Thursday, 24 May, 2018

California to Require All New Homes to Have Solar Power

Calif. Agency Approves Solar Panels For All New Homes It's Official. All New California Homes Must Incorporate Solar
Cristina Norman | 10 May, 2018, 14:26

California might become the first state in the U.S.to require new homes to be built with solar panels, which could hike prices for consumers.

"Under these new standards, buildings will perform better than ever, at the same time they contribute to a reliable grid", said Commissioner Andrew McAllister, who is the Energy Commission's lead on energy efficiency. Namely, repeal restrictive land use laws that exclusively zone whole swaths of California's cities for energy-hungry single-family homes, as opposed to more energy efficient multi-family homes and apartment buildings.

"This is an undeniably historic decision for the state and the US", said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, a trade association with about 1,000 member companies.

Such an objective would have required that all new homes built after 2020 produce as much energy as the household would have consumed.

Some conservatives were not so enthusiastic, noting that the state already has some of the nation's most expensive housing markets.

Overall, home listings in California were by far the most likely to mention green energy features.

The new requirement will take place starting in 2020.

It needs final approval from California's Building Standards Commission, which typically adopts the energy panel's recommendations when updating the state's building codes.

"California has always been home to pioneering solar policies, and we applaud today's decision to require solar power on all new homes", says Michelle Kinman, clean energy and transportation program director for Environment California Research & Policy Center.

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

The state's building sector is the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions when fossil fuels power plants are factored in.

Many experts believe that, if the United States to more actively develop solar and wind energy in the coming years, the country would need for the population to electricity at 80%!

Christie Cromeenes, executive director of the Central Coast Builders Association, said in an email to KCBX News Wednesday afternoon she's concerned the cost of mandated solar panels will stifle growth.

In a prior boost for solar, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) had approved its net metering 2.0 rate design in January 2016, to the chagrin of the state's investor-owned utilities.

A key element in crafting the new standards was to ensure that the efficiency upgrade and solar systems would be affordable to all Californians.

Because of such policies, the most populous US state has frequently been at odds with President Donald Trump's aggressive rollback of policies to combat climate change. There are 250,000 solar jobs nationwide, with most employees involved with the installation of new systems.

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