Require Rooftop Installation of Solar Panels or Gardens

Target: Michael Nearman, Building Standards Commission Executive Director

Goal: Require all buildings in commercial zones be topped with solar panels or plants.

The state of California uses about 300,000 gigawatt hours of electricity annually, and only 3,791 megawatts come from rooftop solar panels. Currently, over fifty percent of the total electricity system’s power in California is fueled by fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas. It is imperative that we take advantage of all renewable energy sources, and requiring rooftops to have either solar panels or plants is one way to do so.

California has between 284-340 sunny days per year, which has the potential to produce 76,000 megawatts of solar energy from rooftops alone. There is no current requirement to install solar panels in either commercial or residential structures across the state. Solar initiatives only appeal to homeowners commercially by providing power reabsorption into the energy grid for a reduced electric bill; however, both homeowners and commercial buildings can contribute to California’s reduced dependency on fossil fuels with solar panels.

Some of the issues related to solar panel installation include rooftops that are not oriented properly for solar panels, rooftops that are not provided with sufficient sunlight for the solar panels to be valuable resources, or those where solar panels would create a glare in nearby buildings. In this case, a rooftop garden would be a viable option for these buildings. Many palms and rubber plants have the capacity to clean toxins from the air, which would still take advantage of the space and sunlight or shade hours in order for these rooftops to provide use.

Sign the petition below to urge the Building Standards Commission Executive Director to require solar panel installation or rooftop gardens in all building in the state of California in order to promote environmental sustainability across the state.


Dear Mr. Nearman,

California has an average of 284-340 sunny days a year, which has the potential to create 76,000 megawatts of solar energy from rooftop solar panels alone. Due to the fact that over half of California’s energy comes from non-renewable fossil fuels, the state is currently in an energy death spiral. It is imperative that California take advantage of all non-renewable energy sources in order to remove our dependency on non-sustainable energy.

Solar energy does come with some drawbacks. For example, some buildings are not oriented to receive full solar energy potential, and some high rise rooftops are in the shadow of surrounding buildings. In this case, instead of being exempt from rooftop regulations, pollutant-reducing plants can be placed in rooftop gardens in order to continue green efforts across the state.

I am urging you to encourage the installation of solar energy panels or rooftop gardens in all buildings in California. Please take action to enforce policies that encourage harnessing green energy and promote environmental sustainability.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Lewis Clarke

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