Thursday, 19 July, 2018

California Votes To Require Solar On Homes: 'An Undeniably Historic Decision'

State officials to vote today on requiring solar for all new homes by 2020 It's Official. All New California Homes Must Incorporate Solar
Kenneth Drake | 10 May, 2018, 14:25

The Associated Press reports the state's energy commission estimates that it would add $10,500 in construction costs for a single family dwelling, but generate $16,000 in energy savings. The standards also set requirements for newly-built healthcare facilities, apart from residential properties.

The state's energy commission projects that the standards will reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions by 1.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide over three years.

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

Starting in 2020, virtually all new homes in California will be required to incorporate advanced efficiency measures and rooftop solar - in a historic development for clean energy in the state.

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. Instead of delivering electricity from centralized fossil fuel power plants, the primary objective of California's energy grid is now to move electricity among various distributed solar and wind power generators.

Now less than 19 percent of the 80,000 or so new homes built each year in the state incorporate solar power systems.

The NRDC notes that the policy must still be approved by the state's Buildings Standards Commission, which will take up the proposal in December.


Although the new solar law will likely raise new home prices initially, there is a bigger phenomenon that's contributing to higher housing prices: California isn't building enough homes to keep up with the number of people who want to live there. Buildings ill-suited for solar, such as ones completely shaded by trees, are exempt, and homes may comply with the new code by tapping into a community solar energy system instead of having their own solar panels installed. Use of batteries to store solar energy will be crucial to cost savings, Raymer said.

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

The solar rules apply to all new construction and major renovation on buildings under three stories.

Some critics, though, question the wisdom of the transition to solar at a time when California is struggling with a dire housing crisis and skyrocketing housing costs.

Although unprecedented in many ways, the solar panel requirement will be incremental. "(In) California, we do believe in climate change, we do believe in facts ...

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

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