We often preach “reduce first” as the sensable approach for homeowners who are looking at installing expensive renewable energy. It just makes sense. If it costs a lot to install solar panels, make your home more efficient first reducing the number you need, and then install less of them! Same goes for heating and cooling equipment. Reduce the need for cooling or heating and install a smaller unit.
As reported by KCET, one town in California may be looking at mandatory solar panels on every roof. Lancaster CA, a city of 160,000, is one of the top three cities for generating solar. Clearly it’s an area that has succeeded with solar as you would expect in such a sunny place.
Using solar to help reduce energy costs for lighting, water heating, and air conditioning is all well and good, but there are some simple steps to take first. Improvements such as adding efficient lighting, reducing air leaks and increasing insulation go a long way and cost far less. Our GreenHomes America folks in Fresno, Hayward, San Jose, Los Banos, and San Diego, know that, how a home performs matters a great deal, and they know solar too.
I vote for mandatory common sense with a side order of solar!
image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun