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Miami passes solar panel law for new builds and some renovations

A groundbreaking new construction law proposal is now a reality for residents in South Miami who are looking to build a new home. Recently, the City Commission passed a law requiring new home builds to incorporate solar energy into their design and construction. The new law also applies to certain renovation projects as well.

As you might expect from such a dramatic piece of legislation, the new law does not please all Florida citizens. Some builders' groups are opposed, saying that South Miami should consider setting up an incentive program instead of a law. The main reason for the opposition is that installing solar panels will likely lead to increased construction costs, even after factoring in credits provided by the government.

Philip Stoddard, the mayor of South Miami, expressed excitement about the law by saying, "We made history." He added that while the law will not change the world, it may help raise awareness about solar energy. The law will take effect in September and includes the following requirements.

New residential construction projects must feature "175 square feet of solar panel" per each 1,000 square feet of sun-exposed roof. Alternatively, new homes could opt for one solar panel so long as it provides 2.75 kilowatts of energy for each 1,000 square feet of residential space.

As the world changes, construction laws must also change in order to remain effective in modern times. All residents in the Sarasota region who are planning to build a new home should take steps to make certain the contractors they engage understand these laws. Speaking with an attorney who remains up-to-date on the law can help.

Source: Next City, "South Miami Passes Solar Panel Mandate," Rachel Dovey, Aug. 3, 2017

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