CA commercial real estate required to have solar by Jan. 1 2023

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 California Energy Commission mandates solar for commercial
Photo credit: CA Energy Commission / Canva

STATEWIDE – Coming January 1, 2023, California will require most new commercial properties and high rise residential projects to include solar power and battery storage.

The California Energy Commission (CEC) unanimously approved a change to the building codes, in August 2021, that requires many new commercial buildings to have solar panels and battery storage.

Hotels, offices, medical offices, health clinics, retailers, grocery stores, restaurants, schools and civic spaces are the buildings included in the change.

A similar measurement went into effect in 2020 that required new single-family homes and multifamily dwellings up to three stories high to include solar power.



California is one of only two states that create its own energy standards for building codes. Besides Washington, the rest use models from the International Code Council, which sometimes adopts energy-related standards developed by California.

The plan has met some opposition, mostly from Southern California Gas.

“Phasing out natural gas is fundamentally inconsistent with the CEC’s statutory mandate,” SoCalGas said in a 2020 court filing.

The CEC said it expects natural gas consumption to keep declining in the state as more renewable energy is added to the grid and buildings and transportation are electrified. 

“Difficult decisions about replacing aging gas infrastructure and managing investments to maintain energy reliability are needed,” the report said.

RELATED: Electrify America to generate 75 megawatts in the Mojave Desert

California has among the most aggressive climate policies in the nation, including a requirement that utilities generate 100% of their electricity from carbon-free sources by 2045.

About California Energy Commission

The Warren‐Alquist Act established the California Energy Commission in 1974.  As the state’s primary energy policy and planning agency, the Energy Commission is committed to reducing energy costs, curtailing greenhouse gas emissions, and ensuring a safe, resilient, and reliable supply of energy.

For more information on the California Energy Commission visit


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