Solar Panel Update

As many of you know, on May 9th, the California Energy Commission passed a landmark decision to adopt new standards requiring solar systems to be installed on new homes built in California beginning January 1, 2020. While these still need to be approved by the California Building Standards Commission, it is expected to take effect. There has been quite a bit of discussion and confusion on the matter so we wanted to be sure to give you an update to clarify and provide additional information.

After reaching out to those involved in writing the new guidelines we have the following information to share with you –

The links below have some recent CA solar cost info.

Note these costs include:
Installation which is lately is about $1.25 /Watt +/-  (This cost is traditionally not applicable for Habitat, because many affiliates use volunteers for the install.) Profit for the installer = not applicable for HabitatCustomer acquisition cost = not applicable for Habitat (E.g. Solar city’s costs are high and reported to be $0.50 to $0.75/W)

What Habitat needs is only:
Solar Modules (panels) = $0.45 – $0.55 /WattInverters = $0.30/Watt for our micro inverters.Monitoring Portal = $350/system (but we are working on a much cheaper one)Mounting structure = $0.25/WattMisc. hardware, Wiring, conduit, switchgear, labeling, etc.  = $0.25/Watt.Permitting = $500/system

Estimated total = $1.35/Watt variable costs plus $850 in fixed costs

Also, the Title 24 mandate, referenced above, does not mandate the large, $10,000 systems which are typical of most solar systems today. A smaller system will meet the title 24 requirements.  Some affiliates may want to continue their custom of installing the larger systems on homes, but again, this is not a mandate in the recently adopted regulations.

Here are a few additional articles that give a broader overview of the benefits and potential consequences of these new regulations on housing production in California.