CA Laws & Incentives

California is leading the way in the United States for incentivizing green power.  If you buy a model S, the federal government has a $7,500 tax credit.  California tops that off with a $2,500 check, which is independent of your taxes.  Several cities within California have similar incentives for electrical infrastructure.

Palo Alto recently is the first city to require new homes be built with pre-wiring for in-home vehicle chargers for all new housing construction.  The cost to the builder will be only around $200.  Retrofitting a charger can cost considerably more to bring 220 Volts into a garage.

Both Lancaster and Sebastapol now require all new homes to be built with solar panels.  Lancaster was the first city this year to pass this requirement.  Lancaster is the 30th largest city in California located north of Los Angeles and is actually in the mammoth Los Angeles county, which is large in both square miles (4,083) and population (around 10 million).  All newly built single-family homes in town on lots greater than 7,000 square feet  and rural lots greater than 100,000 square feet must have a solar system.  Since Lancaster is located at 2,350 feet at sea level and has sunshine at least 300 days per year, the location is great for solar production.  

Sebastapol is in Northern California north of San Francisco.  All new homes are required to include solar systems that offset at least 75% of the building’s total annual electric load.  If the location is not ideal for solar, the builder must pay a fee or look into other means of alternative energy.

Solar has been adopted quite widespread throughout the state.  California provides this data on a zipcode or county basis.  The top 3 counties of solar adoption in California per person include El Dorado and Placer counties, which are near Sacramento, and Sonoma county, which includes Sebastapol.

The following table covers 19 of the top solar producing counties in California through November 20, 2013.  The data covers 83% of the state as many of California counties have small populations in contrast to a few very large counties.  The largest Watt / person statistic is 41.4 in El Dorado County and only 7.3 in sunny Los Angeles County.

Solar Distribution by Watts / Person in California Counties

Solar Distribution by Watts / Person in California Counties

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