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For Immediate Release: April 21, 2008
Media Contact: Amy Morgan - 916-654-4989

GoSolarCalifornia.org Web Site Re-Launched
Internet Portal Makes It Even Easier To Learn About Solar Energy;
New Solar Homes across the State

SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission today re-launched www.GoSolarCalifornia.org, an online resource to help residents learn more about the benefits of new solar and energy efficient homes. The site will also serve as an information resource for home builders interested in developing new solar home communities.

"The Energy Commission is pleased to offer this site which will provide homebuyers with comprehensive information and the resources necessary to make wise choices about new solar and energy efficient homes," said California Energy Commission Chairman Jackalyne Pfannenstiel. "In addition to encouraging consumer interest in solar, the website will help us to educate home builders, local planning officials, and other interested stakeholders, while facilitating the growth of green communities."

GoSolarCalifornia.org and the New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP), are components of the statewide solar program known as the California Solar Initiative. The NSHP provides financial incentives and other support to home builders, encouraging the construction of new, energy efficient solar homes that save homeowners money on their electric bills and help protect the environment. The goals of the NSHP are to create a self-sustaining market for solar homes within 10 years and gain builder commitment in constructing 100 percent solar, energy efficient communities.

The Energy Commission is working with builders and developers to incorporate high levels of energy efficiency and high-performing solar systems to help create a self-sustaining solar market. As part of this effort, the Energy Commission has also developed a builder tool kit that is available on the new site.

Research aimed at consumers, home builders and business owners shows that the majority of new and potential home buyers in California are looking for energy efficient options when purchasing a new home. Additionally, California is increasingly looking to develop communities using smart growth strategies. Building highly energy efficient solar homes are an important step toward reaching the state's greenhouse gas reduction goals and the GoSolarCalifornia.org site will serve as a valuable information tool to help guide smart decisions.

About the New Solar Homes Partnership:

The New Solar Homes Partnership is a component of the California Solar Initiative, signed into law in 2006 under Senate Bill 1 by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Through financial incentives, the partnership encourages builders to install solar energy systems on new homes as a standard feature for the home buyer. 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. Beginning in 2011, builders in California will be required to offer solar as an option for all homes in new home developments of 50 or more.

For updates about the New Solar Homes Partnership and a copy of the guidebook, visit the Go Solar California Web site at: www.GoSolarCalifornia.org.

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