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California Energy Commission Advances Requirement for Multifamily Housing and Commercial Buildings to Include Solar and Storage

New rules could dramatically expand solar and energy storage use across the state

Wednesday, Aug 11 2021

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Press Release

SACRAMENTO, Calif. and WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the California Energy Commission (CEC) voted to send the 2022 California Energy Code to the California Building Standards Commission. The rules include a requirement that new California buildings be equipped with solar and storage. They apply to multifamily and nonresidential buildings, such as office buildings, schools, restaurants, apartments, and more. 

This vote builds on California’s landmark decision in 2019 to require virtually all new homes in the state to incorporate solar panels. In addition to these requirements, the 2022 ruling calls for newly built homes in California to be made ready for energy storage.  

If the California Building Standards Commission affirms the CEC vote in December, the new requirements would go into effect January 1, 2023. 

SEIA’s Codes and Standards experts contributed to the proceedings and provided guidance and technical input on the expanded photovoltaic and energy storage system requirements needed to make this possible.

Following is a statement from Evelyn Butler, vice president of technical services at the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) on the California Energy Commission’s latest actions:

“As a result of this vote, virtually all new buildings in California will have solar, and many others could have battery storage upon opening or occupation. These newly constructed buildings include office, retail and medical buildings, schools, apartment complexes, and more. Buildings with solar and storage will provide Californians with cleaner and greener living and working spaces. The rules will significantly contribute to improved grid reliability and local resilience, which is a key part of our clean energy transformation. 

“This is a major step forward for the state’s 100% clean energy efforts, and we commend the California Energy Commission for its work. 

“The excessive heatwaves and wildfires across California show us that the effects of climate change are already here. We must take bold, aggressive action to combat these forces. That starts with strong state and local policies and dramatically improved codes and standards that can help us deploy more solar and storage. California is already a national leader when it comes to clean energy, but we’re not moving nearly fast enough to turn back the clock on climate change. 

“Codes and standards are a critical part of SEIA’s work, and we’ll continue to work alongside leaders across the country to create supportive policies and standards. We urge the California Building Standards Commission to add these new requirements to the 2022 Title 24 building code.” 
 

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About SEIA®: 

The Solar Energy Industries Association® (SEIA) is leading the transformation to a clean energy economy, creating the framework for solar to achieve 20% of U.S. electricity generation by 2030. SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies and other strategic partners to fight for policies that create jobs in every community and shape fair market rules that promote competition and the growth of reliable, low-cost solar power. Founded in 1974, SEIA is the national trade association for the solar and solar + storage industries, building a comprehensive vision for the Solar+ Decade through research, education and advocacy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org and follow @SEIA on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram

Media Contact: 

Jen Bristol, SEIA's Director of Communications, jbristol@seia.org (202) 556-2886

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