2020 New Build Mandate in Effect

California has always been the state leading the country towards a brighter, greener future. At the forefront of the nation’s green revolution, California constantly seeks new ways of innovating upon existing technologies to revolutionize society. Recently, solar panel installations have received renewed interest by the state, and are the subject of the California 2020 New Build Mandate guidelines. The new California Green Building Standards Code requires all newly built single residence homes to have solar panel installations. With home buying up in Orange County, San Diego County, and Riverside County, one has to wonder how these guidelines will affect Southern California residents?

Will The California 2020 New Build Mandate Save Money?

The answer is yes, the California 2020 New Build Mandate will. Newly built homes after Jan. 1 are required to have solar panel installations, while existing homes do not have to install solar panels. However, the California Energy Commission estimates that over a standard 30-year mortgage, a solar panel installation can save homeowners $19,000. Regardless of whether or not you are building a new home, solar panel installations are a sound investment to both save the environment and your money.

How Will The California 2020 New Build Mandate Affect Home Builders?

Home builders may be wary of the California 2020 New Build Mandate for new homes, however these new guidelines can help them just as much as home buyers. Home builders have the opportunity to form lasting business relationships with expert solar panel installation experts who can work closely with them on multiple projects, potentially driving down the cost of their bulk solar panel installation purchases. The California Building Industry Association estimates that solar panel installations will add $8,000 to $13,500 to the price of building new homes, making wholesale discounts of solar panel installations a great way to add surplus value to new homes. With home builders expected to absorb most of the cost of the California 2020 New Build Mandate, making connections with expert solar panel installation providers should be at the top of every home builder’s todo list.

Top Tier Home Energy: Ready For Change

At Top Tier Home Energy, we are more than ready to assist home builders in complying with the California 2020 New Build Mandate. When you need an expert solar panel installation provider for Orange County, San Diego County, Or Riverside County, look no further. We back all of our work with an industry-leading 25 year warranty. That’s nearly the entire length of a home mortgage, meaning that potential home buyers will feel confident in their new home’s solar panel installation. We’re excited to work with home builders in Orange County, San Diego County, and Riverside County as they strive to meet the exceptionally green goals set out in the by this ambitious new law.

When considering whether or not to go green in your home, consider that with SunPower solar panels, you can produce over 70% more energy over the first 25 years.  Once you’ve installed SunPower solar panels, how you use that energy can be quite creative.  Consider the following ways in which you can use your new clean renewable energy:


Lighting Up Your Back Yard

With the clean renewable solar energy that you’re generating with SunPower solar panels, you can light up your back yard with colorful and creative lights.  You can impress your house guests and company when they come over with colorful light displays.  Imagine lighting up your pool, pergola, walk ways, trellaces, and patios with clean renewable energy.


Turning Up the Romance with SunPower Solar Panels

With SunPower solar panels, the energy you generate can be used to turn up the romance.  Picture how much you can enjoy powering and heating your hot tub sipping champagne.  With clean renewable energy, you can turn up the romance and not worry about how high your electric bill will be for your efforts.  You can take a dip every night and ignite the romantic spark in your relationship.  If you’re single, you can impress your dates with your elegant hot tub.


Powering Up A Holly Jolly Christmas Light Display

With SunPower solar panels, you can be the envy of your neighbors next Christmas with an intricate and bright light display.  You could deck your home out with every light you can find at the store and still be paying less for powering a massive display than your neighbors.  You can keep cozy all winter knowing that you’re producing more clean renewable energy and saving money at the same time.

There are many uses for clean renewable solar power that range from powering up your kitchen appliances to heating your home during the winter and keeping it cool in the summer. There’s no better way to do it than with SunPower solar panels.  If you’re ready to try out the many ways you can use solar power, give us a call at (949) 296-2296.

After a number of years, it’s quite common that home owners get that itch to renovate their home.  It could start with an idea that you’ve always wanted a nicer kitchen or it could be a massive project involving multiple rooms, the exterior, the yard, or more.  No matter how small or large, there’s ample room to go green with your home renovation.  Consider the following ways in which you can go green with your home renovation:

Go Green with Energy Efficient Appliances

One of the easiest ways to go green during a home renovation is to seek out energy efficient appliances.  These are easy to spot in stores because they’re labeled energy efficient under the Energy Star program.  Energy efficient appliances use less power and over time, essentially pay for themselves in savings.  Energy efficient appliances are one of the easiest ways to go green in your renovation.

Install Solar Panels

If you’re able to do a major home renovation, installing a new solar panel system is one of the best ways to go green.  This is because solar energy is clean, green, and renewable.  By installing solar panels, you go green with your home renovation by severing your reliance upon fossil fuels that produce most electric power in homes now.  Over time, not only do solar panels save homeowners money in electric bills, but the amount of power generated can be sold back to the electric company, earning homeowners money in the process.  This is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and to save some green in your pocket.

Install Low Emissivity Products

Low emissivity products such as doors and windows can prevent heat from escaping during the winter and the cool air from escaping during the summer.  This is accomplished with thin layers of items such as silver or other metallic particles. There are many different kinds of low emissivity products to meet your energy needs to go green in a home renovation.  If this is on your radar, then a consultant can help you to choose the right product to meet your energy needs.

Home renovations are often large projects, but even if you start small, you have options to make your home more environmentally friendly with your efforts.  If you’re looking to install a new solar panel system to maximize your potential to go green, contact Top Tier Home Energy  (949) 296-2296.



When homeowners hear solar savings, they have expectations that they’ll instantly be flush with extra cash.  However, solar panels take time to acquire energy from the sun and produce energy for your home.  This means that as more time goes on, homeowners will start to see more solar savings with reduced or completely eliminated electricity bills. Within months, you’ll begin to see your investment paying off and within years, a solar system can completely pay for itself.  Consider the following ways in which you can determine your solar savings with a new solar system:

Use a Cost Calculator to Determine Solar Savings

A free cost calculator can help you to predict how much you will save by switching from electricity to solar power. Generally speaking, a solar cost calculator can take into account geographic data, shade homeowners experience and monthly electric bills.  Using this data, a solar cost calculator will produce a general idea of what you can expect in solar savings.  This is a great first step to determining whether a home is a good candidate for solar panels and it also provides a great benchmark for determining solar savings as time progresses.

Keep Close Track with Net Metering

Most homes that are solar powered are connected to the grid via net metering.  This is a system of billing that keeps track of homes’ utility meter to determine the amount of energy produced.  The electricity homeowners’ solar panels generates is recorded in net metering and the solar savings are reflected in monthly electric bills.

Generally, homeowners can generate enough electricity to avoid paying an electric bill.  These savings can add up significantly for homeowners used to paying hundreds of dollars in electricity every month. If solar panels produce more energy than is actually used, then that energy is sold back to the grid and the electric company will reimburse homeowners for the extra power. A check every month can be a great way to keep track of the cost savings from switching to solar power.

The initial investment in a solar system can be daunting for some homeowners, but as they begin to see their solar savings for themselves it’s clear they made a smart investment.  Becoming energy neutral and paying nothing to your electric company is a great feeling, but as time goes on, your solar panels will pay for themselves and that is an amazing feeling.

If you are wondering how much you can save with solar panels, we can help! Call us today for an estimate.

Call Top Tier Home Energy (949) 296-2296.


The holidays are upon us and across the nation, temperatures are rising on the West Coast and dropping on the East Coast. What this means to home owners is that air conditioning and heating costs will soar as more electricity is being consumed. For home owners with solar panels, they won’t experience this energy suck and drain on their bank account.  However, to keep up the savings and potential checks from the electric company for purchased energy credits, it’s imperative that homeowners know their peak sun hours and how to calculate them.

Determining Peak Sun Hours

Many home owners mistakenly assume that while their solar panels are absorbing sun half or even most of the day, this translates into the most stored energy. This contributes to home owners’ energy, but it’s not the most accurate representation of how much energy solar panels are producing.  Instead, it’s helpful to determine the hour or hours between which those sun panels are absorbing at least 1,000 watts per square meter.

Obviously, the sun changes positions in the sky depending on which coast a home owner is located on, how many hours of sun there is, and how intense the sun’s rays are.  We all learned from Twilight that Forks, Oregon has the least amount of sunlight per year.  This is an area that would be hard pressed to determine peak sun hours when the sun is out so rarely.

Consider the following elements that contribute to peak sun hours based on atmospheric conditions, location, position in the sky, time of day and more:

  • Time of Day: Solar noon is often considered the peak of solar radiation and peak sun hours. This is because the sun is highest in the sky. In contrast to sunrise and sunset, the sun is positioned at a low angle, filtering more sunlight and less energy being absorbed by solar panels.
  • Season: The hot months of summer and the higher position in the sky often increases peak sun hours.
  • Geography: Communities closer to the equator gain more solar energy due to their proximity to the sun.

Calculating Peak Sun Hours the Easy Way

Within the continental United States, most home owners can expect to receive between 3 and 5 peak sun hours.  This is based on location, seasonal sunlight, and the influence of atmospheric changes such as clouds and fog.  Some communities experience more hours of sunlight such as the West Coast and desert states such as Arizona compared to areas like Maine or New Hampshire, which experience more seasons than the West Coast.

Home owners are able to Google insolation maps and charts for more information, but an easier way to calculate specific home owners’ peak sun hours is really through an insolation meter.  An insolation meter is able to calculate temperature, light intensity and solar power supply to solar panels.

By determining peak sun hours, home owners are better able to make informed decisions on purchasing solar panels.  Use Top Tier Home Energy’s handy cost calculator to determine how much you can save.

We’ve all heard about the 2020 mandate for solar panels in all newly constructed California homes, but what about homes that were built before 2020?  Title 24’s mandate didn’t include upgrading older homes in the state. Many of these old homes can benefit from solar panels as well. Consider the following benefits for California home owners who switch to using solar panels:

Solar Panels Can Improve Our Air Quality

It’s not hard to see that as wild fires rage uncontained at the moment, that California’s air quality is not good.  Even in times without crisis, our air in California is often described as smoggy.  Smog alerts encourage children to stay indoors and off the playground because the air quality is often so bad.  With solar panels, Californians can do their part to improve our air quality. Because solar energy is a renewable energy, it doesn’t pollute the air.  Homes which are using solar panels to generate electricity and for heating and cooling don’t produce any harmful emissions.  Instead, they harness the power of the sun, a clean renewable source of energy.  Because panels are so affordable, homes in especially dense urban areas like Los Angeles, San Francisco, or even Orange County can do their part to improve air quality.

Increased Money in Your Bank Account

Homes can be extremely expensive, especially to heat and cool.  Apartment dwellers may have it easy but for new home owners, the cost of electricity can be shocking.  The larger your home, the more expensive it can get. Electricity in large homes is already expensive, but when the temperatures soar or dip dramatically, Californians’ electric bills can look like your paycheck from your first job out of school.  Solar panels, in contrast, are affordable and easy to maintain, reducing your need to buy electricity and pay half of your paycheck for it. Keep more of your money where it belongs- in your bank account by switching to clean solar energy.

Low Maintenance Costs

Maintaining your solar panels is easy and cost effective.  In fact, they are so sturdy that manufacturers generally offer 20 to 25 year warranties on their products.  You won’t have to spend more money every year replacing equipment.  No matter how much the elements beat at your panels, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of solar energy for decades.  No other source of energy can claim to be so affordable for so long.

It’s clear that Californians need solar energy.  For more information on how you can benefit from installing solar panels, contact us at Top Tier Home Energy (949) 296-2296.



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