Does Your Newly Constructed ADU Unit Need Solar?

Solar on roof

An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is an attached or detached residential dwelling unit which provides complete independent living facilities for one or more persons, and it can be either an addition or a newly constructed building (HCD.CA.Gov)

ADU units provide a solution for the current housing crisis, and they are flourishing in places like San Jose and the Bay Area where limited housing is a concern.

What are the Benefits of ADU Units?

  • They are affordable. ADU units do not require paying for land, or new major infrastructure. They can be made right in someone’s backyard.
  • ADU Units are much more cost-effective as they are build with wood fram construction which is better in value and lest costly.
  • They allow privacy. Have the in-laws over? How about friends from a different state? This makes it easy for people to have some privacy while allowing a comfortable place for your loved ones to stay.
  • ADU Units are great for renting out a space for extra income without sacrificing privacy as well.

Considering building a new ADU? Solar may be required if you choose to do so, and don’t worry it’s so worth it.

Are Solar Panels Required for All Types of ADU?

Solar for ADU
Solar for ADU

Starting January 1, 2020 all new constructions in California will need to comply with Title 24 guidelines, which means adding solar. However, are solar panels required for all types of ADU? The answer is no. Per California Energy Commission (CEC), newly constructed ADUs are subject to the Energy Code requirement to provide solar panels if the unit (s) is newly constructed, non- manufactured, detached ADU. Therefore, ADUs that are constructed within existing space or as an addition to existing homes, including detached additions where an existing detached building is converted from non-residential to residential space, are not subject to the Energy Code requirement to provide solar panels. (California Energy Code).

What benefits will you have from solar system for your ADU?

solar on roof

Help Lower Your Carbon Footprint

By switching to solar energy, we can reduce the world’s energy consumption on fossil fuels, make an impact, and combat global warming. How late is too late? Every single home switched over to a renewable source of energy counts. Your home counts.

Own Your Energy and Reduce Your Electricity Bills

Whoever occupies the ADU will benefit from lower electricity costs as electricity rates keep rising about 3-10% every year, this is an advantage that could become even more impactful over time. (KSBW)

Increase Your Property Value

Solar Energy helps homes sells for more and faster that those without and your house will more energy efficient. On average properties with solar increase their re-sale value by 4%. Soleeva has a partnership currently with Pearl which places an accredited valuation on your complete solar system so that when you are ready to move on to the next home, you have direct documentation confirming the increased home value.

Claim Federal Tax Credit

All solar systems that are purchased and associated upgrades with that solar may be eligible for tax credit. (If your unit is under a business, you also get depreciation benefits)!  It is considered as a gift card from the IRS for your tax liability benefits.

What is the Minimum System Size Needed?

Every ADU Unit has a different solar system size required depending on many factors such as floor area of conditioned space or number of dwelling units, etc.

The minimum qualifying size of the PV system is based on the projected annual electrical usage as described by the Equation 7-1 (2022 Building Energy Efficiency Standards- Part 7). 
kW (PV)required = (CFA x A)/1000 + (NDwell x B)

Where kW(PV) = kW(DC) size of the PV system

 CFA = Conditioned floor area

 NDwell = Number of dwelling units

 A = Adjustment factor from Table 7-1

 B = Dwelling adjustment factor from Table 7.1

CFA and Dwelling Adjustment Factors

To learn more about how solar panels are energy-efficient for your ADU, please reach out to us at (833) 820-8080 or fill out the form below. One of our solar experts will answer all your questions and make it easy for you to learn about why the world is switching to solar.

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