R. Rex Parris is the republican Mayor of Lancaster, California and a man on a mission - to make his city net zero in energy usage terms. A tall order to most, he is confident that is can be achieved using his practical multi-pronged approach.
Starting with residential housing, Parris worked with large-scale builders to develop zero net homes. These homes include a solar option with lower overall monthly payments so purchasers can afford a bigger house. Savings over the longer term include a 40% reduction in water consumption and a third less on gas - an impressive overall saving $4,452 (est) annually.
Stage two was to address the onerous bureaucratic process for solar installation. Parris introduced a one stop shop approach to permitting, removing these key barriers to the process.
Finally, inspection - houses to be inspected are 30% more efficient, so Parris is working to increase ordinance for new homes. Public buildings have also been converted with 97% of municipal buildings and schools now solar. Incredibly, they are are in fact making money for local government.
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