What Is the California Solar Mandate?


As California deals with severe wildfires that are worsening due to drought and climate change, state officials are looking for ways to cut back on fossil fuels and other factors that are contributing to, and causing the rise in natural disasters. California homes and businesses take up nearly 70% of California’s electricity, and are responsible for ¼ of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. Because of this, the California Energy Commission has approved a new California solar panel law

Is Solar Mandatory for New Homes in California?

Yes, the California Solar Mandate began January 1, 2020, and requires new single-family homes and multi-family buildings up to three stories high to include solar panels. Commercial businesses such as hotels, grocery and retail stores, schools, restaurants, convention centers and auditoriums, etc., also have to abide by these California solar panel requirements

How Will the California Solar Mandate Impact the State?

Although homes built before the mandate goes into effect aren’t required to go solar, this new solar panel law will significantly impact California. It’s estimated that over the next 30 years, this mandate and other energy-efficient changes will reduce 10 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, which is equivalent to taking almost 2.2 million cars off the road for a year.

To incentivize California residents, under the new California Solar Mandate, homeowners with rooftop solar energy systems will receive compensation that is equivalent to the retail cost of electricity. Construction costs of adding solar panel systems to new buildings are expected to be minimal, as it’s more cost-effective to add solar power during construction than having to retrofit after the build.

Though new buildings and homes in California will be required to have a solar panel system under this law, they will still be connected to the grid. This means at times that the sun is not shining (at night or during a storm), they will still be able to rely on electricity to power their home.  

How Does the California Solar Mandate Impact Other States?

As for other states, it’s likely that they will make changes and regulations similar to those of the solar panel requirements in California over the next decade. The country as a whole is desperate to fight climate change and reduce greenhouse gasses and fossil fuels. California’s solar panel laws are a step in the right direction.

How Can Sungevity Help?

Our solar energy systems can help California residents and businesses abide by the solar mandate by providing top-tier solar panels and battery storage. We provide solar solutions customized to fit not only your roof, but your energy needs. We provide flexibility and the ability to save money on your utility bills with reliable solar energy systems. Contact us today and request a solar quote.  

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