Published: Fri, May 11, 2018
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

California first U.S. state to require solar on new homes

California first U.S. state to require solar on new homes

California may start requiring solar panels on new homes and low-rise apartment buildings built after 2020, the first such mandate nationwide and the state's latest step to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

He says the requirement for solar panels applies to single-family homes and multifamily homes with three or fewer stories that are built beginning January 1, 2020.

As The New York Times highlights, the new requirements will force builders to either make individual homes available with solar panels or build a shared solar panel array to serve a group of homes.

Along with the addition of solar panels, new California homes will also have to meet updated thermal envelope standards, which prevent heat transfer from the building's interior to the exterior and vice-versa. The California Building Standards Commission still needs to approve the change, and that hearing is scheduled for the end of this year.

State law already requires that 50% of all electricity comes from non carbon-emitting sources by 2030. At same time, it calculates that during that time user will save 80 dollars a month on bills of light in a state where life is not conceived without air conditioning.

The California Energy Commission is posed to vote on the regulations Wednesday.

However, those homes where solar power is not feasible or cost effective, such as those located entirely under shade, will be offered exemptions.

"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.

"You can bet every other of the 49 states will be watching closely to see what happens", he said. Fremont and San Francisco for example have both mandated that solar panels are built into all new single-family and multifamily homes. Typical solar panel installations cost around $14,000 to $16,000, and these costs could be increased by further mandates for increased insulation and more energy efficient windows and appliances.

The Energy Commission estimates that emissions savings by this measure will be 700,000 tonnes in three years, equivalent to removing 115,000 petrol vehicles from streets, according to argument it published along with vote on Wednesday.

The new rules will challenge California's "net-zero" goals, though.

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