San Francisco makes rooftop solar mandatory for new buildings

San Francisco solar legislationOn Tuesday the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a new legislation that makes it mandatory for many new buildings to have solar installations. The new ruling will mean any new building of up to 10 stories in height will have to install solar PV or solar thermal.

San Francisco is the first large US city to adopt the legislation and the ruling comes just a year after the announcement in France decreeing that all new buildings in commercial areas must incorporate a green roof or solar panels.

The new legislation comes into effect from 1 January 2017. It has been reported that the board is also expected to debate introducing a follow up legislation that allows a living roof to be installed as an acceptable alternative.

The San Francisco Examiner explained that to gauge the kind of impact the legislation could have the 'Department of Environment applied the proposal to construction projects in the pipeline in the third quarter of 2014 and found the 200 projects with solar installations would "avoid over 26,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year."'

Supervisor Scott Wiener, who put forth the new ruling, commented in a recent statement "By increasing our use of solar power, San Francisco is once again leading the nation in the fight against climate change and the reduction of our reliance on fossil fuels”

"Activating underutilised roof space is a smart and efficient way to promote the use of solar energy and improve our environment.”

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