Here's an item I think is timely and topical

Elmer J Fudd

Some years ago, California adopted mandatory power sourcing requirements increasing in stair steps the percentage of utility supplied electricity that must come from so-called renewable or aka non-combustion sources. Touted as being part of that (whether it is or not), effective January 1, 2020, the building code requires that new residential construction include installed solar cells producing an adequate output for the size of the home.

It's more symbolic than anything because for decades to come or more, newly built housing will represent a very small percentage of the housing supply. Also, the scramble to meet the large utility-wide targets has resulted in an overbuilding of system-size solar plants. Such that for much of the year, a significant percentage of daytime system-sized solar produced power goes unused.

I don't doubt that it will take a while to sort things out. And hopefully better means of storage will come along to reduce the need for combustion produced electricity during hours of darkness and inclement weather.

It's a start.

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amicus

Yes, it will take time to sort things out, as you said. But at least it's a step in the right direction. Recycling has come a long way from it's rudimentary beginnings, as an example of how much we've progressed in that area, although there are still 'kinks' to be worked out and much more that can be done. I'm sure energy sourcing and conservation will soon evolve just as much, and eventually just become normal and expected. My neighbourhead's homes are about 40 years old, but most of us have large sections of solar paneled roofing. Originally thought of as ugly, they are now common in our area.

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graywings123

When you think of the enormous complexity of the petroleum industry from rock strata on the other side of the planet to a gas pump near your home, harnessing the power of the sun seems do-able.

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Michael

Because I live in a developing community, newly built housing is replacing thousands of acres once used for farming. Unfortunately, there are few if any new construction houses receiving solar panels. I believe home buyers in my community are more interested in luxury than what's practical and sustainable. That's a shame because most can easily afford the addition of solar energy costs included in a monthly mortgage.


At the last Parade of Homes event in October 2019, I didn't see any on display. That's disappointing because according to the local solar co-op, solar panel cost has decreased by 50% in the last 5 years. Perhaps most home buyers aren't aware of that.


Of course if roof slopes are east/west on a wooded lot, that offers the least practical/beneficial solar collection.


With that said, I'm happy to report that my local city hall, police department, fire stations, and newer park buildings are roofed using solar panels and the buildings have been converted to LED lighting, indoor and outdoor.

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nicole___

California is a pioneer in a lot of industries. Bravo!


A lot of solar and wind power here in Colorado. My neighbor put solar panels on two sides of his roof. He has tons of tall pine trees surrounding his home. I walk by and see them covered in snow....when "now" is when he really needs them. Yet, when he put his house up for sale a few months back...the panels attracted buyers! It sold in 3 weeks. A highly desirable feature!

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Elmer J Fudd

I should have included in my original post a link to the newspaper article I read the other morning. It's here at the bottom.

Personally, I think this is a no-brainer and I welcome the rule change. It's symbolic (as I said before) more than anything else but that's okay. There are exemptions for sites where trees or hills block the sun. That's common sense. Very little of the inhabited part of California is forested. The redwood coast to the north of the Bay Area and the many mountains to the east and far north of where I am are the exceptions but these areas do not have much population. Certainly most if not all of the large new developments and a lot of the building activity take place in areas with few or no trees.

Solar panels on roofs are becoming a very common sight. Sometimes pushed on by people buying Teslas and other electric cars (all of which are very popular here too). It's the future, no doubt.


Solar power required for new homes

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chisue

The board of our Maui condo complex installed solar a few years ago. It took *forever* due to government inertia. Big savings in electricity.

Friends in California bought into some kind of 'leased' solar a year before they moved. That was a hassle, but having the feature helped sell the house.

We have an idea south-facing 10/12 roof (seen for the most part only by wildlife) but wouldn't live long enough to break even on the installation.

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Elmer J Fudd

A lease is an alternative to buying the equipment, albeit a less financially attractive one.

How it works is the "leasing company" buys and installs the solar equipment. Either the homeowner pays a monthly lease fee for the equipment in return for use of the output, or receives a guaranteed (reduced) all inclusive price for electricity which the leasing company provides through a combination of solar panel output and supplemental supply from the grid. The guaranteed price has an annual escalation factor. Just like lease vs buying a car, the lease alternative avoids having to pay up front. Through, solar installations can be financed with home loans.

Lease deals were more common when solar panels were more expensive. The cost of these has dropped so much that leasing is much less attractive and less used these days. The equipment and lease obligation stay with the house, unchanged for the remaining contract term, if it is sold.


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