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

California first US state to require solar on new homes

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.

Last week, after rumors and speculation had all but confirmed it, the California Energy Commission (CEC) announced that it would approve changes to the 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards which would mandate all new residential buildings - including new homes, condos, and apartment buildings - be built with solar PV installations of some sort, or tap into a community solar project. It represents the state's latest step to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Members said they expect other states to follow suit in coming years.

The California Energy Commission estimates that the new standards will add about $40 to an average monthly payment based on a 30-year mortgage.

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The minimum amount of solar power required by the new standards wouldn't be enough to meet all the needs of most homes.

"Along with the national Renewable Energy Target, support from the Queensland Government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation has helped to make this one of the lowest-cost options we have for electricity today". Vivek Sharma, Senior Director, Crisil Infrastructure Advisory, said: "The Central Electricity Authority and the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission will have to come out with norms that can allow the sale of hybridised power generated from existing projects".

But Republican legislative leaders argue Californians can not afford to pay any more for housing in what is already an extremely expensive market. It applies to single-family houses and multifamily units that are three stories or under.

"Farmers are dealing with and living in nature regularly, and so they are thinking long-term money wise, but they are also thinking long-term for the environment its kind of a flawless balance for farmers to think solar", Beck said. "Now, California is taking bold leadership again, recognizing that solar should be as commonplace as the front door that welcomes you home". More than 5 million homes in the state use solar power, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

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