Will California’s Solar Mandate Mean Simpler Roof Repairs In The End?

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Simplicity is best when it comes to solar and roof repairs.

California’s decision to mandate solar power on the roofs of new homes last year may have a broad unintended consequence: Simplified roof design and roof repairs.

That, at least, is the premise of a recent San Francisco Chronicle article. Solar is better served by a simple, straightforward design, which can also make roof repairs more straightforward. According to the Chronicle:

A basic gable roof with a large south-facing slope is ideal, according to Ann Edminster, founder of Design Avenues, a green-home consulting firm in Pacifica. But that’s not what you see going up in most California neighborhoods.

“Oftentimes roof designs are just too convoluted,” with hip forms and fake dormers that leave it looking chopped up, she said. “Somebody called it the crumbled paper style of roof designs.”

C.R. Herro, vice president of innovation with Meritage Homes, agreed. “The best thing (for solar) is a simple design. But municipalities have been pushing against that. They are looking for a much more dimensional, multiplane roof design. It reduces the amount of solar you can accommodate.”

Herro said it will be necessary to educate municipalities about the benefits of simplicity.

All of that may not immediately affect roof repairs in South Florida. That’s because what happens in California has a big impact throughout the country and even the entire world.

In May, the state surpassed the United Kingdom to become the world’s fifth-largest economy. According to the Associated Press:

California’s gross domestic product rose by $127 billion from 2016 to 2017, surpassing $2.7 trillion, the data said. Meanwhile, the UK’s economic output slightly shrunk over that time when measured in U.S. dollars, due in part to exchange rate fluctuations.

The data demonstrate the sheer immensity of California’s economy, home to nearly 40 million people, a thriving technology sector in Silicon Valley, the world’s entertainment capital in Hollywood and the nation’s salad bowl in the Central Valley agricultural heartland. It also reflects a substantial turnaround since the Great Recession.

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