California's rooftop solar rule is a pricey path to emissions reductions

Calif. Agency Approves Solar Panels For All New Homes

Calif. Agency Approves Solar Panels For All New Homes

A state board in California has approved a proposal to require solar panels on all new homes beginning in 2020, a measure that would increase the cost of new construction but provide savings on utilities - and help the state meet ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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 mandates, which have gained support from the construction industry, include new insulation and air filter requirements and are part of a larger effort to update building standards in order to use new structures to combat climate change.

"Other states may not be ready for this step yet, but this is a precedent-setting policy - one that will bring enormous benefits and cost savings to consumers". The California Building Standards Commission still needs to approve the change, and that hearing is scheduled for the end of this year.

California will soon become the first state in the country to require solar panels on new homes. Last year, the California Association of Realtors released a report saying that about 70 percent of the state couldn't afford the median home price of more than $550,000.

Energy Commission spokeswoman Amber Beck said the agency estimates that the typical monthly mortgage payment could rise by $40 as a result of a higher home prices, but increased energy efficiency will cut monthly utility bills by about $80. The state's Building Standards Commission will vote later this year. In the event a building isn't suitable for a rooftop array, the standards require homes have access to community solar or offset energy usage through additional efficiency gains.

Wednesday's groundbreaking decision will have a financial drawback: the required solar panels are expected to add around $10,000 to individual new home costs.

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California is already the nation's No. 1 market for solar installation.

Solar panels aren't the only new requirement. 'Homes had to have a certain amount of space on the roof so a homeowner could add a solar panel later on if he chooses'.

The final building code will be adopted in early to mid-2019 and become effective for all new homes and buildings receiving permits after January 1, 2020.

The regulation does not take effect immediately and must also obtain the approval of the state's Building Standards Commission, AP explained, an action which presumably is likely.

California has pushed for more electric vehicles on the roads and fewer emissions from residential and commercial buildings, positioning itself as the nationwide leader on clean energy, pushing.

Currently, California has a law that says 50% of the state's electricity should be coming from non-carbon sources by 2030.

"Solar panels have been more hit or miss", Masching said.

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