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Title 24 Solar Requirements, And What It Means for Home Builders

by Sandie Nguyen

If you’re a home builder, architect, or housing developer based in California, you are most likely aware that the California Energy Commissions (CEC) has revised its Title 24 solar requirement and energy efficiency standards.[1]

Effective January 1, 2020, the update specifically mandates that virtually all new residences and major home renovations on buildings of three stories and under incorporate rooftop solar and advanced efficiency measures. This is made in an effort to improve indoor and outdoor air quality, and to prevent wasteful energy consumption in both newly constructed and existing buildings.

title 24 solar requirements

Title 24 Solar Requirements for Home Builders

In reality, most home builders have already developed internal programs since 2008 as a result of an earlier policy. This policy endorsed the goal that all new residential construction would be zero-net-energy (ZNE) by 2020. [2] However, the Californian energy landscape has changed since then. For individual homes to achieve ZNE they must include a source of renewable power generation. Solar PV is currently the only broadly economical renewable generation option for individual homes.

The solar panel systems must be sized accordingly to provide adequate energy production for each home’s needs. It is expected that the average size of rooftop solar systems across California’s 16 climate regions will scale down from 6.8 kW (as of right now) to range between 2.7 kW and 5.7 kW, at least in part because new homes will be more energy-efficient overall.[3]

The 2020 Solar Impact

CEC has calculated that updates made to Title 24 standards will cut energy use down by 53% - saving Californians $1.7 billion in energy costs over the next 30 years and moving the state toward a more energy-efficient (and eventually net zero) future.[4] Many home builders, therefore, have voluntarily begun to adopt solar as both a way to improve energy efficiency and as a marketing advantage in the state’s increasingly competitive residential marketplace.

Undoubtedly, the new solar homes built in 2020 and beyond will continue to gain greater public awareness and reduce emissions for years to come. California Building Industry Association CEO and president Dan Dunmoyer showed his support of the new codes in an interview: “The CEC has struck a fair balance between reducing greenhouse gas emissions while simultaneously limiting increased construction costs."

A Home Builder’s Resource for Title 24

Building a high-efficiency home is not just a trend led by state leaders. The updates under Title 24 certainly open up opportunities and a trend in green homebuilding for builders. The National Association of Home Builders has estimated that by 2020, the total percentage of both single-family and multifamily builders dedicated to green building will hit close to 40%, as compared to just 29% in 2017.[5]

Home builders will have different options to comply with the new solar mandate, one of them is partnering up with a solar provider. At SunStreet, we provide flexible programs with personalized in-depth training for your homebuyers. Working alongside quality home builders, we bring state-of-the-art solar technology with real-time monitoring to over 25,000 homes. As a helpful and educational resource, we will ensure that all Title 24 requirements are satisfied with no upfront costs.

Home builders, are you ready for solar? We’ll make it easy. Contact us today for more info.

  1. https://www.energy.ca.gov/programs-and-topics/programs/building-energy-efficiency-standards/2019-building-energy-efficiency
  2. https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/ZNE/
  3. https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/everything-you-need-to-know-about-californias-new-solar-roof-mandate#gs.ups0do
  4. https://www.curbed.com/2018/5/10/17340066/california-solar-power-rooftop-solar-housing
  5. https://www.nahb.org/-/media/NAHB/advocacy/docs/industry-issues/sustainability/green-homes-smart-market-brief-2020.pdf
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