For Immediate Release: December 15, 2009
Media Contact: Amy Morgan - 916-654-4989

New Online "Tool Kit" Will Help California Cities Go Solar

SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission's New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP) is helping California cities in their quest to use solar power with a new online tool kit.

"Local governments are on the frontline of our statewide effort to bring renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies into our communities and homes," said Energy Commission Chairman Karen Douglas. "We hope this tool kit can help make efforts to encourage new solar home developments in their communities that much easier."

The New Solar Homes Partnership Municipal Tool Kit provides California cities with resources to encourage local home builders to install solar electric photovoltaic (PV) systems on new energy efficient homes. Suggested strategies include streamlining the permit process, incentivizing energy efficiency measures and solar installations, and educating home builders about current solar incentives.

The NSHP Municipal Tool Kit addresses the needs of municipal officials and staff, including city planners, building and safety officials, city managers, city attorneys and elected officials.

Case studies also document how California jurisdictions have used these strategies successfully, e.g. cities of San Jose, Palm Desert and San Rafael, and the counties of San Diego and San Bernardino.

The tool kit may be downloaded free at: www.gosolarcalifornia.ca.gov/nshp/local_government/.

About the New Solar Home Partnership

Launched in January 2007, the New Solar Homes Partnership is a component of the California Solar Initiative, signed into law in 2006 under Senate Bill 1 to implement Governor Schwarzenegger's $3.3 billion, Million Solar Roofs Program.

The primary goal of the NSHP is to achieve 400 megawatts of new solar-produced electricity by the end of 2016. The NSHP provides financial incentives and marketing support to home builders, encouraging the construction of new, energy efficient solar homes that save homeowners money on their utility bills and protects the environment. The goals of the NSHP are to create a self-sustaining market for solar homes and gain builder commitment to install solar energy systems on new homes as a standard feature for the home buyer. A new home qualifies for the New Solar Homes Partnership when it is 15 percent more efficient than current building standards.

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