Know your rights, Solar Rights Act of California.
The “Solar Bill of Rights” is making waves and leading to major changes to California solar energy, especially commercial and residential solar. One of these new changes would be to utility fees. Owners of solar energy would have the right to generate and store solar energy without unnecessary fees. Another new aspect would be a speedier and state-required process for utilities in California to connect solar energy to the grid. Lastly, the solar bill of rights would help residential solar owners receive better rates of compensation when sharing excess power back to the grid. This helps solar usage and green initiatives grow throughout California while also improving local communities.
The 2020 California Solar Mandate has brought new energy efficiency standards for California residences. The California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) has just approved statewide requirements for new single-family houses and multi-family residential buildings (up to three stories tall) to be built with solar panel systems installed. This new solar mandate along with the New Solar Homes Partnership Program (NSHP) have the potential of helping more of California be energy efficient and to help homeowners save more money on electricity in the long run.
At the beginning of researching solar systems, homeowners should also review their community or Home Owner Association’s (HOA) policies. Some HOAs have maintenance, design, or safety reasons against the installation of solar panels in communities under their jurisdiction. Thus it is important to know the restrictions and policies in your area before talking to a solar company. When following proper procedures and notifying HOA’s of upcoming approved solar installations the California Solar Rights Act should help protect homeowners, prevent unfair fees and other types of backlash. The State of California Public Utilities Commission has a great California Solar Consumer Protection Guide available to help residential solar customers learn about solar requirements and keep themselves informed.
The Sungenia team found information which states that for HOA’s: 3.2.1. “Cost and Performance Criteria for Reasonable Restrictions The Act permits CC&Rs to impose requirements that do not “significantly” increase the cost of the system or decrease its efficiency or performance.18 Sections 714(d)(1)(A) and 714(d)(1)(B) provide criteria to define when a restriction has “significantly” altered system price or performance for both solar water heating and photovoltaic systems. Restrictions cannot increase the cost of solar water heating systems by more than ten percent, but in no case, more than $1,000.00, or decrease the system’s efficiency by more than ten percent.19 Restrictions on photovoltaic systems cannot increase the system cost by more than $1,000 or decrease system efficiency by more than ten percent.20 Restrictions on either type of system need only increase the cost or decrease efficiency to be found unreasonable under the Act.21”. All of the details and information on civil codes are available to the public on the California Legislative Information website.
Although these restrictions have been put in place to protect homeowners’ rights to become energy independent, Sungenia works hard to collaborate with HOA’s and maintain positive relationships for easier and faster application acceptance. Going solar is quickly becoming a protected, more feasible, and efficient energy option throughout California. Still, have questions? We love talking about solar. Contact the Sungenia team below to learn more.
Sungenia’s mission is to make the solar process as simple and honest as possible, provide the best solution, and to make as many happy friends as we can.