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.


As a homeowner considering solar installation, it is helpful to know the process of panel installation. After signing your contract there is a 5 Step process that happens before your solar panels are even installed on your roof. You have the right to the information involved in the process. Therefore, we have created a 5 Step Guide for you to know what to expect with your solar installation.

The average time for your solar panels to be installed, connected to the grid and producing energy for your home takes about one to three months once you have signed your contract with your solar installer. Solar installation doesn’t happen overnight or in a couple days as most people would think so here is the 5 Step guideline.

1. The First Step: A visit from the Engineer:

Soon after signing your contract with your selected solar provider one of two visits will occur.

You will get an engineer visit or a contractor visit to evaluate your home prior to solar installation.

An engineer will come by your property to evaluate the electrical compatibility of your home with the new energy system. The engineer will either be working for the company you signed your contract with or they will be an independent engineer directly contracted by that company.

The contractor visit involves an evaluation of the roof type, size of solar system that needs to be installed, angle of the roof, shade and sun exposure. They will, in some cases, also take pictures of the sight to show to the engineer. An engineer will then sign off on the job without coming to evaluate the home.

The evaluation process by either party includes checking your roof to make sure it is structurally sound to support the solar panels. The next thing the engineer will check is your electrical box, (the grey box located either in your basement or on the side of your house) to see if it has the capacity for the amps that will be moving through it for the new solar panels or if it needs to be upgraded. Along with the  visit, your home will be inspected by your local town government representative. This representative will make sure the whole solar installation process will be done properly.


2. The Second Step: Permits and Documents Prior to Solar Installation:

There are different ways to purchase solar panels. You can lease, take out a loan, purchase with cash or in-full, or through a power purchase agreement with the government. There are different forms of power purchase agreements with the government. The State and Federal Solar incentives are; Federal ITC, PACE, government Rebates, SRECs (Solar Renewable Energy Certifications) and local solar programs.

There is a lot of paperwork involved in the solar panel process just like in  most  big financial contracts. Among this paperwork you will find financial incentives along with the building permits. Depending on the state you live in there are different solar installation requirements. For example; certain states require a certain amount of space between the edge of the roof and the end of the solar panels, other states allow you to cover the whole roof from top to bottom. Your installer will know which requirements apply to you and your solar installation. A great thing about the company you choose and the paperwork is that the installer will fill out the paperwork for you. Nevertheless, you should still know what is in the paperwork and contracts .

The time frame for this second step of the process depends on your installer and how fast he fills out the paperwork and gets it all submitted. Make sure you keep checking in with your installer so that things get done in a timely manner.

3. Solar Installation Scheduling and Equipment Ordering:

Before you can order your equipment you will have to chose which equipment you would like installed. This decision will be done before you sign your contract. There are multiple companies that manufacture Solar Panels. To pick the right equipment for you there are two things to consider; Solar Panels and Inverters. The company you are working with will most likely have a company that they mainly work with but make sure you do your research on multiple companies to make sure you pick the right equipment.

What you need to look for is durability, efficiency, aesthetics and price. Spend time researching the highest rated Solar Panels, Micro inverters vs. String Inverters vs. Power Optimizers.

Once you have chosen the equipment you want installed on your home, signed the contract, had your inspection, and the paperwork has been submitted and approved, you can order the equipment and set the installation date. The solar installation date is normally scheduled the day your equipment is delivered. Scheduling also depends on how busy the company you’re working with is.

4. Installation Day:

There are multiple steps to the solar installation process. The normal solar installation time frame is one to three days.

The first step is the roof inspection; the installer inspects the shingles to make sure they are all in good condition and that they are all attached properly.

The second step is to set up all the wiring that will connect the electrical panel to the general power system of the panels.

The third step is installing the railing that attaches the panels to the roof. This railing will stabilize the panels and will be the only thing attached to the roof. This is a very important step, the installer needs to make sure everything is secure so that the panels do not come loose and fall from the roof.

The forth step is attaching the solar panels to the railing. The installer needs to make sure the railing is level so the panels are straight and level.

The fifth and final step in the solar installation process is the installer connecting the inverters to your electrical panel. The inverters convert direct current (DC) energy into alternating current (AC) energy which is used in homes and on the electrical grid.

There might be one additional step and piece of equipment needed for the solar installation; this will add time to the solar installation. The installer may need to install a power meter for Net Metering. You should do your research if you want a Net meter installed or a SREC. Net Metering is a system of “debit and credit”. If you use more energy than you’re pulling in you will still owe, if you pull in more energy than you use than you will have a credit on your energy bill.

5. Solar Installation Approval:

The last thing that needs to be done in the whole process of having Solar Panels installed on your home is to have the local government representative approve that the solar installation was done correctly. They will need to approve the wiring, railing installation, panel installation and securing and that the whole solar installation meets the local requirements and codes.

Once your solar representative approves the solar installation, a representative from the local electric company will come and do a second inspection to make sure the wiring is done correctly to their codes and requirements. When given the okay from both representatives you will be all set and ready to start generating energy for your home. The whole inspection and approval process will take about two weeks to complete.

The time frame can be extensive depending on how much research you do before making your decision and signing your contract. Once all is said and done it will be well worth the wait.

Top Tier Home Energy is committed in providing the best quality solar panels with the most efficient solar installation time. Our team provides the highest quality customer service and will be with you every step of the way.

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


We’ve seen a lot of growth in the Solar Industry, and, as a result, we have also seen a lot of companies come and go. Why, do you ask? It’s due to how companies define their success. Many homeowners are in a panic due to the inability to dissolve their solar contracts with their current solar power contractor, even if that company is no longer around.

How does a solar power contractor define success? In a number of ways: Gross Sales, Wattages Sold, or even the total number of installations.

At Top Tier Home Energy, we have been in business for over 10 years. We define success by quality installations and happy customers. We welcome our customers into our Top Tier Home Energy family because that is the dynamic we strive to create. A long lasting bond reinforced with a genuine, caring staff. Not all solar power contractor businesses are the same. Top Tier Home Energy is not looking to make a quick buck, but to deliver the best quality solar installations. We have over a thousand happy customers and over eleven thousand kilowatts installed, but our priority has always been establishing an excellent reputation through quality work as your solar power contractor.

How can you, the customer, know which solar power contractor is the best choice for your Solar project?

We recommend doing some research. Look into companies, parts, and the installation process. Call the offices, ask questions and communicate with contractors. A little time invested can yield big rewards and avoid headaches in the long term.

At Top Tier Solar, we support our customers by offering honest answers and making ourselves available.

Here are some topics for you to look at when choosing the best company:

  •  Check with the BBB and State Licensing Board for any complaints towards the company from previous clients.
  • Check with the State Licensing Board if a solar power contractor has a State License that they’re current with.
  • Check to make sure the companies Worker’s Compensation and General Liability Insurances are current.
  • Check that the employees are NABCEP PV installer verified and that you are getting proper and quality work done.
  • Check Google, Yelp, Facebook, BBB, etc. for reviews on the solar power contractor.
  •  Ask to call prior customers of the company for references and referrals. Even customers from a few years back.
  • Make a list of your concerns, wants and needs and ask the solar power contractor questions to make sure all your needs are being met.
  • Make a visit to their office and meet the employees and see how the business is operating.
  • Ask about Financing availability, including leases and PACE.
  • Ask if the solar power contractor is outsourcing the labor. If so ask which company they are outsourcing to and do the same research on them.

When selecting a solar power contractor, follow the above tips and take your time. At Top Tier Home Energy, we are happy to help you during your decision making process. In Southern California, Top Tier Home Energy is your premier solar panel installation company.

We are happy to help you with any Solar Panel questions you have:
Top Tier Home Energy  (949) 296-2296.


Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Instagram