3/04/2013

California City Pushes for Solar Energy Requirement On All Homes


Republican Mayor Rex Parris of Lancaster, California campaigns to require every new home in his city to host solar.  This requirement could happen as early as January 2014.  The small town of 150,000 residents located in the high desert near Los Angeles.  The new law will be written into Lancaster's "Residential Zones Update" on residential solar.  Along with other green building provisions, it specifies that new single family homes meet a minimum solar system requirement.

The purpose of the solar energy system standards is to encourage investment in solar energy on all parcels in the city, while providing guidelines for the installation of those systems that are consistent with the architectural and building standards of the City, in an effort to achieve greater usage of alternative energy.
Residential homes on lots from 7,000 square feet must have solar systems of 1.0 kilowatt to 1.5 kilowatts.  Rural residential homes of up to 100,000 square feet must have a system of at least 1.5 kilowatts.

In 2010, the town partnered with SolarCity to develop about 27 megawatts of solar energy to power City Hall, local parks, and a variety of businesses and residences.  The extra energy generation is expected to earn the city $1.5 million per year for the next five years, and $800,000 per year after that.  The building industry is showing resistance, but the Mayor Parris is confident that the city council will approve the measure.