Published: Thu, May 10, 2018
Finance | By Gustavo Carr

CALIFORNIA SCHEMIN': California Becomes First State to MANDATE Solar Panels

CALIFORNIA SCHEMIN': California Becomes First State to MANDATE Solar Panels

Solar Power in California Homes will be a requirement in any new build in the state.

In a groundbreaking decision, the California Energy Commission voted today to require the installation of solar panels on most newly built single-family homes and multifamily buildings of three stories or fewer. The commission calculates it would cost approximately $9,500 per home.

In addition to solar, the proposed energy rules would require additional improvements to insulation in the walls and attics of new homes as well as more efficient windows, water heaters and other appliances.

The regulation is the culmination of 10 years' worth of consultations between state regulators and industry groups such as California Building Industry Association, which apparently deemed the mandate inevitable and generally supported it in its final form. The rules would take effect in January 2020. "With everything happening in the country right now and President Trump's obsession with coal and the continuing strength of the oil industry, California needs to be aggressive in moving towards a clean energy future, and this is one step in that direction".

But builders put the costs of adding on solar to all new homes much higher. "People want to buy houses with solar on it", said McAllister.

Some have noted that the ability of richer residents to indulge their need to go solar actually drives up costs for those who don't have the money to install the systems.

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"I can't over state how strongly I feel about normalizing the solar experience so it feels less risky to the consumer", said Ross Hopper. The new rules will also help the state come in line with its goal of having 50 percent of its electric power supplied by solar by 2030, according to The New York Times.

The commission's action on new 2019 building energy efficiency standards also apply to everything from current ventilation systems to indoor air quality. The current standards offer a solar-only credit, allowing for a trade off between solar power and energy efficiency.

"It's something that is cost-effective for the homebuyer, the homeowner and they can be cash-flow positive from day one with solar on the roof", said McCallister. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

He says ultimately, the customer is better off.

California is already the nation's No. 1 market for solar installation. Nationwide, single-family homes made up less than 70 percent of total housing units but were responsible for 80 percent of residential energy consumption. California's average home costs are already well above the national average thanks in part to a diminished supply - a challenge for which all six major gubernatorial candidates say they have a solution.

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