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For Immediate Release: December 29, 2006
Media Contact: Amy Morgan - 916-654-4989

California Energy Commission unites
Solar and Energy Efficiency under the
New Solar Homes Partnership

Sacramento - A unique blend of energy efficient solar homes will emerge on California's new home marketplace in 2007, under the Energy Commission's, New Solar Homes Partnership.

"Our program is intended to transform the new home industry and have consumers ask for solar in their new home to lower their energy bills," said Energy Commission Chairman Jackalyne Pfannenstiel.

A new home that qualifies for the New Solar Homes Partnership will be at least 15 percent more efficient than the current energy efficiency standards. The home includes Energy Star-rated appliances, and a roof top solar energy system with a 10-year warranty to protect against defective workmanship or system and component breakdown.

The partnership encourages builders to install solar energy systems on new homes as a standard feature for the home buyer, just like granite countertops. Beginning in 2011, builders will be required to offer solar as a standard feature in new home developments of 50 or more.

Each year 200,000 new homes are built in California, and most include central air conditioning. "Central air conditioning is a driving factor for California's energy supply. The New Solar Homes Partnership is an essential element to reduce the need for California to build new power plants," added Pfannenstiel.

Currently, California has over 23,000 photovoltaic system installations, of which, 1,500 are installed on new homes.

The New Solar Homes Partnership is a component of the California Solar Initiative, which was signed into law in 2006 under Senate Bill 1 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Senate Bill 1 establishes three goals for the California Solar Initiative: create 3,000 megawatts of new solar-produced electricity by 2017, establish a self-sufficient solar industry in which solar energy systems are a viable mainstream option in 10 years, and to place solar energy systems on 50 percent of new homes in 13 years.

The Energy Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission will each administer separate but coordinated elements of the California Solar Initiative.

For updates about the New Solar Homes Partnership and a copy of the guidebook, visit the Go Solar California website at:

www.gosolarcalifornia.ca.gov

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