Solar Panels for all new Homes in California will be Required by 2020
The California Energy Commission unanimously voted yesterday to require that new homes in the state have solar panels on their roofs. The mandate takes effect in 2020 and it will officially make California the first state in the nation to require new homes to have solar panels on their roofs. Under the mandate, builders who acquire construction permits issued on Jan. 1, 2020 or later must comply. Commissioner Andrew McAllister believes that the solar industry is now mature enough and ready for the mandate. Commissioner David Hochschild stated the following after the vote to approve the mandate,
We are the first, we will not be the last. This is a landmark vote today.
The solar rules will apply to new single-family homes and new multi-family housing of three stories or fewer. However, some new houses will be exempt if solar panels are infeasible, such as when a roof is obstructed by another structure. The state exempted taller housing structures where there is not enough space on the rooftop to handle residents’ electric needs. The commission also adopted new standards that are expected to increase the energy efficiency of attics, insulation, walls, and windows.
Although it is said that costs will increase by almost $9,500 per home, expect that cost to be 2-5 times that amount when you consider permits, connection and supply costs. Home prices have been soaring in California and the supply of houses has failed to keep up with the demand. According to Energy Commission spokeswoman Amber Beck, the agency estimates that the typical monthly mortgage payment could increase by $40 as a result of higher home prices, but increased energy efficiency could cut monthly utility bills by about $80. We will have to wait and see how the California Energy Commission’s mandate will impact the affordability of houses when it goes into effect and how much repair costs will be to fix solar panels.