nsucurrent.com May 24, 2018

California Mandates Solar Panels on New Homes

10 May 2018, 01:23 | Ruby West

California moves to require solar panels on all new homes by 2020

State officials to vote today on requiring solar for all new homes by 2020

They still need backing from the state's Building Standards Commission.

"This is groundbreaking", said Pierre Delforge, senior scientist for the Natural Resources Defense Council. It goes into effect January 1, 2020, and includes all condominiums and apartment buildings up to three stories high.

Adding solar panels would boost construction costs by $9,500 for a single-family home but save owners about $19,000 in energy and other expenses over 30 years, the Energy Commission estimated.

The environmental costs saved are perhaps even more significant, the NRDC said. The combination of rooftop solar and the option to add energy storage systems as an efficiency compliance credit provides builders with an attractive, cost-effective option to fully electrify homes.

"Adoption of these standards represents a quantum leap in statewide building standards", said Bob Reymer with the California Building Industry Association.

The Golden State is one step closer to becoming The Solar State. In some counties, such as San Mateo and Santa Clara, the median home price has exceeded $1.4 million.

The solar rules will apply to new single-family homes and new multi-family housing of three stories or fewer. Raymer acknowledged that the ambitious plan will probably roll in with some "hiccups".

The legislation will make California the first state to require solar panels.

Local real estate agents say homeowners are more interested in a broad range of efficient devices - including windows, heating and cooling systems and appliances. They would still have to draw some of their electricity from the power grid. In some instances, the solar requirement can be met through a shared installation within a community. "And keep that power on-site for use in the early evening hours when electrical rates go way up". This rule will come into force in 2020.

California, the 5 largest economy in the world, is about to mandate the installation of solar panels in all the new homes.

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) already ranks California as the top state in the USA when it comes to solar energy.

Several other states have considered similar measures, so it remains to be seen if California will be a trendsetter for the rest of the nation.

The California Energy Commission says the move will save consumers tens of thousands of dollars in the long run on their monthly energy bills, but they'll have to pay more up front.

But this feel-good change to the building code is a questionable public policy for cutting greenhouse-gas emissions. The company regularly help customers through the transactions, she said.

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