California Regulators Give Go-ahead for Solar Panels on New Homes

California first US state to require solar on new homes

California first US state to require solar on new homes

The move was meant to help cut energy use in new homes by over 50% and is expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 115,000 cars off the roads.

The commission endorsed the requirement after representatives of builders, utilities and solar manufacturers voiced support.

At the end of 2017, 16 percent of California's energy came from solar panels.

As per estimates of the California Energy Commission, installation of solar panel would increase construction costs of a single-family home by almost US$10,000.

Adding solar panels would boost construction costs by $9,500 for a single-family home but save owners about $19,000 in energy and other expenses over 30 years, the Energy Commission estimated.


The minimum amount of solar power required by the new standards wouldn't be enough to meet all the needs of most homes. "ICRA believes that the hybrid projects are likely to be competitive in tariffs w.r.t to individual wind or solar energy projects, given the benefits associated with hybrid projects (mainly in respect of lower capital cost, optimization of transmission infrastructure & higher generation expected)".

On the contrary, Republican legislative leaders have expressed concern that cost of add-ons on housing will be unaffordable by Californians who are already grappling with the brunt of an extremely expensive market. It applies to single-family houses and multifamily units that are three stories or under.

The regulations include exceptions for when solar panels aren't cost-effective or feasible, such as on a home shrouded in shade.

On May 14, Food Works, a non-profit in Carbondale, and AES Solar, a solar energy company in Carterville, walked local farmers and members from the public to talk about what they can do to go solar. "Now, California is taking bold leadership again, recognizing that solar should be as commonplace as the front door that welcomes you home". The California Solar & Storage Association estimates roughly 150,000 solar system installations on homes in California annually.

California has set a goal of all residential buildings being "zero net energy", meaning they produce as much energy as they consume.

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