Here Comes the Sun Again: A Quick Primer for Homebuilders About California's 2011 Mandatory Solar Option Law


A new law in California requires homebuilders to begin to provide optional solar energy systems to homebuyers. California Public Resources Code Section 25405.5 (The “Mandatory Solar Option Law”), went into effect on January 1, 2011. The new law mandates that homebuilders begin to offer an option for solar energy in certain new production homes. This article provides some background about California’s Solar Initiative and addresses some of the most frequently asked questions about new opportunities and compliance issues stemming from the new law.


Back on January 12, 2006, the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved the California Solar Initiative, authorizing the state to invest $3.2 billion in small-scale solar electric power systems over eleven years and establishing the statewide goal of building a million solar roofs. At the time, it was believed that less than 5% of California’s new homes came equipped with solar power. In order to accomplish the statewide goal, the state set a target that at least 50% of new homes should be equipped with solar power within thirteen years. The Mandatory Solar Option Law, which went into effect January 1, 2011, is an integral part of the California Solar Initiative.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Kathleen Carpenter, Esq., Luce Forward Hamilton & Scripps | Attorney Advertising

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