If there is one state that leads the rest of the country in setting the bar for solar, it is California: The Golden State. There is no doubt that California has an abundance of sunshine but that is surprisingly not the primary reason for a large number of solar PV installations throughout the state. It is clearly a result of forward-thinking policies and ambitious clean energy goals set by the state government. Thanks to the first-of-a-kind California solar mandate, the future of solar seems brighter in the Golden State.

In a further step to draw 100% of the state’s electricity from renewable resources, the government mandate that all new homes in the state with three stories or less to have rooftop solar panels starting January 2020. The California Energy Commission is now eyeing commercial buildings. The Commission has proposed a solar and energy storage mandate for new commercial buildings which would take effect in 2023. The cost of construction will definitely go up from residential homes to commercial buildings, the state’s policy direction is clear. For the past decade or so, California has been working toward a policy of achieving net-zero energy for all buildings.

The newly proposed 2023 code would include new commercial buildings, high rises of four stories or more, and existing residential and commercial buildings, says Bob Raymer, technical director at the California Building Industry Association. A medium-sized office building would require 2.6 to 3.3 watts per Sq. Feet of new solar. However, it is going to be one heck of a challenge. Because it is also possible that a building who need 60,000 Sq. Feet of roof area to install Solar PV system may have only 30,000 Sq. Feet of rooftop available.

Raymer sees it as a good opportunity, particularly if it includes existing buildings and some relaxation in the code. That represents an ‚Äúenormous greenhouse gas reduction potential,‚ÄĚ he says, and ‚Äúmassive potential for job growth and safety for the building trades.‚ÄĚ However, some skeptics/economists say that rooftop solar is a much more expensive way to move towards renewables.

Meanwhile, the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is going to decrease in January 2023 from 26% to 22%.  For commercial real estate owners interested in increasing asset value through solar, this will significantly impact their bottom line.

Staten Solar is a full-service, all-scale solar developer based in San Jose, CA. If you have any questions or queries about California’s new solar requirements or any solar-related concerns, we are here to help. Furthermore, Staten Solar offers several financing options through which companies or commercial property owners can opt for Solar for a zero-down payment.