State energy officials are set to vote today, May 9, on whether California should become the first state in the nation to mandate solar panels be installed on virtually all new homes starting in 2020.
The requirement is expected to add $8,000 to $12,000 to the cost of a home, but save homeowners an average of $80 a month in energy costs. There would also be increased requirements related to ventilation and indoor air quality.
Making California homes more energy-efficient is part of a broader initiative to shrink the state's greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.
For more than a decade, the commission has been operating under goals that would provide "net-zero" energy for new residents by 2020 and for new commercial buildings a decade later.
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But overall, making solar panels mandatory will be cost-effective, the report found, and is the only now feasible way for the state to fulfill its goal of making new homes produce as much power as they consume.
It's possible that with the new rule in place, the costs of solar could go down, and both panels and installations could get a lot cheaper.
The standards must still be approved by the state's Building Standards Commission, according to ABC7. He said the rules "will save energy, lower customer bills, keep homes comfortable in increasing heat waves and reduce pollution from California's homes and buildings".
Stuart Waldman, president of the Van Nuys business advocacy group, said the commission's decision om Wednesday gives housing developers and potential homeowners another reason to leave California as housing affordability is one of the major issues facing the state. Several California cities have already been mandating some solar power in new buildings.
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But this feel-good change to the building code is a questionable public policy for cutting greenhouse-gas emissions.
In terms of building costs, the Commission says it will add just under ten thousand dollars to up-front costs, but will save nineteen thousand dollars over a 30-year period. But as per the expert's view, this extra investment done while building new homes will be recovered as there will be saving on energy bills for a lifetime. "[In] California, we do believe in climate change, we do believe in facts ..." There are 250,000 solar jobs nationwide, with most employees involved with the installation of new systems.
There are exceptions for homes and buildings which are honestly incompatible with solar - such as those with the wrong type of roof, or those affected by shade from neighbouring trees or tall buildings.
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