Category Archives: Renewables and Energy

California’s new solar mandate

Starting next year, every new home built in California will have something extra on top.

Recently, California became the first state in the nation to make solar mandatory for new houses. Beginning in 2020, newly constructed homes must have solar panels, which could be costly for homeowners: According to California’s Energy Commission (CEC), that mandate will add between $8,000 and $10,000 to the cost of a new home.

CEC estimates suggest that the solar addition will increase the average monthly mortgage payment by $40, but new homeowners will save an average of $80 a month on their heating, cooling and lighting bills.

Still, the requirement does add a costly additional expense to already pricey new homes in one of the richest real estate markets in the country.

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San Diego – first shipping container homes could be open by April 2019


The region’s first housing project made from shipping containers could open as soon as April, providing homes for 21 formerly homeless veterans and possibly paving the way for hundreds of new affordable and median-priced homes in the near future.

The units are planned for a vacant lot at 2941 Imperial Ave. in Logan Heights and the project is proposed by developers Michael Copley, Jr. and Doug Holmes, partners in the real estate company Makana Properties, LLC.

“It’s just kind of a cool factor that that I think a lot of people will like,” Copley said about the container project. “It’s a popular topic right now.”

While the first project will bring only 21 units to the city, Copley said it could demonstrate a way to build new homes much faster and for much less money than conventional housing. If other developers follow their lead, that could mean thousands of more units, fewer homeless people on the street and fewer homes crowded with roommates, freeing up more vacancies for families.

While the project would be a first for San Diego County, two similar projects exist in Southern California. In South Los Angeles, Flyaway Homes recently completed a nine-unit complex that uses shipping containers. In Orange County, Potters Lane by American Family Housing used shipping containers for a 16-unit project.

In San Diego, each 320-square-foot unit would have its own patio, kitchen and bathroom. While the units will be built from metal shipping containers, they will be insulated and have interior drywalls. .

“When you walk in, these things are solid,” Copley said. “You don’t hear your neighbors. You don’t hear people walking around.”

Of the 21 units planned for Imperial Avenue, one will be for a household classified as very-low income, 10 will be for households making 80 percent of the area media income and the remaining 10 will be priced at market-rate.

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Helix water rates going up in November

The Helix Water District voted to raise prices for its customers after a heated public meeting Wednesday night.

The hearing drew a small but vocal crowd to the district’s headquarters in La Mesa.

On the agenda was a proposal to raise water rates 4.7 percent starting November 1 for the district’s service area which includes La Mesa, El Cajon, Lemon Grove, and parts of Spring Valley,
Lakeside and Santee.

The price hike would work out to just over $2 a month for an average user.

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