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August average at 3,186 square feet
Manteca builders started work on 62 additional single family homes in August. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

August was a hot month in Manteca for residential solar.
The City of Manteca issued 50 permits last month for residential solar panels designed to generate electricity. That’s almost half of the 111 solar power systems installed to date that have a combined value of $3 million.
Manteca is on pace to eclipse 2015 when 148 residential solar panel units were installed at a cost of $3.18 million.
Nearly 1,700 Manteca homes have solar systems for electricity today. That’s roughly 8 percent of all single family homes in Manteca.
A report issued a year ago by the city’s building division noted 600 residential installations they had tracked over a 30-month period were designed to produce 3.37 megawatts or enough to supply all the electricity need of 593 homes. Those installations represented almost $12 million worth of investment based on the average price for a single family home installation of $18,148
The city issued its first photovoltaic permit in 2008. There were 24 permits issued that year. The number jumped to  92 in 2009, dropped to 70 in 2008 and 55 in 2011 before rebounding slightly to 80 in 2012. Then the tax credit came into play as well as the PG&E California Solar Initiative Residential that has since lapsed to send permits up to 211 in 2013. There were 451 issued in 2014. The tax credit is scheduled to expire at the end of this year.
Manteca typically completes checks for the systems in one day with many often reviewed and approved “over the counter.”
Some cities in California such as Sebastopol have a solar mandate for new residential and commercial buildings as well as major renovations of existing structures.
Chula Vista requires electrical conduits and plumbing to be installed in new construction to allow homeowners, if they want, to add solar photovoltaic systems or solar hot-water systems. Lancaster requires new subdivisions to produce the equivalent of one kilowatt of solar electricity per housing unit built.
Solar power has replaced swimming pools as the favorite residential add-on. Back in the late 1990s, Manteca was averaging almost 300 new swimming pool or spa installations.
In August Manteca issued eight permits for swimming pools or spas. That brings the 2016 total through Aug. 30 to 31 swimming pools/spas valued at $1.099 million.

New single family
homes still king
Manteca in August issued 62 permits for single family homes — production, custom, and models — with a combined value of $12 million. They average 3,186 square feet apiece. That represents the largest footprint yet for any given month in terms of the average house being built in Manteca. Even in the run up to the housing peak in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Manteca builders didn’t break the 3,000-square-foot barrier in any given year or month for typical home sizes.
To date, Manteca has issued building permits for 276 single family homes with an average square footage of 3,133. The overall value of those homes is $44.6 million or more than two thirds of Manteca’s total construction activity of $58.7 million.
In the last 8.5 years Manteca has added 3,138 homes to support a population that is equal to Escalon’s 7,500 residents, based on typical home occupancy yields. That includes 965 homes combined in 2014 and 2015.