Would California solar mandate burn home buyers?

California to become first US state mandating solar on new homes

California may soon be making renewable energy history again, with reports circulating that the California Energy Commission will approve a move to make it compulsory to build solar panels on all new homes, condos, and apartment buildings from 2020 onwards.

The new solar mandate would apply to all houses, condos and apartment buildings up to three stories tall that obtain building permits after January 1, 2020, the report said.

Some of that is very text-specific, but the ultimate goal is to ensure that every new house - with very few exceptions - are built with solar PV installations that account for some or all of the dwellings electricity consumption.

While environmentalists as well as homebuilders praise the new solar standards, the proposed new rules have detractors who still support goals that are net-zero. True "zero-net-energy" homes still rely on the electric power grid at night, they explained, a time when more generating plants come online using fossil fuels to generate power.

The California Energy Commission will vote on the new solar energy standard Wednesday, Southern California News Group reported.

Only between 15% and 20% of new home that are single family being built today have solar, said a member of the California Building Industry Association. Buildings with roofs that are too undersized for standard solar systems are debarred from the projected standards.

Andrew McAllister, a state energy commissioner, has pointed out that residential and commercial buildings are estimated to contribute roughly 40 percent of the state's greenhouse gas emissions.

Depending on the results of the voting process, which most people expect to rule in favor of green energy, everyone will see record numbers when it comes to the installation of solar panels. It also means that pretty much everyone will need to go to electric heating instead of other, environmentally friendly options like natural gas. However, most people reportedly declined due to their presumption that it is just added bills to pay.

"We're not building enough housing already", said Watt, former president of the Orange County Building Industry Association. This would apply once the private home's current energy needs were met.

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