California Will Require Solar Power for New Homes

California moves to require solar panels on all new homes by 2020

The California Energy Commission has approved a requirement for solar panels on new homes starting in 2020.

The new standards "focus on four key areas: smart residential photovoltaic systems, updated thermal envelope standards (preventing heat transfer from the interior to exterior and vice versa), residential and nonresidential ventilation requirements, and nonresidential lighting requirements", said California Energy Commission spokesperson Amber Beck.

The solar panel mandate is estimated to apply to a 2020 inventory of about 100,000 new single-family homes and 48,000 multi-family homes in California. For comparison, California added 858 megawatts of residential solar past year from 127,000 new residential solar systems. All they have to do is pass a mandate that most new homes come with solar panels already installed. All approved residential construction plans issued after January 1, 2020, must include some form of solar power system.

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%! It painted the solar requirement as a major step toward lowering utility bills and ridding California of "gas-guzzling homes".

Compared with solar power plants, rooftop solar is "a much more expensive way of increasing renewables on the grid", says Severin Borenstein, an economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who shared his concerns in a letter to one commissioner.

Some new houses will be exempt if solar panels are infeasible, such as when a roof is in the shadows of another structure.

Solar power in California provided almost 16% of the state's electricity by the end of 2017. "This solar decision could be yet another win for America's energy independence".

The Energy Commission vote coincides with the release of a report from the California Environmental Protection Agency that details the many ways climate change is affecting the state, leading to increases in air temperatures, larger wildfires and frequent dry years.

She says she'd like to see some sort of a rebate plan to help low-income home buyers access the market.

Electricity consumed by residential and commercial buildings is responsible for 14 percent of the state's greenhouse pollutants, according to the California Public Utilities Commission. "While we have programs to increase the use of renewable energy and reduce our reliance on gas plants, we do not have policies in place to replace gas use in buildings with available high-efficiency electric technologies that can be powered by clean energy".

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