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News & Press: Industry News

California Moves Towards Mandatory Solar Panels on New Homes

Tuesday, May 15, 2018  
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Last week the California Energy Commission voted to mandate solar on new homes, condominiums, and apartment buildings up to three stories. The mandate is set to go into effect for building permits issued after January 1, 2020, once the update of the energy efficiency building codes is approved by the California Building Standards Commission. There is some flexibility in the plan when solar panels may not make sense and builders get compliance credits for certain battery installations that can affect the size of the solar system being installed. The revisions also promote electric vehicle charging stations.

The downside of the solar mandate is that it’s expected to add $9,500 to the cost of a new home in those jurisdictions that do not already mandate solar. Other energy standards in the revised code may increase costs even more as homes are built to ever higher energy conservation standards. Some observers have questioned whether it wouldn’t have made more sense to invest in large scale solar farms to generate renewable energy rather than increasing the cost of every new home in California. California is already one of the most expensive places in the country to buy a home. Currently only 15-20 percent of new home construction include solar, according to Bob Raymer, technical director for the California Building Industry Association.

California Land Title Association


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