We live in very exciting times! As new solar energy technologies and policies develop, they are making solar cost‑competitive with fossil fuels. Local governments in communities and counties across the U.S. can play an important role in helping enable more residents and businesses transition to solar energy sources. It’s a win-win for consumers, the environment and the economy.
California has gained significant positive results with sustainable energy incentive programs with record numbers of consumers going solar and driving more electric vehicles. Some of what CSE has learned in helping to drive such clean energy initiatives can help local government agencies to shape successful clean energy programs throughout California and across the country.
The idea of creating zero net energy (ZNE) homes and buildings is emerging as a realistic goal, for new construction and, to the extent possible, upgrading of existing building stock. While there are various definitions of ZNE, a broadly accepted meaning is a building or home that produces as much energy as it consumes over the course of a year.