California to mandate solar panels on new homes

09 May, 2018, 00:25 | Author: Sam Montgomery
  • Currently around one fifth of homes in California are built with solar capacity

The commission is set to adopt the new building energy standards that, in part, require all new homes constructed to include solar panels.

Even so, this could change the landscape for both California's energy and the market as a whole. The state government is preparing to pass a new law which will mandate that every new house, condo or other building up to three stories high must have solar panels installed and comply with a "net-zero energy" profile. The measure is meant to accelerate the adoption of solar power in the residential sector, which could help California achieve its environmental goals more quickly. A KB Home official said his firm has built more than 6,000 solar homes in the past seven years, mostly in California. It will establish the state's new energy standards, which aims to make the sources of renewable energy a requirement for new homes beginning 2020. True "zero-net-energy" homes still rely on the electric power grid at night, they explained, a time when more generating plants come online using fossil fuels to generate power. There will be exceptions to this rule, of course.

According to home builders in the state, the option to install solar panels has been continuously offered to buyers who don't mind the extra cost of green living.

Only between 15% and 20% of new home that are single family being built today have solar, said a member of the California Building Industry Association.

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"Zero net energy isn't enough", said Andrew McAllister, one of five state energy commissioners voting on the new homebuilding standards. Buildings with roofs that are too undersized for standard solar systems are debarred from the projected standards. That, in turn, could reduce the costs of panels and make solar more affordable in many places, not just in California or even the US.

In addition to the solar rule, California's plan is to also encourage all-electric homes so as to cut natural gas demand, the OCRegister said.

"We're not building enough housing already", Bill Watt, former president of the Orange County Building Industry Association, told the Orange County Register. They're never going to reach that net-zero goal.

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