The wide-reaching Homebuyer Solar Option and Solar Offset Program went into effect at the beginning of this year, and with it the California Energy Commission\u2019s regulatory framework established on Dec. 29. The program, which is an offshoot of SB 1, requires the commission to develop regulations requiring sellers of homes in subdivisions with at least 50 new single-family houses to offer the option of a solar energy system of 1 kW to 5 kW to all customers negotiating to buy a new home. Also under the law, the commission is required to develop an offset program that allows production home developers and sellers to go without the solar system as an option if they instead install solar energy systems on other projects. The commission voted to implement staff-devised procedures that developer\/sellers have to use when disclosing the Homebuyer Solar Option to a prospective home buyer. Requirements include the seller disclosing the estimated cost savings associated with the solar energy system option, annual statistical reporting by the seller, and periodic verification of compliance. The commission also approved compliance reporting and verification requirements that the developers and sellers have to obey, plus requirements for the Solar Offset Program, including an offset solar energy system capacity requirement of 5 MW and third-party verification of the components of the photovoltaic system and its installation. Commissioner Bob Weisenmiller said the rules were \u201cmeaningful standards that everyone could live with. I think all of us are committed to trying to move photovoltaic into the mainstream for new construction.\u201d He added that developing standards that encourage PV installations but also avoid adding to the state building industry\u2019s woes was \u201ca balancing act.\u201d Also, at the Energy Commission\u2019s last business meeting of 2010, the commission approved issuing about $725,000 in funding for energy research projects involving making high-tech windows more efficient and creating an analysis for energy storage technology. Milpitas-based Soladigm received $400,000 to develop a manufacturing process for low-cost windows that can switch from clear to tinted on demand. A branch of the University of California\u2019s Energy Institute received almost $325,000 to conduct an analysis of energy storage technology and develop a new energy storage \u201cvision\u201d for the state. Both research projects are funded through the Energy Commission\u2019s Public Interest Energy Research, or PIER, program.