corporate and commercial law, with a particular emphasis on transactions in the energy industry. 

414-297-5589
Legal, Business, Jeffery Atkin, Foley Lardner, Environmental Attorney
Partner

Jeffery R. Atkin is a partner and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. His areas of practice cover a broad range of business and financial matters, including renewable energy, project finance, private placements, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, real estate development and equipment procurement and leasing. Mr. Atkin is chair of the Solar Energy Team, co-chair of the Energy Industry Team, and a member of the Latin America Practice.

Mr. Atkin’s experience in renewable energy and project finance includes representing developers, investors, lenders and landowners in the construction, development, acquisition and financing of renewable energy generation facilities, including wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass facilities.

213.972.4557
Justus Britt, Solar Energy Project Attorney, Foley Lardner Law Firm
Associate

Justus Britt is a business lawyer and special counsel with Foley & Lardner LLP. Mr. Britt focuses on the development and acquisition of solar energy projects. His project development experience includes advising clients on real estate, permitting, and construction matters, including negotiating supply, EPC, and O&M agreements. Mr. Britt’s acquisition experience includes leading due diligence efforts and assisting on stock and asset purchase agreements, as well as joint venture agreements. He is a member of the firm’s Energy Industry Team and the Transactional...

213.972.4727