New Home Roofs Must Be Solar Ready in 2014
06/01/2012 21 Comments
If your build a house in 2014 the roof must be solar ready. That means the broad areas of the roof must face south, the roof cannot be shaded by trees, attic vents, skylights, vent pipes and chimneys will not be placed in the broad expanse of the roof most suited for solar panels. Details are in this Mercury News Article:
State regulators with the California Energy Commission are expected to approve stringent energy efficiency standards for new residential and commercial buildings Thursday.
The new standards, which would take effect Jan. 1, 2014.
. . . the proposed standards also require new homes and commercial buildings to have “solar ready roofs.
Rooftop solar systems use photovoltaic solar panels to generate electricity. But their performance is affected by many factors, from the age of the roof to how it is situated — ideally, it should face south.”Shading” is also an issue: Roofs should have clear, unobstructed access to the sun for most of the day. Attic vents, fans, skylights and chimneys can also influence how many solar panels a roof can hold.
The new regulations update Building Energy Efficiency Standards contained in the California Code of Regulations, commonly known as Title 24. Home and building owners will not be required to install solar panels, but if they choose to do so, their roof will be ready.
“This will be great for everybody who buys a house and wants to put solar on the roof,” Commissioner Karen Douglas said in an interview Wednesday. “Your roof must be able to support a solar photovoltaic system.”
If we were to apply this standard to our home, I would have to cut down the oak trees that shade our house in the summer, but lose their leaves in the winter allowing the sun to shine on our solar house. We have large windows facing south, which are shaded by the oak trees in the summer but allow in the winter sun. If I cut the oaks down, so we can have solar panels on the roof, then we do not get the summer shade cooling benefit. The most summer days we have ever run the AC is 12 days one summer. It was 2 days last summer. Now, If I cut down the oaks, pines and cedars that shade the house, the number of days we have to use the AC will jump consuming electrical energy.
There is one thing in the new standard that I do approve. Whole-house fans. It is the whole house fan that lets us avoid turning on the AC.
Other standards for new homes include requiring whole-house fans, which use evening air to cool homes and attics and reduce the need for central air conditioning, and improved window performance to reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer.
If you are planning to place your house for the best view, that view better be to the south or you are SOL, your new house has to be oriented to collect the sun, views will not count, shade trees for summer cooling do not count. Our nanny government has once remove one more of our freedoms to choose. You may choose to not install solar panels, but your house and roof must be solar panel ready, no shade, possible not view and no skylights to let in the winter sun to warm you house.