Why now is a good time to consider solar
- Starting 1/1/2018, you no longer need 2/3s of the units in your mutual to vote to allow you to install a residential solar electrical system.
- One of our electricity providers, MCE, buys back the solar electricity you generate, at the retail rate plus one cent per KWH. Much of that buy back is at peak rate times. You pay for electricity at the rate in effect when you use it, often at less expensive, off-peak times. Sign up with Deep Green at MCE.
- Federal incentives of 30% will remain in effect until the end of 2019. After 2019, federal tax incentive drops to 26% for 2020, and 22% for 2021, then it expires completely.
How to decide if you should install a residential solar electrical system.
- Solar electrical systems (SESs) have continually improved in performance and cost to the point that they are now economical to install. Most SESs have a 7 to 10-year payback and saves about 5x its cost over the life of the SES.
- If upfront costs give you pause, several types of financing are available. Also, group discounts may be negotiated with a contractor.
- Decide how important reducing your carbon footprint, the amount of carbon dioxide you are contributing to the planet, is to you.
- If having power in the event of a power outage appeals to you, consider a combination solar and storage system.
- Although the need for repairs and maintenance is rare, they are the owner’s responsibility. Even so, your benefits are many times these costs.
Guidelines for Solar System installation:
- We recommend you contact three solar installers. They will vary on the brands they promote and the cost of their systems. Choose one of the installers.
- Inform the other owners in your building that you will be installing a solar system. At the same time, you may invite them to consider joining you to install a larger Solar Electrical System (SES) for mutual savings. Listen to and consider any responses from the other building residences. However, other members in your building cannot reject or veto your solar plans.
- Contact your Mutual to see if they have a solar policy in place (check the list below). If they do, follow their requirements. If they do not, your solar installer will know what plans to submit to comply with the new laws.
- Your installer will file plans with the mutual, MOD and the city.
- If you have received no comments from your Mutual within 45 days after you submitted your plans, then the plans are considered approved by the Mutual. If you receive comments, they must be reasonable. Currently, MOD will automatically approve any plans approved by a Mutual. The city’s review will be the same as for any other architectural change.
- Once approved, your installer will schedule your installation. An installation, once started, usually requires a week to complete.
What Rossmoor Mutual Boards can and cannot do about residential solar
- Mutuals may not refuse to accept/consider a solar application simply because they don’t have a policy in place. The law states “the application for approval…shall not be willfully avoided or delayed.”
- If an application is not denied in 45 days, it will be deemed approved, except that if the Mutual board needs more information from the applicant, but it has to be reasonable.
- Mutuals are encouraged to have a Solar policy in place. Several Mutuals are in varying stages of completion of having their Solar Policies in place. A list of adopted Mutual policies:
- First Walnut Creek Mutual Solar Policy
- Second Walnut Creek Mutual Solar Policy
- Third Walnut Creek Mutual Solar Energy Systems
- 28 Mutual – Solar Policy
- 30 Mutual – Solar Policy
- 39 Mutual – Solar Policy
- 48 Mutual – Solar Policy
- 59 Mutual – Solar Policy
- 65 Mutual – Solar Policy
- 68 Mutual – Solar Policy
- 70 Mutual – Solar Policy
- Members of the Residential Solar Committee stand ready to provide their expertise to advise and review Mutual solar policies.
- We’ve included more background and details on the new law here.
Contact Adrian Byram, Chair of the Residential Solar Committee with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 415-465-2189