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California Title 24 building standards mandate solar on all new residential construction three-stories or less. And the upcoming code cycle aims to expand these requirements to all new construction, regardless of size. With energy efficiency mandates here to stay, builders must now add solar to their list of code compliance considerations.

The SunPower multifamily team is poised to save you time and money by helping you plan your solar project – and optimize your investment with higher NOI.


SunPower Services

  • Highest efficiency solar panels on the market

  • Turnkey rooftop and solar canopy solutions

  • Solar design and permitting

  • Specialized solar financing options

  • World-class project management and construction professionals

  • Battery backup and EV charging

  • Title 24 solar compliance and consultation

  • Unique cost recovery and revenue-generating strategies

Leverage full-service solar solutions

  • Pre-design

  • Design

  • Permitting

  • Installation

  • Commissioning

  • Interconnection

  • Engineering

  • Financing

  • Code compliance

  • Policy & regulatory consultation

Pros and Cons of Multifamily Solar for Sloped Roof

Solar Economics for Multifamily Developers


  • Typically, most cost-effective​​

  • Tighter solar arrays with less setback and row spacing


  • Less access for maintenance​​

  • Can be challenging to design to optimal sun angle

Pros and Cons of Multifamily Solar for Flat Roofs

Flat Roof Solar


  • Easy access for maintenance 

  • Greater ability to optimize to sun angle


  • Slightly more costly than sloped roof​​

  • Requires more space for setbacks and rows


Solar Carport


  • Most space density for solar​​

  • Provides shaded parking​​

  • Couples well with EV charging​


  • Most costly due to sub-structure​​

  • Design and construction much be done early in building process​​

Solar Economics for Multifamily Developers

Solar Economics for Multifamily Developers

Cost Recovery Strategies

  • Rebates and tax incentives

  • Net income and capitalization rates

  • Tenant energy billing software

  • Smart EV charging

  • Solar as an amenity

  • Affordable financing

Solar Support for Architects

How much of a community’s electrical consumption can be offset by solar?

Given enough space for solar panels, it’s possible to size a solar system large enough to offset more than 100% of a multifamily community’s estimated energy consumption. While some multifamily developers choose to size a system just large enough to meet minimum requirements, many opt for a more comprehensive sizing strategy to achieve greater returns on the initial investment and lock in low-priced energy for the future.

How will solar impact the economics of the project for my client?

Although adding solar may require significant capital investment for those opting for an upfront purchase, SunPower offers several lease and loan options which may reduce or even eliminate these out-of-pocket expenses. In either case, the savings and incentives with solar far outweigh the costs and can bring fantastic returns for many years to come. With multifamily solar, it is possible to see significant improvements to the net operating income (NOI) and cap rate for the community.

Are there solar code requirements to consider?

Yes. California, and increasingly nationwide, authorities are adopting formal laws and building codes requiring high energy efficiency construction standards, including requirements for on-site solar generation. For multifamily communities, code requires solar on every residential unit in the community (with very few exceptions).

Which areas within the development are best for placing solar arrays?

Typically, systems can be mounted on sloped roofs using SunPower InvisiMount racking, on flat roofs using either tilt racking or SunPower Helix ballasted racking systems, on builder-designed carport structures, on SunPower Helix carport solutions, or on some combination of any of these approaches. The preferred area for mounting solar arrays is up to the developer and architect. SunPower can help identify the preferred location for equipment while balancing the solar system sizing target, aesthetics, and financial objectives for each project.

How can solar be integrated with energy storage?

Whether simply for back-up power during an outage, or to maximize energy export rates during peak hours, energy storage technology and on-site battery storage is poised to be a major component to multifamily energy infrastructure in the years to come. Solar as a source of renewable energy naturally fits with battery technology to offer consistent daily charging at relatively low costs. However, designing the appropriate energy storage solution and incorporating that solution with the correct solar design can be complex and requires expertise. SunPower has storage experts on staff and can help weigh all considerations to identify feasible energy storage options.

SunPower Advantage

The SunPower Advantage

  • Headquartered in Silicon Valley since 1985, SunPower has an established tradition of excellence and leadership in the solar sector.

  • Largest new homes solar provider in the country.

  • Dedicated department of in-house experts focused solely on multifamily construction.

  • Robust portfolio of commercial-scale solar projects nationwide.

  • Installation capacity throughout CA and spanning 45 states.

  • Access to the world’s highest-efficiency solar modules.

  • Industry-leading storage, roof and carport solutions.

  • Partnered with prominent commercial solar financing providers.

  • Over 1,000 patents for solar innovation.

  • Publicly traded (see SunPower investor relations page) and financially stable.

  • Dedication to job safety is a core principle at SunPower.

Multifamily EV Charging & Solar Q&A

What kind of EV charging is appropriate for my multifamily community?

Electric vehicle adoption is growing and here to stay. Multifamily developers can add EV charging as an amenity for their residents, and potentially leverage it as a long-term revenue stream. Builders can 1) make a percentage of tenant parking areas “EV ready” to satisfy immediate codes; 2) install a few Level II EV chargers in communal parking areas, or 3) embrace a more comprehensive plan for smart EV charging/billing spread throughout the community.  SunPower can help builders identify what is best for you, based on your community.

What percentage of parking areas are necessary for today and into the future?

Currently in California and elsewhere, code requirements mandate a small percentage of multifamily parking areas to be “EV ready” (typically 5%-10% depending on the code cycle). Exactly what EV-ready entails is a bit open for interpretation. Nonetheless, with the growth projections for electric vehicle sales, many multifamily developers are preparing for widespread EV adoption and setting up electrical infrastructure for future expansion. 

Are there ways to prepare the infrastructure now for future retrofit?

Yes. Many multifamily developers are opting to prepare the necessary infrastructure (conduits, pull boxes, breakers, electrical panels, etc.) for future EV expansion and retrofit. The time to incorporate this infrastructure is well in advance of the early construction cycle before foundations and hardscaping are poured.