California requires solar panels on all new homes

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5/10/2018 9:27 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/10/2018 9:29 PM

The California Energy Commission passed the new building standards yesterday. I like solar, but it seems like regulatory overreach. Adds about $9000 to the cost of an average mortgage but they said it saves more than that, along with some other new energy efficiency standards. So if you're building a new house (which is tough in this state anyhow), you're going solar.

Energy Commission Adopts Standards Requiring Solar Systems for New Homes, First in Nation

SACRAMENTO - Moving to cut energy use in new homes by more than 50 percent, the California Energy Commission today adopted building standards that require solar photovoltaic systems starting in 2020. The building energy efficiency standards, which are the first in the nation to require solar, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equivalent to taking 115,000 fossil fuel cars off the road.

The cost-effective 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, which take effect on Jan. 1, 2020, 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,” said Commissioner Andrew McAllister, who is the Energy Commission’s lead on energy efficiency. “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,” said California Building Industry Association CEO and President Dan Dunmoyer. “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.”

For more information about the 2019 standards, view the frequently asked questions, blog post, and infographics for residential and nonresidential buildings.

The Energy Commission also approved the 2018-2019 Investment Plan Update for the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP), which invests in alternative and renewable fuel and advanced vehicle technologies. Now in its 10th year, the program has invested more than $750 million in 615 projects covering a broad spectrum of alternative fuels and technologies.

More details are available in the business meeting agenda.

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It's impossible for a corporation or government to love you or care about you.

5/10/2018 9:52 PM

Makes total sense to me. They should also force all new builders to build water cisterns/catch tanks so rain water can be stored and re-used. Renewable energy and water reclamation is the future...and once again California is on the cutting edge!

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5/10/2018 11:04 PM

Motoxdoc wrote:

Makes total sense to me. They should also force all new builders to build water cisterns/catch tanks so rain water can be ...more

Yep, 100% agree with you.

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Ed Johnson

5/10/2018 11:49 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/10/2018 11:53 PM

Motoxdoc wrote:

Makes total sense to me. They should also force all new builders to build water cisterns/catch tanks so rain water can be ...more

They take the opposite approach when it comes to water. They charge crazy "drought rates" even though we aren't in a drought anymore and require tens of thousands of dollars to drill your own well. Luckily we already have one on our property.

We hope to be ready to build in a year. Our property is close to Temecula. But man are those permits and inspections going to be expensive.

I haven't confirmed it yet, but I heard that the owner of the property next to us is going to pull the plug on his home building plans because he ended up having to pay an excavator $40k to put this 15 foot wide paved driveway in.

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Instagram: vanillaice782
Amateur helmet painter

5/10/2018 11:50 PM

Too much big bro for my taste. Riddle me this, I see solar panels on more houses all the time, and supposedly a lot of them "generate more than they use" especially in the summer. So we now have all these houses with solar panels using minimal if any electricity off the main grid, and even helping to generate power, but yet my electric bill keeps going up and we're told we need to conserve electricity. How's that possible. I'll probably be the minority here but I'm tired of the government telling us what we "Have" to buy.

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5/10/2018 11:54 PM

Motoxdoc wrote:

Makes total sense to me. They should also force all new builders to build water cisterns/catch tanks so rain water can be ...more

lostboy819 wrote:

Yep, 100% agree with you.

Damn straight.

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5/10/2018 11:58 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/10/2018 11:59 PM

sumdood wrote:

Too much big bro for my taste. Riddle me this, I see solar panels on more houses all the time, and supposedly a lot of them ...more

"It's such a good idea that they make it legal to not do it." Makes sense right?

Also I've heard Jerry Brown is working on subsidising the solar panels. So a check coming from tax payers will go to a business of his choosing to provide this great service for us. Billions of dollars changing hands, but hey our electric bill will go down just enough so that they will have to raise taxes on it to make up the difference.

Gas was up to $4.09 today

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Instagram: vanillaice782
Amateur helmet painter

5/10/2018 11:59 PM

laughing looked at this thread twice and already have an ad for solar panels.
Photo
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5/11/2018 2:05 AM

The big problem with rooftop solar is that, of course, it only provides juice when the sun is shining (not much storage yet). There is so much solar on the grid in mid-day that it can even cause negative pricing (from utility-scale solar too). When it goes into the wholesale market they can pay people to take power. But when the sun goes down, other resources (mostly gas) need to ramp up...the grid wasn't even designed to be used this way. All the gas plants are going away.
There are some major reliability concerns due to gas supply issues, especially with Aliso Canyon on limited withdrawal. With more community choice aggregators popping up, electricity planning is getting more fractured and decentralized. Let's hope it all works out. A lot of the price spikes are from natural gas delivery constraints. That's why they are expanding the Cal-ISO market to access more out of state generation to deal with the solar. You will see gas imports down in SoCal spiking to 10 times normal levels when gas is short.

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It's impossible for a corporation or government to love you or care about you.

5/11/2018 3:57 AM

NorCal 50+ wrote:

The big problem with rooftop solar is that, of course, it only provides juice when the sun is shining (not much storage yet). ...more

Yep. Solar has its negatives. Is the Californian grid able to accept the feedback all this will create? Is there any requirements for battery storage? If the buy back tariff is garbage, unless you are using bulk power when the sun is shining (pool pumps, AC etc), the viability of solar is greatly diminished.
Never mind the embodied energy in creating panels...
I’m all for renewables/alternatives, but am also a realist

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5/11/2018 4:55 AM

My dad just put in a big solar system (on the ground, not roof). He's grid tied and it actually works out pretty well around these parts. You only pay for the electricity that you use from the grid over what you produce. But battery storage is another option. Powerwalls are an option. I think there will eventually be local large scale storage on the neighborhood level. Time to put more money in solar related stock.

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5/11/2018 5:15 AM

I am really on the fence with regards to an overriding issue here. Is it a good idea to cede more and more control to government? If you live in a one party state like I do, then you're going in that direction whether you want to or not. But where I am torn is whether or not the average citizen has even the minimum amount of wisdom required for almost any level of self sufficiency. If not, then by all means, cede control. The average idiot will probably benefit. The smaller percentage of people with higher capabilities will adapt. Mostly by locking arms with politicians and creating what the defense industry has had since WWII. Eisenhower warned us.



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5/11/2018 5:25 AM

The government has been throwing money at the solar industry for years now ,it only makes sense that they order people to buy solar panels.

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5/11/2018 6:16 AM
Edited Date/Time: 5/11/2018 6:17 AM

I’ve had solar on our house for over 3 years now and have always suggested it to friends/family/customers

However I do not like the government demanding everyone has to buy it on new home purchases. They are not running out of electricity and it should not be a added expense to already astronomical fees/permits for new home buyers/builders. I also see these massive roof panels being obsolete in the next decade and they will be filling landfills once they start getting the same results with systems the size of a small satellite dish. Then everyone will have roofs that need repair after the removal.

This is so typical of California government. It is more corrupt than a 3rd world nation. Somebodies palms were heavily greased with this move

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5/11/2018 6:31 AM

I have priced out a solar system for my house. The way it works for WE Energies (and likely others) is that if I am not using the kw being produced by the panels, that kw is being "banked up". When I am using power when the panels are not producing kw then I use the "banked up" kw. Unfortunately I cannot sell power back to WE Energies if I am producing more than is being used monthly.

The system I was quoted was approx $22,703..there are some tax incentives and such so I haven't determined my final cost. This was for a ground mount system (our roof has too many hips and valley to accomodate a single section of panels).

Right now I am undecided for two reasons...1) We run a fairly efficient household, my total electric bill for all of 2017 was $1,067.38, so our "pay back" time would be very long. 2) We are not sure how long we plan on living in the house. If we were confident we would be living there for 15-20 year then I think we would pull the trigger.

Anyways, I don't like the government mandating these type of things- reminds me of the ethanol mandate in gas. Its just another way of using tax payer money to fund politicians.

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5/11/2018 6:47 AM
Edited Date/Time: 5/11/2018 7:31 AM

KennyT wrote:

I’ve had solar on our house for over 3 years now and have always suggested it to friends/family/customers

However I do not ...more

Got any links to this technology that allows for the equivalent of a rooftop full of PV cells to fit in the size of a direct TV dish?

https://cleantechnica.com/2017/08/15/efficient-will-solar-pv-future-10-year-predictions-industry/

This article predicts a 20% increase in efficiency (to about 25% total efficiency) in the next 10 years.

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5/11/2018 7:22 AM

Brad460 wrote:

I have priced out a solar system for my house. The way it works for WE Energies (and likely others) is that if I am not using ...more

A good solar salesman would tell you that you will recoup your cost for the system by the increased sale price of your house should you choose to move in a few years. Maybe, maybe not. The banking system you are talking about is fairly common. It's actually a better deal for you than selling your juice back to WE. They would only have to pay you the wholesale price that they pay other producers which is far less than the price you are paying. The utility in turn gets to sell your surplus to your neighbor with a pool at zero cost. The trick is not to buy way more solar than you can actually use if your utility only allows you to offset to zero. The rules are all over the board now and changing all the time within jurisdictions. It's more complicated than it appears on the surface.

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5/11/2018 7:32 AM

Motoxdoc wrote:

Makes total sense to me. They should also force all new builders to build water cisterns/catch tanks so rain water can be ...more

I vaguely recall someone being fined for building a cistern to catch rain water because California believed it was not their water to collect. I suppose if they could find a way to track the amount of water collected and used, they could tax it at a fair rate I'm sure.

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5/11/2018 8:06 AM

KennyT wrote:

I’ve had solar on our house for over 3 years now and have always suggested it to friends/family/customers

However I do not ...more

early wrote:

Got any links to this technology that allows for the equivalent of a rooftop full of PV cells to fit in the size of a direct ...more

No I don’t and I’m certainly not going to spend a minute of my life looking for them. With guys like Musk around it won’t even be 10 years.

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5/11/2018 8:08 AM
Edited Date/Time: 5/11/2018 8:13 AM

I've thought about how to get free lighting for my small house (1,200sq. feet) Mount RV style panels on the roof feeding deep cycle 6 volt batteries just like an rv. Then install 12v lighting fixtures throughout the house, fed from a separate switch mounted near the regular 110v switches. So in other words free lighting that is completely independent of the 110 circuits in the rest of the house. If the suns been out use the 12v lights, if it's been raining for 2 days use the same old 110 lights that are still in place. I like the idea of solar but to me paying 20+ grand to eliminate my 75-110 dollar a month electric bill doesn't make any sense. Plus having "My" solar tied into the main electrical grid just bugs the shit out of me for whatever reason. To me the main goal of having solar would be to get off the grid almost entirely, if not completely off. Of course Ca. will NEVER allow homeowners to collect their own solar and use it for themselves exclusively without being able to dip their greedy little paws into it somehow. That's why I like the 12v rv style lighting idea, completely independent of any other electrical circuits in the house. Also looking into sola-tubes for lighting during the day, and incorporate a 12v light that switches over when the sun goes down. I have those in my yard, they're cheap and seem to be pretty durable. I really like the idea of solar, I installed hot water and pool solar for years, add some panels for electricity and you could really get your energy costs down. However the state telling us we HAVE to have it, then having it tied into the grid for the electric companies to use, while I'm still getting an electric bill...? naaah fuck you, you clowns are in my wallet enough already. The technology is there to go completely off the grid, especially with inverters for your 110v needs, shit we do it every time we take the rv out. But the state of Ca. would never let it happen. Sorry if I sound bitter, but I am hahaha.

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5/11/2018 8:14 AM

Brad460 wrote:

I have priced out a solar system for my house. The way it works for WE Energies (and likely others) is that if I am not using ...more

Not sure if you should pull the trigger on solar if that is your total electrical cost.

My bill averaged $170 per month over the previous 2 years before going with solar.

I paid zero out of pocket to get the system along with a new electrical panel and all new breakers. 20 year lease at around $90 per month. My average electrical bill on top of that last year was approx $40 per month along with my lease payment. So I’m saving a minimal amount but I would rather pay Solar city than SDGE. I imagine by the time these panels are paid off they will be worthless so I will not use the “option to buy” and will probably be heading down to Costco with $299 and buy a whole house system the size of a credit card.

We also live 7 miles inland from the ocean, very little fog or rain where we are and sunny weather probably 330 days a year. On rainy days/weeks the production takes a huge hit so your climate should be a important factor on if it’s wise to spend the $$

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5/11/2018 8:15 AM

KennyT wrote:

I’ve had solar on our house for over 3 years now and have always suggested it to friends/family/customers

However I do not ...more

This.

There's so much fuckery going on here. The fact that they are suggesting subsidization is the icing on the cake. California economics at it's worst.

And to top it off, if you're selling your excess electricity back to the grid, it's pennies on the dollar and you have no negotiating power. OK, fine. But now it's illegal to have a solar system and NOT be tied into the grid right?

I just cannot get over the principles on this one. As with most of the policies in California.

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Part of Speech: Noun

Definition: A loser, poser, lame-ass. One who talks the talk, but could never walk the walk.

One who talks shit and doesn't back it up, but rather ends up eating their shit in return. A fuckin 'tard.


Usage: Slang

5/11/2018 8:24 AM

borg wrote:

A good solar salesman would tell you that you will recoup your cost for the system by the increased sale price of your house ...more

Exactly..I do know solar would increase my home's value, but how much is unclear.

I know WE Energies is required to produce "X%" (not sure the exact percentage) of electricity from "green" sources, in fact one of my close customers is running two large industrial gas engines with 1MW generators on bio-gas (digester from food scraps) and they are selling all the power back to WE Energies- the price WE Energies is paying for that "green electricity" is much higher than they are selling is back for..

Us little guys should be given the same opportunity.



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5/11/2018 8:59 AM

Brad460 wrote:

I have priced out a solar system for my house. The way it works for WE Energies (and likely others) is that if I am not using ...more

I don't think I would spring for that deal. Well, maybe I would consider it.

$1068 on a 22703 investment is about 4.5% annual return. So you could consider where else you could put that $22,703 that would return 4.5% annually? Vs. just considering it in 'payback' terms. You could also try to factor in depreciation of capital - how well do these systems hold up over a long period of time?

I have thought about this too, and just noticed this winter that our utility has some decent looking buy back terms for extra production. They used to have none. So it's in my mind more these days. Then if you start thinking more about what that extra production could replace from other areas - example, if you got an electric car & the gas bills stopped - things might get looking pretty good.

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HAF

5/11/2018 9:28 AM
Edited Date/Time: 5/11/2018 9:29 AM

Here are some more details on the system along with the cost after incentives:

Photo

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5/11/2018 10:15 AM

The cost of solar panels dropped 99% between 1980 and now.
The low-income people in California are getting screwed in some ways. You won't see somebody in the ghetto with an EV, solar panels and a battery to make money off the grid. Remaining utility customers are left with all kinds of stranded costs. The CPUC is working on some programs in that regard.
The utilities signed hundreds of millions of dollars in state-mandated renewable contracts that were signed when renewable power was much more expensive. Now the bills are coming due with a shrinking ratebase. They are talking about 85% customer migration from the big utilities in the next 10 years. And PG&E might be looking at bankruptcy from the 2017 wildfires.

If you're into this stuff, the California Public Utilities Commission just issued a new report with all kinds of warnings about returning to the energy crisis of the early 2000s. This is the main regulatory body in CA sounding the alarm over disaggregated energy planning and disintegration of utility ratebase:

http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/uploadedFiles/CPUC_Public_Website/Content/Utilities_and_Industries/Energy_-_Electricity_and_Natural_Gas/CCC%20Paper.pdf

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It's impossible for a corporation or government to love you or care about you.

5/11/2018 10:44 AM

KennyT wrote:

I’ve had solar on our house for over 3 years now and have always suggested it to friends/family/customers

However I do not ...more

Ghost of Jabroni wrote:

This.

There's so much fuckery going on here. The fact that they are suggesting subsidization is the icing on the cake. ...more

I have a tirade that's bubbling just below the surface that would get me clicked if I let loose.

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5/11/2018 10:47 AM

What kind of rate per kwh are you folks in CA paying?

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5/11/2018 11:03 AM

early wrote:

What kind of rate per kwh are you folks in CA paying?

Photo

Bottom line is 18 cents a KWH.
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5/11/2018 11:12 AM
Edited Date/Time: 5/11/2018 11:24 AM

KennyT wrote:

I’ve had solar on our house for over 3 years now and have always suggested it to friends/family/customers

However I do not ...more

"This is so typical of California government. It is more corrupt than a 3rd world nation."...Can you give me a single example? As you know, when people use grandiose statements like this, it makes all their other opinions suspect.
California is the 5th largest economy in the world...we must be doing something right....as opposed to the experiment that Missouri tried years ago.
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