Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

City to Require Rooftop Solar Panels on all new construction

Joining Culver City in Requiring Solar Systems


Photo: Solar panels on the pier at Pacific Park.

Your dishwasher doesn't clean dishes. The nanny state took one yet further move into your bedroom last week. Well, your rooftop anyway

Just one week after San Francisco became the largest U.S. city to require rooftop solar installations on new buildings, Santa Monica dittoed. On April 26, the Santa Monica City Council enacted law requiring rooftop solar systems for all new construction; residential and commercial.

The measure, which goes into effect May 30th, updates the Santa Monica Municipal Green Building Ordinance to require new single family dwellings to install a solar electric photovoltaic (PV) system "with a minimum total wattage of 1.5 times the square footage of the dwelling (1.5 watts per square foot)."

The measure also requires new multi-family dwellings and non-residential, hotels and motels to install "a solar PV system with a minimum total wattage 2.0 times the square footage of the building footprint (2.0 watts per square foot of building footprint)."

"In Santa Monica we are moving away from buildings powered by fossil fuels in favor of clean and cost-effective solar energy," said Dean Kubani, Santa Monica's sustainability manager. "This is not only the smart thing to do, it is also imperative if we are to protect our kids and grandkids from the worst effects of climate change."

According to the city's Office of Sustainability and Environment, Santa Monica will be the fourth city in the country to enact a rooftop solar mandate for new buildings. In 2008, Culver City started requiring solar panels and other systems on all new commercial buildings more than 10,000 square feet. In the Antelope Valley in 2013, Lancaster joined Sebastopol a the first 2 California cities requiring solar. San Francisco's rooftop solar requirement goes into effect in January 2017.


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