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More information for Builders

Currently, California has tens of thousands of homeowners enjoying the benefits of solar on their homes

Eligible Energy Consultants

The Energy Commission expects that new residential buildings that are granted an incentive under the New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP) will be significantly more energy efficient than required by California's Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency Standards.

Because energy efficiency is the most cost-effective means to meet California's energy and environmental needs, adding efficiency measures that reduce energy demand will ensure that your solar project is as affordable as possible over the life of your home.


To qualify for NSHP incentives, builders must meet either one of two energy efficiency tiers:

Tier I - 15 percent reduction in the residential building's combined space heating, space cooling, and water heating energy compared to the Title 24 Standards in effect on the date the building permit was applied for.

Tier II - 35 percent reduction in the residential building's combined space heating, space cooling and water heating energy and 40 percent reduction in the residential building's space cooling (air conditioning) energy compared to the 2005 Title 24 Standards.

In addition, for either Tier I or II, each appliance provided by the builder must be an ENERGYSTAR® approved product if an ENERGYSTAR designation is applicable for that appliance.

Utility new construction programs will provide substantial additional incentives for meeting each of these energy efficiency tiers.


CEPE Energy Consultant

picture of CABEC certificate

To qualify for an incentive, you will be required to have a Certified Energy Plans Examiner (CEPE) energy consultant, approved by the California Association of Building Energy Consultants (CABEC), determine which energy efficiency measures are needed to meet the energy efficiency requirements and prepare the necessary documentation to must submit as part of the application.

A CEPE energy consultant will be able to identify those energy efficiency measures - including solar water heating - that would be most effective for your building using Energy Commission approved building energy software.

You may also want the CEPE energy consultant to use the NSHP PV Calculator to evaluate the performance of your PV solar energy system.

CABEC has a roster of CEPE energy consultants to choose from.

Most CEPE energy consultants provide services to a wide region or even statewide. The CEPE energy consultant can probably complete most of the work for you electronically and by telephone.

If you are having difficulty finding a CEPE energy consultant for your project, contact Kim Coolbaugh at CABEC by calling toll free at 1-877-530-3045.

For more information about incorporating solar in new homes, please see PV in New Construction.