PV modules could be mandatory on new homes in Lancaster, CA

All new single-family homes in a California city could be required to have solar PV systems, thanks to a new directive from Republican mayor Rex Parris.

This rule applies to all new single-family homes built after January 1, 2014, and it’s just one of a slew of energy efficiency requirements implemented by the local government.

Homes on lots over 7,000 square feet will have to have a system of 1 to 1.5 kW. Alternatively, this requirement can be foregone if homes purchase solar energy credits.

This legislation is the first of its kind in the U.S., and is part of the city’s municipal code for residential zones.

Credit: Verengo Solar

According to the draft document currently open for public review, the objective of the standards “is to encourage investment in solar energy on all parcels in the city” and “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.”

The rules require that model homes must show the kind of solar system a builder will offer, and the document includes other guidelines for homebuilders.

The regulations have been met with some resistance from the construction industry, but the Mayor is confident that City Council will approve the legislation.

“I understand the building industry is not happy with this,” said Mayor Parris. “We will just have to take the heat. I could not do that without a City Council — made up of people who want a political career — with the courage to take that heat.”

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