California moves toward solar panel requirement

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The solar panel requirement, which applies to new single and multi-family home construction up to three stories high, was included in an update to the state's building energy efficiency standards.

The California Energy Comission says that the new rule should cost the average single-family homeowner an additional $10,000 or so in upfront building costs. "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".

A strategic plan drafted by the California Public Utilities Commission in 2008 called for all new construction by 2020 to have net-zero energy needs - that is, to produce enough electricity on their own to avoid having to buy it from the power grid.

The new building standard - unanimously approved by the five-member California Energy Commission - would be the first such statewide mandate in the nation.

This would make California the first state to implement this sort of requirement.

Companies like KB Homes that already offer solar systems in their new homes are the best positioned to take on the new requirements.

The standards must still be approved by the state's Building Standards Commission, according to ABC7.

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Around 15,000 new homes are built each year that include solar panels, according to the CEC. It goes into effect January 1, 2020, and includes all condominiums and apartment buildings up to three stories high.

The Energy Commissioners is taking a significant step to continue its push for lowering greenhouse gas emissions - using the sun as its saver.

In this tight housing market, any roof - with or without solar panels - is desirable, real estate agents say.

Backers claim the solar rules are necessary to comply with the state's stringent renewable energy mandate, which requires utilities to derive at least 50 percent of its electricity from clean sources by 2030. Gov.

Homebuilders, which are responsible for complying with the new codes, will have optionality in how they comply with the new solar mandate, she added in an interview. But how quickly the investment yields returns depends on a whole host of factors, including how big your solar panels are, the price of energy where you live, and how much sun you get.

As explained in a blog from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the policy, which is the first of its kind in the USA, "will combine rooftop solar panels with enough energy efficiency measures like insulation and better windows" - in turn, bringing the building to net-zero electricity.