Should Utah Take This Approach to Solar?


On May 9th, 2018 the California Energy Commission voted unanimously to adopt a new policy that would require most new homes in California to adhere to advanced efficiency measures and to install rooftop solar.

This is a monumental decision for one of the states leading the push for the widespread adoption of solar. 

What does The New Policy Entail?

Starting in 2020,  all new construction projects or major renovations that are eligible for solar will be required to install rooftop solar and adhere to the new efficiency measures of title 24.

The increased measures of Title 24, when compared to the current code, will reduce a homes energy requirements by approximately 53 percent.  This is estimated to save Californian's 1.7 billion dollars over the next 30 years.

One thing to note is that this calculation does not take into account any decreases in the price of solar technology or efficiency advancements.  Falling equipment costs will likely cause this number to increase even more.

According to the California Energy Commission, 15,000 homes are currently built annually with solar.  Once the new standards take effect, that number is expected to jump to 100,000 homes.

Under Title 24, rooftop solar systems required must be sized with annual electrical output equal to or greater than the dwelling’s annual electrical usage as determined by an equation specified in the code.

The average system size across California's 16 climate regions would be 3.38 kilowatts, with the smallest model system sized at 2.7 kilowatts in San Diego and the largest sized at 5.7 kilowatts in Palm Springs (GreenTech Media).

This will add 200 megawatts of solar annually in the state.  For comparison, California installed 857 megawatts of residential solar in 2017.  

The new building standards in the policy will also offer a credit for solar combined with battery storage.  An improvement in the current rule that only provides a credit for the solar array. 

How Much Will It Cost?

The average cost of installing solar on a home is expected to be between $8000 and $12,000.  While some have been critical of this cost, The CEC has calculated that the average homeowner will save $40 per month.

Normalizing Solar

The new building policy is an excellent step toward the widespread adoption of solar.  The policy will also help to normalize solar in the state.  Solar will become like an HVAC system or a garage door.  It will just become a part of the new home construction process rather than an option. 


California has made a huge move towards the widespread adoption of solar with Title 24 which increases the efficiency measures and requires solar be installed on almost all new homes.

If this policy works and is successful for California, we could see other states passing similar building requirements.  Would you like to see something like this pass in Utah? 

Original Story: GreenTech Media