Santa Monica Requires Buildings to Install
Solar panels are now mandatory
in Santa Monica, CA, for new
buildings or remodeling projects
where at least 50% of the exterior wall
elements are removed.
It is just the fifth city in California to
enact a solar system mandate, following
in line behind San Francisco, Lancaster,
Sebastopol and Culver City.
In comparison, Santa Monica’s regulations are stricter. Santa Monica requires
multifamily dwellings and non-residen-tial buildings to participate, whereas
mandatory solar panels in other cities are
required only for residential buildings.
The minimum total wattage must be two
times the square footage of the building.
For example, a two-story building with
5,000 square feet would need a 10-kilo-
watt system. Exceptions may be made
for buildings that lack exposure to direct
The council passed the ordinance in
an effort to combat climate change and
invest in a solar market that has fallen in
“Covering our new buildings with
renewable energy helps us address the
challenge of climate change while ensuring Santa Monica builds cost-effective,
resilient properties that maintain value,”
says Santa Monica Mayor Tony Vazquez.
EFFICIEN T TROFFER RE TROFI TS have saved 1.3
trillion BTUs and $13.5 million in avoided energy
costs for Interior Lighting Campaign participants.
Interior Lighting Campaign Saves $13.5 Million
in First Year
➙Participants in the Better Build- ings Alliance’s Interior Lighting
Campaign have saved 1.3 trillion
BTUs, tantamount to $13.5 million in total energy savings, by replacing 650,000
troffers with high efficiency lighting.
The campaign, a partnership between the DOE and public and private
sector organizations, has grown to 160
members in just one year. Corporations
including Target, T-Mobile and CKE
Restaurants (which owns Carl’s Jr. and
Hardees) are working to cut energy costs
by implementing new lighting technology in their buildings.
Twenty percent of the energy used by
buildings nationwide is from lighting.
Facility managers can save up to 60%
of lighting costs by replacing inefficient
troffers with newer, more efficient mod-
els. For additional savings, upgrading
lighting controls with timers, dimmers
and occupancy sensors can save up to
The Energy Department’s goal is to
save 20% more energy over the next
decade in commercial, public, industrial
and residential buildings. This would re-
sult in billions in savings on energy bills
and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
SOLAR PANELS are now mandatory in Santa
Monica, CA, for all new buildings and extensive
Australian researchers have
revealed a new breakthrough
for solar power – a solar thermal
air-conditioning system that is capable of
efficiently heating and cooling commer-
The technology was developed by scientists at the Commonwealth Scientific
and Industrial Research Organization
(CSIRO) in Melbourne. It proved to be
successful after field tests at a shopping
mall, where closed-loop technologies
used two desiccant wheels to absorb
moisture from the air while the other
two wheels generated cool air with solar
“Energy research is driving down
costs of renewable technologies, accelerating the transition to a lower-emissions
future,” says CSIRO Energy Director
Peter Mayfield. “We are pioneering new
technologies and this project is a world-first demonstration of a desiccant air-conditioning system using roof-mounted
concentrating solar thermal correctors.”
The impact of the new heating and
cooling system is being reviewed for
long-term implications. B
THIS SOLAR-THERMAL AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM is capable of cooling a shopping mall.