Article by:
Austin Young
November 29, 2022
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Title 24: Ahead of the Curve

California is well-known for being ahead of the curve, and even a game changer, when it comes to many policies. For example, the state has stricter fuel emissions standards than the federal government, which prompted vehicle manufacturers to make all of their cars more fuel efficient. Another example is the recent single-use plastics policy encouraging product manufacturers to downsize their packaging and make sure more plastics are recyclable. California’s Title 24 policy is also ahead of the curve compared to other states. However, Title 24 doesn’t reach beyond California’s borders like the fuel emissions and plastics policies do.

What is California’s Title 24 Policy?

Title 24 is a section of California’s building standard code that determines the Building Energy Efficiency Standards for new construction and existing properties. The standards are updated every three years by the California Energy Commission (CEC), which allows the standards to adjust with advancements in technology. Title 24’s main purpose is to encourage individuals and businesses to do their part to reach California’s goal of 100% renewable energy by 2045. The standards have various requirements for solar energy, energy-efficient lighting and appliances, and apply to all kinds of structures from private residential and multifamily residential to commercial buildings.

Inspiring Mass Adoption of Solar and More Benefits

As the first solar mandate in the US, Title 24 is enabling the mass adoption of solar energy for commercial and multifamily real estate. Additionally, the policy contributes to:

  • Reducing energy costs with utility bill savings for businesses and residents.
  • Cutting greenhouse gas emissions by shifting to renewable energy.
  • Ensuring a more reliable power supply by reducing grid dependence.
  • Lowering the state’s contribution to climate change.

With such clear benefits, a state solar mandate seems to be the best way to move the needle on climate change and emissions more quickly. Mass adoption of solar may not happen fast enough without some incentive or requirement at the state level. The Federal Tax Credit simply isn’t enough to encourage this investment in renewable energy for commercial and multifamily real estate.

Why Aren’t Other States Implementing a Title 24 Policy?

While we can’t speak to every challenge that other states face, there are a few issues likely preventing their own Title 24 policies. Many states have a diverse population that opposes government mandates of any kind, which can make it challenging to pass a solar mandate or any energy-efficient building mandate. Also, it takes time to put everything in writing, vote on it, revise it, and eventually approve it. Passing new policies is not generally a fast process. Furthermore, states that don’t have a Net Metering or Virtual Net Metering policy to help single-family and multifamily residential property owners make some return on their investment would probably face backlash if they mandate solar energy. To top it off, not all states have as many incentives or rebates as California to help people fund their renewable energy systems. California has faced its share of challenges in developing these policies and facilitating the switch to renewable energy. But, California continues to figure it out and can be an example for the rest of the country.

A Nationwide Pro-Solar Adoption Movement

Studies have found that installing more efficient systems in buildings from the start actually leads to increased revenue, longer leases, and major cost savings. One survey even discovered that 84% of multifamily residents say that living in an environmentally friendly building is very important or moderately important to them. With advancements in technology and California as a model for other states to follow, now is the perfect time for pro-solar adoption policies for large buildings nationwide. If we have learned anything from California’s environmental policies, it’s that you cannot wait for change to happen on its own, you have to make it happen. Any state that cares about climate change should enact policies similar to Title 24 to make mass adoption of solar happen in their state. To learn more about how investing in solar for your property helps with title 24 compliance and generates a new NOI visit our website and schedule a demo.