Thursday, 20 September, 2018

California Mandates Solar Panels on New Homes

SunWork Renewable Energy Projects a nonprofit solar installation company trains volunteers to install solar panels on homes in the South Bay Area. Sun Work recently completed an installation on a Sunnyvale home in February California Mandates Solar Panels on New Homes
Lindsey Cook | 10 May, 2018, 14:24

California will soon become the first state in the nation to require solar panels to be built on all new homes. The same official also acknowledged that adoption of the new standards is equivalent to a "quantum leap".

While the new requirements aim to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions - one of the state's greatest challenges - they may worsen another problem in the short-term: the high cost of housing.

That made the relative ease of its approval - in a unanimous vote by the five-member California Energy Commission before a standing-room crowd, with little debate - all the more remarkable.

CEC gave its unanimous support to the plan that is meant to cut energy use in new homes by more than 50%, and thus became the first state in the U.S. to make this move.

But Republican legislative leaders argue Californians can not afford to pay any more for housing in what is already an extremely expensive market. The mandate could require between 68 and 241 MW of annual distributed solar buildout, according to ClearView Energy Partners' research using 2017 data.

Any new requirement like this was always going to increase the cost of construction, but the long-term benefits of a solar PV installation will well and truly offset those costs.

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" 'We update energy codes every three years and in 2013 we required that all new homes be solar-ready, ' says spokeswoman April Beck". The commission says solar panels will increase the upfront cost of homes but is expected to save consumers more over the long run in energy costs.

"SEIA appreciates the Commission's efforts to help California take steps toward meeting its Zero Net Energy goals by integrating renewable energy with energy efficiency". It goes into effect January 1, 2020, and includes all condominiums and apartment buildings up to three stories high. The commission projects that home energy savings will total about $16,251 over the span of 30 years.

"I like solar. I just don't like the state mandating it", said Joe Durocher. They are unique Day4 flexible solar panels with all new redesigned structures and electrodes having the capacity to capture more light.

While California continues to produce massive amounts of oil and gas, the state's solar industry has simultaneously blossomed over the last two decades.

California estimates that the new rule will cut emissions by 1.4 million metric tons over three years, which is a small fraction of the 440 million tons the state generated in 2015.

"Alex Steffen, who writes about sustainability and urban planning, said the state's biggest climate challenge is the fact that Californians drive so much".

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