St. Louis Passes Solar Roof Mandate


Last month, St. Louis became the latest city to pass green roof legislation—in this case, roofs on new construction must be “solar ready.”

Board Bill 146, which was signed into legislation in December by Mayor Lyda Krewson and was unanimously approved by the city’s Board of Aldermen, applies to commercial, residential and multifamily construction. Lawmakers cited energy savings for the push.

“Up until now, it has been only the people who can afford the up-front installation costs of solar power who benefit from the lower electric rates,” said Alderwoman Heather Navarro, who introduced the bill.

“This bill levels the playing field and better positions city residents to take advantage of solar power.”

The requirement is also in compliance with the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code and goes toward the Michael Bloomberg initiative (which the city is a member of) to fight climate change.

"As Mayor, I want people to know that this administration is taking the climate crisis seriously and meeting its challenges head-on, especially at the local level," Krewson said in a statement. "That includes signing this historic solar readiness bill, which reflects that commitment."

Other Legislation

The St. Louis regulation comes after multiple cities have enacted similar requirements, most notably seen in New York City with its Climate Mobilization Act.

In April of last year, New York City council approved a package of bills and resolutions—known as the Climate Mobilization Act—intended for radical energy efficient improvements. The act requires that all new residential and commercial buildings in the city have green roofs made up of either plants, solar panels or small wind turbines—or a combination of all three.

In October, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to conduct deep energy retrofits throughout the city.

Also last year, Nebraska updated the state’s energy codes for residential and commercial buildings for the first significant time in a decade, taking cues from both Boston and Ontario, which updated their regulations to get new construction as close to net zero as possible.

In 2018, Denver passed its Green Roof Initiative, which not only requires new, large buildings to be constructed with green roofs, but also requires buildings of a certain size to install a green roof when the current one is up for replacement.

Also at the end of 2018, California’s Building Standards Commission gave the final approval for codes that mandate the requirement for solar panels on new homes making it the first state to have such a rule. That is slated to take effect this year.


Tagged categories: Environmental Controls; Good Technical Practice; Government; Green roofs; Laws and litigation; NA; North America; Regulations; Solar; Solar energy

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