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California Moves to Compulsory Solar Power for New Construction


The California Energy Commission (CEC) passed new building clean energy standards that will affect high-rise multifamily, hotel/motel, office, medical office and clinics, retail and grocery, restaurant, school, and civic (like theaters, auditoriums, and convention centers) new construction starting January 1, 2023.

The standards need ratification by the state’s Building Standards Commission in December 2021, which virtually “always approves these energy changes,” Jorge Medina, co-head of renewable energy practice at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, tells

The new standards incorporate mandatory inclusion of battery storage-ready solar power in new CRE construction. They also will include an “energy budget” to regulate the amount of hydrocarbon use to encourage builders to incorporate heat pumps instead of gas-fueled HVAC.

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