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All New Homes Energy-Neutral in California by 2020

JTThis is big. I’m surprised there’s not more buzz around this…. It’s probably because things 13 years from now don’t peak peoples’ interests like political hot-topics or Justin Timberlake’s “d*** in a box” (btw, that is my Halloween costume, FYI…. also, was considering a full body box.  Get it?).

The California Public Utilities Commission adopted (among other things) an initiative to make all new residential homes in California zero net energy by 2020. That means in only 13 years, every time someone wants to build a house in California, that house better have a solar power system or wind energy or…. some other space age mini power plant I haven’t even heard of yet. It also probably means that the larger the housing development it is, the more cost effective it is (because they could build a mini-power plant instead of putting solar power on each home). Although, in 13 years who knows which technology will be cheaper… Like maybe these bendable photo-voltaic units will become so cost effective by then that you could slap a few on the roof of a house for a couple hundred bucks and power the whole thing. Super cheap solar power will eventually happen, period (unless some smartypants figures out a safe way to split the atom).

Anyway, enough ranting… here is what was adopted by the PUC:

  • Utilities have to make a statewide longterm energy efficiency plan
  • These three initiatives:
    • New homes in California to be all zero net energy by 2020
    • Commercial by 2030
    • HVAC stuff must be reshaped for optimal equipment performance;
  • Developed the “next generation” of California utility energy efficiency programs for 2009-2011;
  • Committed in the near term to adopting utility energy efficiency goals through 2020 and reaffirmed the PUC’s previously adopted 2009-2011 goals; and
  • Established new, collaborative processes with key business, consumer groups, California government, everwhere possible.

Last modified: October 22, 2007

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