In early August, regulators voted unanimously in favor of a potential solar mandate in California. The potential plan would mandate a combination of solar and energy storage to be included in many new commercial structures and high-rise residential projects. Commercial structures included in the plan are hotels, offices, medical clinics, retail and grocery stores, restaurants, schools, and civic spaces. The plan also would call for new homes wired in ways that are compatible with electric heating and appliance powering.
Energy storage products are systems used to collect power generated from natural energy sources and store them for later use. Storing energy for later use saves commercial businesses significant amounts of money in the long run. Pairing energy storage with power generation systems like solar panels, as potentially required by this mandate, can reduce energy demand drastically while also increasing energy savings. Common energy storage products include batteries, thermal energy storage systems, and borehole thermal energy storage (BTES) systems.
When would the potential solar mandate in California take effect?
In order for this potential solar mandate in California to pass, the state’s Building Standards Commission will have to vote in favor to approve the overall revision of the building code. This vote will take place in December and if passed, the solar plus energy storage mandate would go into effect beginning January of 2023.
This potential mandate would be on the back of requirements that took effect in 2020 stating that new single and multi family homes up to three stories high must include solar power. A spokeswoman for the Energy Commission, Lindsay Buckley, stated that there was no guarantee that the Building Standards Commission will adopt the plan but that it has never rejected a similar proposal after approval from the energy panel.
The reasons behind the potential mandate
The potential solar mandate in California aims to build a future beyond fossil fuels as Energy Commission chair David Hochschild stated before the vote occurred. Fossil fuels can contribute to climate change and subsequently extreme weather and wildfires.The mandate also aims to offset greenhouse gas emissions. Homes and businesses currently use nearly 70 percent of California’s electricity. The commission projected that over 30 years, the plan they approved is could reduce emissions by as much as if nearly 2.2 million cars were taken off the road for a year.
Benefits of complying with the potential solar mandate in California
There are numerous environmental, practical and financial benefits to complying with the potential solar mandate in California that will positively impact not only your business but also your community overall. Environmental benefits include avoiding more potential negative consequences resulting from fossil fuel use and reducing your businesses carbon footprint. Installing renewable energy may also attract likeminded people to your business, whether they be potential customers or employees.
A practical benefit from compliance is having access to a secondary energy source in case of a blackout, which aren’t an infrequent occurrence in California. As for financial incentives, complying with the potential mandate may make your business eligible for federal and state tax credits, such as the solar investment tax credit. It could also make your company eligible for cash rebates from local utilities all while saving saving your business money on energy costs.
Interested in installing solar technology and energy storage?
If your commercial business is interested in installing solar technology and/or energy storage products, consider working with EnergyLink. Our team are experts in the designing, building and funding processes involved with renewable energy installation and are happy to help your next energy project get off the ground. To start generating your own power off the grid and increasing your energy savings, click the link below for a free quote or speak to a team member at (816) 218-0380.