SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California has long been a leader in solar power installations, but recently the northern part of the state has gained momentum as a leader in solar housing developments. A community in Rocklin, Calif., located northeast of Sacramento, was the first community to be approved by the state of California under its New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP).

As part of the California Solar Initiative, the NSHP provides significant rebates for homes that feature solar electric systems, include Energy Star appliances, and exceed the state's energy efficiency standards by at least 15 percent. With some help from utility rebate programs, the NSHP also encourages homes to be built 35 percent to 40 percent more efficient than the state's energy efficiency standards.

At Rocklin's Wisteria community, built by Christopherson Homes, a 2.3-kilowatt solar power system will be integrated into the roof of each of the 30 remaining homes as part of their purchase price. That system will be installed by the Solar Solutions division of Old Country Roofing (OCR), the largest roofing contractor in northern California.

Publication date:09/10/2007