California Is Set to Require Solar Power for New Homes

ImageAn array of solar panels in Oakland Calif. Solar power provides almost 16 percent of the state’s

As expected, the California Energy Commission (CEC) passed a first-in-the nation rule Wednesday, mandating that all new homes constructed in the state will be equipped with solar panels.

In fact, the state itself generates so much solar and wind power that it must sometimes halt production at some facilities or give the electricity away to other states to avoid overloading the electric grid.

The decision, adopted unanimously by the five-member California Energy Commission, is part of the state's effort to fight global climate change.

Some critics, though, question the wisdom of the transition to solar at a time when California is struggling with a dire housing crisis and skyrocketing housing costs.

The Sunshine State's solar demand slowed up a bit a year ago with excess renewable power being generated. To avoid this in the future, it's anticipated that the state and homeowners will have more battery storage as costs go down.




"In order to achieve zero net energy, you have to have a renewable energy source", says Wiener. They'll add incentives for buildings that have a Tesla Powerwall system for energy storage and there won't be a need for a large solar array.

California is already ahead of schedule with its long-term energy goals: the California Public Utilities Commission reported that they will likely meet the 2030 goal 10 years ahead of schedule.

California became the first state in the union Wednesday to require solar panels be installed on all new home construction; a move created to help "cut greenhouse gases" but could add even higher prices to the nation's most expensive housing market. And in California overall, half as many people can afford median priced housing as in the rest of the country.

The California Energy Commission believes this would add up to $10,000 in construction costs. MORE earlier this year introduced a 30 percent tariff on solar panel technology, a move fiercely criticized by US solar companies. However, CR Herro, VP of environmental affairs at real estate developer Meritage Homes, tells The Independent that construction would rise closer to $30,000.

An argument for the higher costs is the expenses would be recouped over the life of the energy system. The commission projects that home energy savings will total about $16,251 over the span of 30 years.

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