January 27, 2022

Title 24: What Are California’s Solar Mandates for 2023?

There are many questions homeowners and businesses have regarding California's solar mandates, such as: Is it mandatory to have solar panels in California? Do new homes in California require solar?

Need help understanding the current California Solar Mandates? We’ve got you covered.

This post has been updated with the 2022 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, which went into effect on January 1, 2023.

What Is Title 24? 

According to the California Energy Commission, the Title 24 requirements are “designed to reduce wasteful and unnecessary energy consumption in newly constructed and existing buildings.” Essentially, Title 24 establishes Building Energy Efficiency Standards for the construction of new buildings as well as the addition to or alteration of existing buildings. Title 24 requirements are updated every three years, and these updates are meant to help Californians adopt improvements that incorporate new energy-efficient technologies and new construction methods. These standards save energy, increase home electricity supply, limit the need to construct new power plants, and ultimately help mitigate the climate crisis.

California’s Building Standard Codes

Part 6 of Title 24, which was updated in January 2020 and is set to be updated again in 2023, outlines the California Building Standards Energy code. The updated California solar mandates of 2020 required that all new residential homes meet Title 24 requirements, which made California’s code the first in the nation to require solar for newly built homes!

The 2022 updates aim to increase the adoption of new energy-efficient technology, including a large emphasis on expanding solar photovoltaic systems with onsite battery storage. These goals are designed to increase the number of energy-efficient homes and businesses in California, save consumers money, and improve the quality of our environment. As the destructive wildfires of the past years have taught us, it is of growing importance to understand and improve our energy usage. As the first state in the U.S. to have such a solar mandate, California has been consistently leading the charge on climate change and energy improvements.



2022 Energy Code: Battery Storage & Electric Readiness

California’s Solar Mandate will receive a new update, effective in January 2023. Known as the 2022 Energy Code, it will require all single-family homes to be electric-ready. It will also include guidance for installing battery storage systems. The battery portion of the mandate currently only applies to select businesses, but it’s a good indication of where future code updates are headed. Solar battery systems are a great way to increase energy independence by allowing onsite energy to be used when needed, reducing the grid’s dependence on fossil fuel power plants.

Wondering why battery storage systems are the big push for 2022? Here are some reasons why battery installation is a good idea for businesses and homes!

  • In the event of an emergency situation, the solar system will continue to provide electricity during daylight hours. After sunset, the battery will back up usage. Then, the battery will be refilled by your system the following day and will be ready to repeat that process as needed.
  • Without a battery, in the event of a planned or spontaneous power outage, your solar system will not function, as its operation relies on the grid to complete the electric circuit. Adding a battery means that you will be able to complete the circuit without the grid, and your solar system will continue to function as needed.
  • Batteries are a great way to protect your home from outages or emergencies, and they also reduce the grid’s reliance on fossil fuel power plants.

California Solar Mandate 2020: Home Requirements

California’s 2020 Solar Mandate requires all newly built homes to install solar photovoltaic systems. These requirements are based on the floor area of the home and the climate zone. There may be exceptions to the mandate, like property being too shaded or having too small a roof to install solar panels.

The solar panel systems must be sized to provide for the full annual energy usage of the home. In order to increase home energy efficiency, it’s expected that sizes will generally range between 2.7 kilowatts and 5.7 kilowatts under the new Title 24 requirements. These average system sizes take into consideration the fact that new homes will also include other technology that will enable them to be more energy-efficient overall.



Solar Cost Savings With Title 24 Requirements

The California Clean Energy Commission reports that Part 6 of Title 24 may increase the upfront cost of a single-family home development by roughly $8,400. However, this upfront cost is balanced by long-term savings on monthly electric bills. It's projected that the solar system will pay for itself in five to 10 years!

With years of experience, Simply Solar’s team is prepared to help you navigate your home construction and create a system that is customized to the needs of your project. Contact us today and find out how we can help you navigate California’s Solar Mandates for 2020, 2022/2023, and beyond. 

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