A first-of-its-kind requirement for solar power systems is going to be implemented in Lancaster, California. The requirement is that solar power systems be installed on all new single-family homes within the city. Furthermore, this announcement comes from a Republican mayor.
All newly-built single-family homes within Lancaster will be required to feature solar power systems starting on January 1, 2014. This is a rather stunning announcement in itself, but the fact that it comes from a Republican is even more surprising. Mayor Rex Parris is a big solar power advocate, though. You may have heard of him already, as he has previously stated his intention to make Lancaster “the solar energy capital of the world.”
The new requirements “will be written into Lancaster’s ‘Residential Zones Update’ on residential solar,” Greentech Media reports. In addition to a variety of new requirements having to do with energy efficiency and green building practices, new single family homes will have to meet minimum solar energy system requirements.
“The purpose of the solar energy system standards,” it states, “is to encourage investment in solar energy on all parcels in the city, while providing guidelines for the installation of those systems that are consistent with the architectural and building standards of the City.” It’s also intended “to provide standards and procedures for builders of new homes to install solar energy systems in an effort to achieve greater usage of alternative energy.”
Specifically, residential homes on lots larger than 7,000 square feet will need to possess a system of 1.0–1.5 kilowatts. And residential homes in rural areas of up to 100,000 square feet need to possess a system of at least 1.5 kilowatts.
Homebuilders have the option of forgoing these requirements if they provide proof of the purchase of solar energy credits from a solar energy development that is located within the city.
This is an interesting strategy for the mayor, potentially driving a lot of local economic growth. 2014 isn’t that far off. It will be interesting to see the reactions that other mayors and politicians have to this.
Image Credit: Solar Rooftop via Flickr