California Set to Require Solar Panels on New Homes

The goal would be to have each home produce enough energy to offset all of the gas and electricity used. Right now, no more than 20 percent of new single-family homes in California include solar power. In fact, he added more panels to his roof than was required by the builder.

Under the standards, build credits would be offered for installing batteries.

Now that California has decided to make solar modules a requirement for new structures to be built after 2020, the next goal could be more mandates to gradually approach net-zero standards.

The commission will vote on the building standards on May 9.

The new energy standards will add about Dollars 25,000 to USD 30,000 to the construction costs compared with homes built to the 2006 code, CR Herro, Meritage's vice president of environmental affairs, told the Register.

"No other state in the nation mandates solar, and we are about to take that leap", he explained.

"Solar accounts for about $14,000 to $16,000 of that cost, with increased insulation and more efficient windows, appliances, lighting and heating accounting for another $10,000 to $15,000", the Orange County Register notes. It's relatively easy to do this in the region given California's abundance of warm, sunny days and high real estate prices - it's hard to see this happening in the American Midwest, where winter and lower home prices could make solar decidedly less practical.

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In addition to the solar rule, California's plan is to also encourage all-electric homes so as to cut natural gas demand, the OCRegister said.

The new plan will save homeowners $50,000 to $60,000 in operating cost over a 25-year period. However, most people reportedly declined due to their presumption that it is just added bills to pay.

"We do not minimize the cost of housing in the state - everyone recognizes that's an issue", McAllister said.

On the contrary, environmentalists approve of the new standards.

While net-zero remains an admirable goal, getting there is not yet cost-effective, state officials and experts said.

The state's Energy Commission will be voting on the legislation next week. "That net-zero home is not a net-carbon-zero home".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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