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Are you Under the Solar Mandate?

By: Eric Huesca, SEO Content Writer
June 1, 2023

With the increasing awareness about climate change and the importance of renewable energy, many governments worldwide are implementing policies to encourage the use of solar power. One such policy is the solar mandate, which requires new residential constructions to have solar photovoltaic systems as their primary source of energy. But what does the solar mandate mean, and are you under it? This article will delve into these questions, detailing what a solar mandate is, where it applies, and how it could impact you.

Green deal sign in front of photovoltaic panels. Renewable and alternative power generation

A green deal sign in front of photovoltaic panels. Renewable and alternative power generation.

Understanding the Solar Mandate

A solar mandate, or solar requirement, is a regulation that requires the installation of solar energy systems in new homes. It may also apply to significant renovations or extensions of existing homes. This regulation is part of a broader movement towards sustainable development and clean energy, aiming to reduce the carbon footprint of homes and encourage the use of renewable energy sources. 

The First Solar Mandate: California's Example

California was the first state in the U.S. to introduce a solar mandate. The California Energy Commission (CEC) adopted this mandate in 2018, requiring all new single-family homes and multi-family residential buildings up to three stories to include solar photovoltaic systems starting in 2020. The goal of this mandate is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a substantial amount, moving California closer to its goal of relying entirely on zero-emission energy sources for electricity by 2045. 

Are You Under the Solar Mandate?

The application of a solar mandate depends on your location and the specific regulations in place. Currently, in the United States, California is the only state with a comprehensive solar mandate. However, several cities and counties in other states have adopted similar rules, including Tucson in Arizona and South Miami in Florida. It is advisable to check with local and state building departments or energy commissions to determine if a solar mandate applies to your specific situation. 

Advantages of Solar Panels During Power Outages

Solar panels offer several advantages during power outages, making them a reliable source of backup power for homes and businesses. First and foremost, solar panels generate electricity using renewable energy from the sun, which means they are not dependent on the electrical grid or traditional power sources. This makes them a valuable asset during power outages, when the grid may be unavailable or unreliable. 

Another advantage of solar panels during power outages is their ability to provide backup power without the need for fuel or maintenance. Unlike traditional generators, solar panels do not require fuel to operate, which means they can provide power without the need for frequent refueling or maintenance. Additionally, solar panels are virtually silent and produce no emissions, making them an environmentally friendly and convenient option for backup power. 

Solar panels with battery storage systems also offer the advantage of being able to provide backup power for extended periods of time. During sunny hours, excess energy generated by the solar panels can be stored in batteries, which can then be used to power the home or business during times of low sunlight or extended power outages. This provides a reliable and consistent source of backup power that can last for hours or even days, depending on the size and capacity of the battery storage system. 

Overall, solar panels offer numerous advantages during power outages, including their reliability, convenience, and sustainability. As more homeowners and businesses look for ways to reduce their reliance on traditional power sources and increase their energy independence, solar panels with battery backup systems are becoming an increasingly popular option. 

The Implications of the Solar Mandate

For Homebuilders and Homeowners

If you’re building a new home in a region where a solar mandate applies, you’ll need to include the installation of a solar photovoltaic system in your plans. This requirement may increase the initial cost of construction. However, over time, the reduction in electricity bills can offset this cost, leading to savings in the long run. 

The size of the solar system required will depend on several factors, including the home’s square footage and the amount of sun it gets. Some mandates also include an option for community solar power, where homes can draw from a shared solar power system

For Homebuilders and Homeowners

The solar mandate significantly contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as homes are a significant source of these emissions. By shifting new homes to renewable energy, solar mandates are an effective tool for mitigating climate change. 

Potential Benefits of the Solar Mandate

While the upfront cost might seem like a downside, there are several compelling benefits associated with the solar mandate: 

Energy Bill Savings

Solar panels can generate free electricity for your home, significantly reducing your monthly energy bills. Over time, these savings can offset the initial cost of the solar system. 

Increase in Property Value

Homes with solar energy systems often have higher property values compared to homes without solar. As more people seek environmentally friendly and energy-efficient homes, this trend is likely to continue. 

Environmental Protection

Solar energy is clean, renewable, and produces no greenhouse gas emissions. By transitioning to solar energy, we can help reduce our carbon footprint and combat climate change. 

Energy Independence

With a solar energy system, you can generate your own electricity, reducing your dependence on the grid and protecting against rising energy prices. 


If you are planning to build a new home, it’s crucial to check whether you fall under a solar mandate. As we progress into a future where sustainability is paramount, the prominence of such mandates is likely to increase. Even if you do not currently fall under a solar mandate, considering solar energy is worthwhile. The benefits – ranging from reduced electricity bills, increased property value, environmental protection, to energy independence – offer compelling reasons to consider going solar. 

Solar mandates symbolize a significant stride in our journey towards a sustainable future. They epitomize the recognition of renewable energy’s importance by regulatory bodies and the subsequent efforts to integrate it into our daily lives. 

While the upfront cost can seem daunting, numerous federal, state, and local incentives can help reduce the financial burden associated with installing solar panels. In addition, the long-term financial savings and environmental benefits undoubtedly justify the initial investment. 

Solar mandates bring us one step closer to our goal of a sustainable, environmentally friendly future. As a homeowner or potential homeowner, staying informed about these mandates can help you make sound decisions regarding your home’s energy use. By adopting solar energy, whether through mandate or choice, we can each contribute to the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change. 

Whether you are under the solar mandate or not, the transition to renewable energy sources like solar is a progressive step forward. As we face the pressing reality of climate change, each solar panel installed represents hope for a greener, more sustainable future for us and generations to come. 

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