California regulator OKs solar panels mandate for new homes

May 9, 2018 by Kathleen Ronayne
California regulator OKs solar panels mandate for new homes
In this Oct. 16, 2015 file photo a solar panel is installed on the roof of the Old Governor's Mansion State Historic Park in Sacramento, Calif. After extensive renovations, Gov. Jerry Brown and his wife, Anne Gust Brown moved into the mansion in late 2015, becoming the first chief executive to live in the home since Ronald Reagan in 1967. The California Energy Commission will take up a proposal, Wednesday, May 9, 2018 , to require solar panels on new residential homes and low-rise apartment buildings up to three starting in 2020. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

California moved a step closer Wednesday to requiring solar panels on new homes and low-rise apartment buildings starting in 2020, the first such mandate nationwide and the state's latest step to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

"Adoption of these standards represents a quantum leap in statewide building standards," said Robert Raymer, technical director for the California Building Industry Association. "You can bet every other of the 49 states will be watching closely to see what happens."

Raymer spoke before the California Energy Commission approved the requirement, alongside new regulations to improve ventilation and . They still need backing from the state's Building Standards Commission. The state updates its building codes, including , every three years.

The commission estimates would boost construction costs for a single-family home by roughly $10,000. But consumers would get that money and more back in savings, according to the commission.

California has positioned itself as the nationwide leader on , pushing for more electric vehicles on the roads and fewer emissions from residential and commercial buildings.

"This is a very bold and visionary step that we're taking," said David Hochschild, one of the energy commission's five members.

California regulator OKs solar panels mandate for new homes
In this photo taken Monday, May 7, 2018, solar panels are seen on the rooftop on a home in a new housing project in Sacramento, Calif. The California Energy Commission will take up a proposal, Wednesday, May 9, 2018 , to require solar panels on new residential homes and low-rise apartment buildings up to three starting in 2020. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Representatives from construction groups, public utilities and solar manufacturers all spoke in support of the plan, which they've helped the commission develop for years. No industry groups spoke in opposition.

But Republican legislative leaders argue Californians can't afford to pay any more for housing in the state's already extremely expensive market.

"That's just going to drive the cost up and make California, once again, not affordable to live," Assemblyman Brian Dahle, the chamber's Republican leader, said Tuesday.

About 117,000 new single-family homes and 48,000 multi-family units will be built in 2020, the commission estimates.

The regulations include exceptions when solar panels aren't feasible—such as on a home shrouded in shade—or cost effective. Installing storage batteries or allowing community-shared solar generation are available options. The requirement would only apply to newly constructed homes, although many homeowners are choosing to install solar panels with the help of rebate programs.

"This is going to be an important step forward for our state to continue to lead the clean energy economy," said Kelly Knutsen, director of technology advancement for the California Solar and Storage Association.

Explore further: California may require solar panels on new homes in 2020

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7 comments

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WillieWard
2 / 5 (4) May 10, 2018
Now faux-greens want to shove solar panels down people' throats full of arsenides and other chemical carcinogens that never lose their toxicity with time, worse than asbestos, just to provide "greenwashing" for natural gas(methane/fracking) in order to shut down a perfectly safe source of carbon-energy, it's a crime in the face of Climate Change.
"...the state's latest step to curb greenhouse gas emissions."
Solar and wind have failed miserably at reducing emissions everywhere even after trillions of dollars spent worldwide.
https://www.elect...map.org/
WillieWard
2.3 / 5 (3) May 11, 2018
Eco-talibans are forcing people to use useless placebos.
"California's Solar Roof Law Will Raise Housing And Energy Prices But Do Little To Reduce Emissions" -May 2018
"New Solar Roof Law Will Transfer Wealth from Poorer to Richer"
"California's new solar roof mandate will make housing more expensive, increase electricity prices, and transfer wealth upwards. What it won't do is significantly reduce carbon emissions"
"...has the second-most-expensive homes in the nation after Hawaii, and the third-worst state homeownership rate for millennials"
"solar roofs are twice as expensive as solar farms"
"California's top energy economists say the main driver of higher electricity prices is the state's heavy deployment of solar and other renewables"
"adding much more storage would only increase electricity rates more"
https://www.forbe...issions/
gkam
1 / 5 (3) May 11, 2018
Whining will not stop progress.
WillieWard
2.3 / 5 (3) May 12, 2018
Whining will not stop progress.
If solar panels were really so cheap and cool, it wouldn't be necessary mandates to coerce people to use these useless placebos.
It's more an abusive form of providing "greenwashing" for the natural gas(fracking) industry to displace carbon-free nuclear energy.
"According to business consulting firm Lazard, the net cost of energy from residential rooftop solar is twice that of solar panels on commercial and industrial roofs and as much as 10 times costlier than large solar farms."
"The residential solar mandate for new homes ... definitely more expensive."
http://www.sacbee...434.html
"California's rooftop solar rule is a pricey path to emissions reductions" - May 9, 2018
https://www.techn...uctions/
Not even faux-greens organizations and eco-hypocritical celebrities use these placebos to power homes and vehicles.
gkam
1 / 5 (3) May 12, 2018
My panels work flawlessly, and have already paid off.

Now, we get free power forever.
gkam
1 / 5 (3) May 12, 2018
The power companies know more about their business than Willie, who can only copy and paste.
I can go out and watch my meter run backwards.
WillieWard
1 / 5 (2) May 12, 2018
Now, we get free power forever...
I can go out and watch my meter run backwards.
Poor Californian families have to subsidize rooftop solar panels and electric cars for Rich Eco-nuts to pretend they are still connected to the electrical grid powering the whole state.
"Poorer Californian families without solar panels must pay $65/year to subsidize wealthier families with solar, finds UC-Berkeley economist"
"It doesn't make sense... Rooftop solar isn't getting rid of the utility. It's just changing who pays for it."
https://pbs.twimg...Pb8p.jpg
https://energyath...-panels/
"Often forgotten - net metering takes money from everyone (including the very poor) to subsidize those with solar panels"

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