California Board Rules All Future Homes Will Be Equipped with Solar Power

Randal Sanchez
May 10, 2018

Builders in California will be required to fit solar panels on most new homes from 2020 under new building standards adopted on Wednesday, a move that is the first in the United States and could provide a big boost to the solar industry.

The proposed new requirements would add an estimated $8,400 to $12,400 to the current cost of building a home, depending where in the state it's located, Raymer said. The standards also set requirements for newly-built healthcare facilities, apart from residential properties. "By demonstrating a very expensive way to reduce greenhouse gases, I think this could very likely be used in other states and countries as an argument against moving towards renewable energy".

California's housing department estimates that the state needs to build 180,000 new housing units annually to keep prices stable.

"This is an undeniably historic decision for the state and the US", said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, a trade association with about 1,000 member companies.

Solar panels are popular with California consumers for their effect on energy costs and already found on about 5 percent of homes. In California's coastal communities, at least, research has found that the sharp rise in housing costs is mostly driven by rising land costs, said Issi Romem, chief economist at BuildZoom, a permit and contractor data analysis website.

The California Energy Commission hopes the first-of-its-kind statewide requirement will be a boon for homeowners and the environment. "Until we tackle that problem, doing things like requiring solar panels on new construction is a band aid, ' he said". According to the draft of the new energy standards from 2020 during the construction of any residential building, its owners will have to be installed on the building of solar panels.

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The rules now go to the state Building Standards Commission, where they were expected to easily win approval.

But the upfront costs of solar panels of $10,000 or more, could be hard to cover for first-time homebuyers. But as per the expert's view, this extra investment done while building new homes will be recovered as there will be saving on energy bills for a lifetime.

"It is my hope and belief that when other states, many of which are developing rapidly growing solar markets of their own", she continues, "see the benefits of this policy, they will develop similarly aggressive policies".

"All Californians want cleaner air and lower greenhouse gas emissions". Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

"I think there are indeed limited political resources that can be mustered against climate change", Borenstein said in a follow-up email.

California just became the first state to mandate solar panels on almost all new residential homes.

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