Category Archives: energy retrofitting

California first state to mandate solar power for new homes

California became the first state in the nation to require homes built in 2020 and later be solar powered, following a vote by the Building Standards Commission.

The unanimous action on Wednesday finalizes a previous vote by the Energy Commission and fulfills a decade-old goal to make the state reliant on cleaner energy.

“These provisions really are historic and will be a beacon of light for the rest of the country,” said Kent Sasaki, a structural engineer and one of six building standards commissioners. ”(It’s) the beginning of substantial improvement in how we produce energy and reduce the consumption of fossil fuels.”

While nobody spoke Wednesday in opposition, the commission received about 300 letters opposing the mandate because of the added cost, the Orange County Register reported.

Energy officials estimated the provisions will add $10,000 to the cost of building a single-family home — about $8,400 from adding solar and about $1,500 for making homes more energy-efficient. But those costs would be offset by lower utility bills over the 30-year lifespan of the solar panels, officials said.

One commission member worried the mandate would make it harder for California wildfire victims to rebuild. But supporters assured him that won’t be a problem, according to the newspaper.

Homeowners will have two options that eliminate upfront costs of adding solar: leasing the solar panels or signing a power purchase agreement that pays for the electricity without buying the panels, said Drew Bohan, executive director of the energy commission.

read more at: https://apnews.com/bc726263593d428386af7130d6abdf78 

disclaimer: for information and entertainment purposes only

FREE – San Diego’s Master Gardeners help home owners make their yards Earth Friendly

The Earth-Friendly Gardens program is designed to help San Diego County residents evaluate management choices when caring for outdoor spaces.

The program is built around eight simple principles: select appropriate plants, nurture the soil, manage pests responsibly, protect wildlife, grow food, conserve water, protect air quality and reduce waste. To certify your garden as Earth-Friendly, you need to check off a minimum number of items for each of the eight principles. To learn more, visit the UC Master Gardeners website at http://www.mastergardenersd.org and click on the picture of the Earth-Friendly sign.

UC Master Gardener Valorie Shatynski became familiar with earth-friendly gardening practices as she grew up in southern Oregon on a family farm. They raised flowers, onions, sugar beets and turf to harvest their seeds for sale to major seed companies. One of Valorie’s tasks was removing weeds and disposing of them outside the field to prevent reseeding. Removing weeds is extremely important in the seed business; companies reject products contaminated with weed seed.

You can evaluate how you are doing as an Earth-Friendly gardener using the Master Gardeners’ idea-filled checklist, available at www.mastergardenersd.org. Click on the Earth-Friendly Garden sign. As a reward for your efforts and to support our non-profit countywide program, purchase an Earth-Friendly Garden yard sign. It is a great way to share with visitors that your garden is sustainable and a conversation starter about earth-friendly gardening.

read more at: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/lifestyle/home-and-garden/sd-hm-garden-mastery-20180712-story.html#

disclaimer: for information and entertainment purposes only

San Diego #1 for Solar

After finishing second behind Los Angeles for three consecutive years, San Diego came in first place in the nation as the city with the most installed solar power.

Solar power increased 60 percent in San Diego in 2016, reaching 303 megawatts of installed photo-voltaic capacity, finishing 36 megawatts ahead of Los Angeles and almost 60 percent higher than Honolulu and San Jose, which finished third and fourth.

In the previous report, San Diego racked up enough installed capacity to power 47,000 homes. In the latest rankings, released Tuesday, the number grew to nearly 76,000 homes

Read more at: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/business/energy-green/sd-fi-solar-report-20170403-story.html