Curbed: City in California Could Be the First in the Country to Reach Net-Zero Energy

A proposed ordinance in Lancaster, California would require all homes to produce or purchase energy from renewable sources.

Lancaster, California is taking its commitment to clean energy to the next level. The city—which already boasts solar powered public buildings—could be the first in the U.S. to go net-zero energy, meaning it will produce as much energy as it consumes. It wouldn’t be the first time Lancaster led the way—back in 2013, it became the first U.S. city to require solar panels to be installed on every new single-family home.

Now, the City Council is adopting a new ordinance that builds on those requirements. New homes will be required to have solar panels that generate two watts of energy for every square foot, pay $1.40 mitigation fees per square foot to get the energy generation portion of their bill halved, or some combination of the two. The plan is expected to go into effect by the end of 2017.

In a press release cited by Curbed, Mayor R. Rex Parris said, “The Zero Net Energy Home Ordinance expands upon Lancaster’s residential solar ordinance so that new homes built in Lancaster now will not only be environmentally friendly, but have a zero net impact on our environment, while reducing energy costs for the homeowners.”

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