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Will Your City Require Solar Power for New Buildings?

Solar power panels outside on a roof

Solar power is becoming a hot topic of discussion in America. Its innovation can benefit every aspect of our communities; from the businesses and organizations, right down to its individuals. Additionally, it promotes cleaner energy in a time where climate change is a concern for people across the globe. These reasons result in local governments adopting new regulations regarding this form of energy.

Agenda Discovery is your government relations assistant that alerts you on what’s happening in your local government. With us, you can stay on top of legislation that would impact your industry. Read the article below and learn how cities are adopting new regulations for solar energy and how our software helps you stay on top of new developments.

Why Are Cities Moving Towards Solar Power?

According to Solar United Neighbors, energy expenditures are typically the second-largest budget item in their operating expenses. Cities that adopt solar energy solutions are seeing reduced energy costs. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy states solar costs have fallen more than 60% since 2010, with another expected drop of 35% by 2022. Additionally, municipalities will receive full credit for every unit of electricity produced with their solar panels due to net metering

Solar power also has a tremendous impact on local economic development. Installing solar panels on buildings can help municipalities begin the process towards a clean energy economy. Leveraging community outreach resources to educate people about renewable energy systems during installation can help grow a local customer base. Also, municipalities can boost job creation by working with contractors on installation. This has led to more than 231,000 people employed in the solar industry. 

How Are Cities Transitioning to Solar Power?

In their transition to a more sustainable future, San Francisco and Santa Monica are the first major U.S. cities to pass laws mandating rooftop solar energy installations. California’s existing Title 24 Energy Standards law requires new small and mid-sized residential and commercial buildings to be solar-ready. Under this law, buildings with 10 floors or fewer must leave 15% of the roof free from obstructions so that solar panels can be installed. 

San Francisco and Santa Monica recently passed laws to add to Title 24. Now, property owners must install solar energy systems on the rooftops of any new building. Newly constructed buildings must have a minimum of 1.5 watts of solar power installed per square foot of building space. Multi-family homes, hotels, and commercial properties will need to install at least 2 watts for every square foot. 

Additionally, cities across the United States are adopting incentives for property owners to install solar energy. In June 2017, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed a bill that brought net metering to the state. The law allows new solar customers to be reimbursed for excess energy at 95% of the retail rate. This rate will decline as more solar systems are installed in Nevada. Also, the law created protection for homeowners, by offering a guaranteed net metering rate for 20 years.

How Does Agenda Discovery Help Monitor Solar Energy Regulations?

With Agenda Discovery’s easy-to-use legislative tracking tool, anyone can stay on top of local government agendas that could impact their business. Whether they’re in the utility, financial, or medical industry, we’ve made it easy to track policies that matter to any business. By plugging an unlimited amount of keywords, business leaders can feel empowered and secure knowing they have our software on their side. Contact us today to receive a free demo and learn how we give you the power to stay on top of laws that matter to your business!

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