The Latest on California’s move toward requiring solar panels on new homes (all times local):
The California Energy Commission has approved a requirement for solar panels on new homes starting in 2020.
The commission vote on Wednesday vote was a critical step toward possible final approval later this year by the state’s Building Standards Commission.
California would be the first state with such a requirement and Commissioner David Hochschild called the vote a “bold and visionary step.”
The commission also approved new requirements aimed at improving indoor air quality.
California has pursued a wide-ranging list of policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
No industry groups spoke in opposition to the solar panel requirements. 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.
California may start requiring solar panels on new homes and low-rise apartment buildings built after 2020.
It would be the first such mandate nationwide and California’s latest step to aggressively curb greenhouse gas emissions.
The California Energy Commission is posed to vote on the regulations Wednesday. They’ll then need approval from the state’s Building Standards Commission. They also include new rules around ventilation and indoor air quality.
The commission estimates the regulations would add an average $10,500 in construction costs for a single family home but generate about $16,000 in energy savings.
Few industry groups outwardly oppose the plan after working for years with the commission to shape the regulations. But Republican legislative leaders said Californians can’t afford to pay more for housing in the state’s already extremely expensive market.