California Regulator OKs Solar Panels Mandate For New Homes

Ebony Scott
May 10, 2018

While the step is significant, California has been preparing for the transition to solar energy for years, according to a spokeswoman for the state energy commission.

Percentage of California electricity from solar: 15.56%.

Luminalt solar installers Pam Quan, left, and Walter Morales, right, install solar panels on the roof of a home on May 9, 2018 in San Francisco. According to the AP, the mandate still needs final approval from the state's Building Standards Commission, which will likely happen. It cited Bob Raymer, technical director for the California Building Industry Association (CBIA), as saying that now 15% to 20% of new single-family homes have solar.

"We update energy codes every three years and in 2013 we required that all new homes be solar-ready", says spokeswoman April Beck.

The state is already the nation's leader for solar capacity.

The commission estimates they would add an average $10,500 in construction costs for a single-family home but generate about $16,000 in energy savings.

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Representatives of the construction, utility and solar industries all helped develop the new standard, and no industry groups spoke in opposition Wednesday.

"That's just going to drive the cost up and make California, once again, not affordable to live", Assemblyman Brian Dahle, the chamber's Republican leader, said Tuesday.

The requirement does include exceptions when solar panels aren't feasible - such as on a home shrouded in shade - or cost effective. A National Association of Realtors survey for the fourth quarter of 2017 listed four California markets among the nation's five most expensive. SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to build jobs and diversity, champion the use of cost-competitive solar in America, remove market barriers and educate the public on the benefits of solar energy.

"Battery storage technology will allow the homeowner to capture the cheaper electricity. the middle of the day", Raymer said.

'This is a step, a very important step, in a long trajectory that we have been planning for and telling the world, ' said Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister.

In 2007, the state set out to reach a zero net energy standard for all homes by 2020.

Other reports by GizPress

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