The California Energy Commission will vote on a plan Wednesday called as California's new energy mandate which will require solar panels to be built virtually into every new home, condos, and apartment buildings from 2020 onward. We applaud the CEC for its solar leadership and urge the Commissioners to approve this bold vision for a clean energy California. If approved, the new measure will go into effect in 2020.
Solar installers from Baker Electric place solar panels on the roof of a residential home in Scripps Ranch, San Diego, Calif., Oct. 14, 2016.
The mandate originated in 2007 when the state energy commission adopted the goal of making homebuilding so efficient that "newly constructed buildings can be net zero energy by 2020 for residences and by 2030 for commercial buildings", SCNG reported.
In addition to widespread adoption of solar power, the new provisions include a push to increase battery storage and increase reliance on electricity over natural gas.
New figures out Monday show how much a proposed California solar panel mandate could cost home buyers. There will be exceptions to this rule, of course.More news: Arsenal boss Wenger reveals he's received 'more offers than expected'
More news: Highland Bar and Grill wins Outstanding Restaurant by James Beard Foundation
More news: Pak Girl's image on Bihar's 'Swachh Jamui' booklet triggers controversy
Bill Watt, a California homebuilder and design consultant, who is also former president of the Orange County Building Industry Association, isn't so sure that the added requirements aren't going to sabotage the housing market.
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. They're never going to reach that net-zero goal.
While this will definitely end up increasing construction costs - by as much as between $25,000 to $30,000, according to some reports - estimates that the solar installations could save owners between $50,000 and $60,000 over the life of the solar PV installation.
"It was our small part that we had an option to do toward sustainability in some way", said Sam Rash of Fremont.
At night when there's no solar power, people come home, turn on the lights, the TV and possibly the air conditioning and start pulling power from the grid, he said.