Multifamily Solar Installations Soar Despite Pandemic Related Setbacks

June 1, 2021

SunPower Multifamily Solar Installation

Editor’s Note: In 2020, SunPower announced the completion of the strategic spin-off of its manufacturing division into a separate business named Maxeon Solar Technologies, Ltd. As a result, SunPower has expanded its offerings to drive future growth. The SunPower Equinox® system now offers multiple panel options, including front- and back-contact panels, all of which are responsibly and rigorously quality tested to provide the best energy solution for your home.

Multifamily developments including condos, townhomes and duplexes have become a formidable arm of the residential real estate sector. Experts have noted the multifamily category as one of the most resilient against its counterparts during COVID-19. The Construction Industry Research Board reported a strong standing for multifamily homes in 2020. And yet, it has still been heavily affected. For many property owners and builders, the pandemic led to lost income. The good news is that some are finding savings in unexpected places through solar energy.

Part of this can be credited to California’s Title 24 energy code. It’s been roughly a year since the requirement for all new homes and multifamily units three stories or less to include solar energy was enacted. During this time over 11,000 new homes received a SunPower® solar system. Of those homes, 1,308 were multifamily. That’s a 30% increase from 2019’s numbers, just a year prior to the energy code’s inclusion of solar being unanimously passed by the California Energy Commission. Even in the midst of a global pandemic, it’s easy to see that Title 24 is progressing the Golden State closer to its ultimate goal of becoming completely zero-carbon by 2045.

The current version of the Title 24 mandate requires builders to install enough solar power to offset the entire building’s electrical load. However, with relevant exceptions that number can be hard to define. While the code gives an estimate on how much solar power should be generated, the numbers need to be verified by an actual solar expert in tandem with your Title 24 consultant. Consulting a solar professional can provide a more accurate number of solar panels needed to truly comply with the mandate. Avoiding this common discrepancy has helped owners and tenants acquire a larger amount of utility savings.

With the highest efficiency panels on the market,* SunPower solar systems produce more energy in less space than conventional panels, which means that they take up less space on the roof, an important consideration especially for multi-level structures where roof space can be a premium. SunPower also supports its solar solutions with a 25-year industry-leading warranty. It’s why many home builders have turned to SunPower for their alternative energy needs, including trusted names like KB Home.

But planning for a solar system goes much further than just determining the right size; working with a seasoned solar provider can help optimize cost savings as well. The right solar company will work alongside builders, architects and Title 24 consultants to properly design, install and even handle solar permitting. When implementing solar power into the initial design process, builders and architects can build around its key components, customizing areas as needed. Builders who don’t prepare for solar power early in the construction process can easily accrue additional costs due to late accommodations. With the technology and 36+ years of experience, SunPower is a trusted partner for architects and builders that are looking to efficiently meet code requirements and optimize solar integration.

California’s Title 24 energy code is continuously evolving, and by 2022 may potentially expand to include buildings four stories or higher. Knowing the requirements and exceptions, and partnering with a solar provider early in the design phase, will help keep costs down and savings up. To learn more about how SunPower can help with your project, give us a call at 1-877-34-HOMES (1-877-344-6637).