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Austin Energy gets Solar Ready-er

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 by Sommer Brugal

Austin Energy presented updates to the Solar Ready Amendments to the Energy Code at the Austin Energy Utility Oversight Committee Monday morning. According to Kurt Stogdill, Green Building and Sustainability manager at Austin Energy, the Solar Ready amendment addresses both new commercial and residential construction, and changes the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code. “What it’s meant to do during the design stage (of construction) is get designers to designate portions of the roof to be solar ready,” explained Stogdill. He said that includes designing a roof free from obstructions, like vents and air conditioning units. And while the amendment calls for appropriate roof orientation and electric panel space, it doesn’t require owners to actually install solar. Council Member Leslie Pool, the committee’s chair, compared the amendment to past changes seen in city codes. “What we’re looking at here is the (accommodation for) a new type of energy where people 50 years ago were retrofitting their bungalows to put in air conditioning.” While it was costly then, Pool said it’s now the norm. She said it simply “makes sense.” Stogdill said Austin Energy hopes the Solar Ready Amendment will come into effect in October 2017.

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